How To Get A Beautiful Brown Crust On Your Mushrooms

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While we loosely use the term saute to describe the cooking process by which we cook smaller pieces of ingredients over relatively high heat and move them around from time to time, if you like the intense mushroom flavor and meaty texture that result from that lovely brown crust,  you actually need to do something closer to plain ol' frying than sauteing in order to achieve it.



Sautéing (from the French sauter meaning to jump) is actually something closer to stir frying in which the food is constantly being redistributed on the cooking surface to benefit from high heat cooking without burning.

In the case of mushrooms, which are deceptively high in water content, too much jostling actually results in the release of quite a bit of moisture, which ends up creating more of a steaming than frying process. That moisture prevents a good crust from forming.

Long story short? If you want a lovely brown crust on your mushrooms, use slightly higher than medium high heat (preheated pan of course) and a reasonable amount of oil (or a combination of oil and butter), and let them sit long enough on one side to form that crust before you redistribute them, then repeat. That way, the water that is released as they cook is immediately evaporated by the high surface heat, which is much more conducive to the sear you want.


Hope this is helpful! :)

Shinae


P.S. Salting at the very end also prevents extrusion of excess liquid during the cooking process.

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