How to remove bitterness from oyster mushrooms
Everyone knows the fact that some varieties of mushrooms after cooking can give bitterness. Many housewives and cooks will confirm that oyster mushrooms can have such an unpleasant taste. This problem can be caused by various reasons. In order for fried, boiled, dried and thawed oyster mushrooms to not have an unpleasant taste, it is necessary to carry out certain preparatory steps before cooking the mushrooms.
Why oyster mushrooms are bitter
There are rare cases when the mushroom in question, which has grown in the forest, gives bitterness. If this still happened, then experts characterize this feature as a result of prolonged drought, old age of the fungus or its growth in adverse conditions.
Most often, bitterness occurs in those fruiting bodies that have been cultivated under adverse artificial conditions.
In the substrate where oyster mushrooms were grown, various microorganisms can develop. By attacking fungi, bacteria secrete toxins and harmful substances that are absorbed into the pulp. Bitterness is the first sign of such adverse conditions, which may signal the possibility of poisoning by this fruiting body.
Important! The collection of the considered type of fruiting bodies near the roadway, near plants or landfills is unacceptable. The use of such mushrooms, in addition to feeling unpleasant taste and smell, can cause poisoning and even death.
Many cooks may notice that fried oyster mushrooms are bitter. There can be several reasons for such an unpleasant taste.
Among the main ones are the following:
- The possibility of falling false counterparts of this type of mushroom. For example, a pilovnik or orange oyster mushroom is often confused with the edible fruiting body in question. Although these twin mushrooms are not poisonous, their use in food is not recommended because of the significant bitterness in their pulp.
- Refusal to clean, lack of preliminary soaking of oyster mushrooms and their washing under running water.
- Long stay of the plucked or bought mushrooms in a raw state. If oyster mushrooms lie for a long time in the refrigerator or in the pantry not processed, then various harmful toxins will accumulate in them.
Removing fruiting bodies from the freezer, you can see that they have a certain bitterness. If you do not take the time to check the condition and taste of thawed oyster mushrooms, then, quite likely, you can spoil the dish.
Did you know? Experts say that thanks to toxins, the fruit body is not affected by pests in 90% of cases due to the unpleasant taste of the pulp.
The reasons for the formation of bitterness of thawed mushrooms are considered as follows:
- Incorrect preparation for freezing: oyster mushrooms were not cleaned of debris, not soaked, rotted parts were not cut, poorly washed.
- Incorrectly packed fruit bodies. Fruit bodies should be dried and distributed in hermetically sealed bags or plastic containers, which must be placed in the freezer.
It can sometimes be observed that boiled oyster mushrooms have a bitter taste. This can happen for various reasons, for example, the presence of harmful substances in a plucked fungus that grew in an unfavorable environment, improper processing.
Boiled mushrooms can be bitter for the same reasons as fried specimens: false pseudo-weights were caught, fruiting bodies were not previously cleaned of contamination, they were not washed well, they were not soaked, they were not cooked long enough or stored for a long time without treatment.
If heat-treated can be bitter, then the possibility of a similar taste in a dried mushroom is much higher.
Did you know? Oyster mushrooms were first cultivated at the beginning of the twentieth century in Germany. In the 30s, Chinese specialists actively cultivated them for foreign and domestic trade. It is in this country that the fruiting bodies in question are called “ishiven”.
The list of reasons that indicate the bitterness of fruiting bodies after drying include:
- confusion with false oyster mushrooms;
- improper preparation of mushrooms: cleaning of garbage, washing, soaking;
- omission of the cooking procedure with the addition of citric acid and bay leaf;
- the possibility of collecting in unplanned contaminated areas or their growth on coniferous wood, which can give a similar taste;
- mushrooms were cultivated without proper cultivation.
What to do and how to remove bitterness
Before cooking, you must adhere to certain rules for the preparation of products:
- Forest mushrooms are thoroughly cleaned of debris.
- Sorted, removing accidentally caught pseudocysts.
- It is washed in a large amount of water, intensively, but gently mixing, so as not to damage.
- Soak in cold water for two hours.
It is not uncommon for mushrooms to get bitterness after frying, and this is not at all due to the toxins in the pulp. Perhaps oyster mushrooms were burnt or fried in bitter vegetable oil. To save the situation, it is necessary to add sour cream, spices and stew in a dish for a quarter of an hour.
During cooking, you can eliminate the taste of bitterness by adding a cloth bag with bay leaf, dill, parsley and cloves to the water, boil for about 7 minutes. All liquid must be drained. After again, proceed to boiling the mushrooms already in clean water.
Important! It is recommended to store only young specimens in the freezer, as old ones have more chances to get bitterness. This is due to the fact that the second ones in the defrosting process are very saturated with moisture, as a result of which the product can deteriorate under the influence of the development of harmful microorganisms in the pulp.
Removing oyster mushrooms from the freezer, thaw them, placing them in a colander and rinsing, then blanch in boiling water with salt for 7–8 minutes. It is also permissible to store mushrooms in the freezer already in the finished broth. This option is convenient because you can later omit the defrosting procedure, and immediately start cooking.
But if this blank is bitter, then you need to do a few actions:
- Pour the broth.
- Rinse under cold running water.
- Boil for five minutes with onions (1 pc.).
- Put mushrooms in cheesecloth or colander.
- Proceed with further cooking.
To remove the bitterness from dried oyster mushrooms, the hostess needs to use one of the tips:
- Soak the fruiting bodies in water with salt for a quarter day, while changing the solution three times a day to avoid acidification of the product.
- Soak the mushrooms for up to three hours in warm milk.