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White mushroom, also referred to as boletus, has a special place among those collected for human consumption. In addition to its attractive appearance, this representative of the mushroom kingdom is distinguished by its amazing gastronomic qualities. But in practice, many chefs do not know how to cook boletus properly. However, soaking dried porcini mushrooms is always important in the process of preparing them before heat treatment.
Soaking dried boletus is a mandatory process before cooking.
Do I need to soak porcini mushrooms
Before cooking, any type of forest fruit requires certain steps to be taken to prepare them. These include cleaning and rinsing, but the soaking process is not necessary for all species, but only for those that have bitterness. But since the porcini mushroom tastes good and does not taste bitter, it does not need to be pre-soaked fresh. On the contrary, an excess of liquid can deteriorate the quality of freshly harvested boletus, making them loose and saturated with moisture.
But dried porcini mushrooms must be soaked. But it is worth noting that the quality of the final dish after its preparation will still depend on this procedure. Therefore, it is important to follow the steeping process correctly in order to preserve the nutritional value as much as possible.
Some recommend soaking dried food only for frying or braising. But before cooking, according to some reviews, this procedure is not required, since dry fruit bodies will be restored upon contact with hot water during boiling. In fact, soaking before digestion is still necessary, which will make the fruit bodies more tender in consistency.
How to soak porcini mushrooms correctly
There are certain rules for preparing boletus mushrooms for their subsequent preparation, which also include preliminary soaking. But the process itself will directly depend on the type of initial raw materials used. For example, soaking is not required for fresh porcini mushrooms, or this procedure is performed under certain conditions. But for a dried product, soaking is necessary, but it also has its own characteristics.
How to soak dried porcini mushrooms
Dried porcini mushrooms necessarily require preliminary soaking so that the fruit bodies are saturated with moisture and recover. To do this, they are sorted out, removing excess debris, and then washed under running water. After these manipulations, you can proceed directly to soaking.
Pouring the dried product is required only with cold water (it can be at room temperature). Do not use hot liquid, especially boiling water, as this will affect the aroma. Some culinary experts advise soaking dried porcini mushrooms in milk, but in fact, such procedures not only do not affect the taste, but can even adversely affect the quality of the product. After all, milk protein can cause the growth of pathogenic flora, which remains in the folds of dried fruit bodies, especially if soaking in milk lasts more than two hours.
During soaking, dry boletus swells and grows in size several times
Important! The amount of dried product for cooking is required to take less than fresh mushrooms.
Dishes, in order to soak dry porcini mushrooms, it is better to use enamel, glass or food grade plastic. In no case should you soak in an aluminum container, as an oxidation process may occur.
After soaking the dried boletus, the water must be drained. In no case can it be used for cooking dishes or sauces, since all those substances that have been accumulated in the fruit bodies remain in it. Sand and dirt also settle, because in most cases they are not washed before drying.
At the end of the soaking, it is also advisable to perform boiling, regardless of the subsequent preparation (frying, stewing). Cooking should be carried out in non-salted water over low heat for 10 minutes after boiling. During boiling, the fruit bodies will increase even more in size, steamed.
It is also better not to use the broth, but to drain
How to soak fresh porcini mushrooms
It is not recommended to soak fresh porcini mushrooms before cooking, as water adversely affects the structure of the fruiting body: it becomes watery, loose and tasteless. Nevertheless, this procedure can be performed if the crop was harvested immediately after rain or in damp weather. Then soaking is necessary to remove excess dirt, sand, adhered foliage and various insects that could crawl under the cap.
Fresh porcini mushrooms are soaked in salted water for 15 minutes. Salt promotes more thorough cleansing of small grains of sand and insects. For efficiency, it should be taken at the rate of 0.5 tbsp. l. for 500 ml of water. After that, immediately rinse under running water, then proceed directly to cooking.
Soaked boletus is not suitable for subsequent drying.
How long does it take to soak porcini mushrooms
As for the soaking time of a dry product, it can be different depending on the method of drying and preparation. So, for example, to soak dried porcini mushrooms that have been prepared naturally (in the air), it will take about 40-60 minutes. But in the case of processing in the oven, under the influence of high temperatures, the fruit bodies become hard and much drier, so they require a longer soaking. It will take up to four hours here, with periodic checks. If it became noticeable that the boletus mushrooms have increased in size and have become swollen in appearance, and soft to the touch, then they are ready for further use.
It also affects the duration of soaking and the method of subsequent cooking. For frying or stewing, the dried product should be soaked longer than for making soup.
Some housewives perform soaking overnight, but this is not entirely correct, since prolonged exposure to water can cause a loss of taste and aroma.
Attention! Fresh mushrooms are soaked for no more than 15 minutes, otherwise they will be saturated with moisture and lose their taste.
Soaking dried porcini mushrooms is a must, because it makes the product softer and more tender. But if for some reason it is impossible to soak dry fruit bodies, then they are subjected to boiling in several stages, constantly draining the broth.