For most vegetarians, mushrooms are a staple. Not only do they mimic the texture of meat, but they contain so many health benefits.

In addition to their health benefits they are amazingly versatile and insanely flavorful! As you likely know, fresh mushrooms have a rich, umami flavor on their own but punched up with aromatics and a de-glaze of spirits they become wonderfully savory and complex. They make a great side dish or the perfect addition to soups, pizza, stews, eggs and now so many folks are making burgers. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to eat them straight out of the skillet.

Once you assemble your ingredients for the recipe of your choice, you’re ready to cook! Here are my best tips for sautéed mushroom success:

  • Don’t wash them, wipe them! Generally, when I cook with fresh produce, I wash it under cold running water before I use it. But not mushrooms! They soak up moisture like a sponge, so if you wash them, they become waterlogged. This means that they won’t brown as they cook. When it comes to sautéed mushrooms, browning = flavor. So, to help the mushrooms brown, wipe them clean with a damp paper towel.
  • Don’t move the mushrooms for the first 2-3 minutes of cooking. Start with a pat of butter. Add the mushrooms to the hot pan being careful not to over crowd. Don’t move them for a couple of minutes. This way, they’ll get a nice golden brown sear, which will add rich flavor to the final dish
  • And after that, stir only occasionally. Sautéed mushrooms are best when their edges are nicely browned, which results from consistent contact with the hot pan. If you stir too much, they’ll soften before they have a chance to take on color. De-glaze once golden brown and allow the moisture to absorb then hit them with some fresh herbs off the fire. Use as a side or add to your chosen recipe.