On sick days, cream of mushroom is a staple that simple everyone must have. This simple rustic soup seems like a cure-all perfect for any day, but especially those slightly chilly ones. I’m sure we’ve all eaten canned cream of mushroom at least once in our lives, and while there’s no shame in that, this homemade recipe is hands down better. It’s simple, takes very little time and will become a mainstay in your kitchen whenever you’re craving soup.
What Is The Best Mushroom For Cream Of Mushroom
There are unarguably a plethora of different mushroom varieties all over the world. So it's completely understandable that you may not know what mushrooms work best for the recipes you want to make. Let’s go through a few of the more common mushroom types you can find at your local supermarket and what they’re used best for.
Button mushrooms: Also known as white mushrooms, button mushrooms are widely eaten mushroom in the world. They're incredibly easy to grow, which makes them affordable and available almost everywhere. They’re best used whole to preserve its texture and flavor. They’re also good baked, stuffed or eaten raw. If you didn't know, white button mushrooms are actually the same as Crimini and Portobello mushrooms. The Crimini mushroom is just a different color, while the Portobello is just a more mature version of it.
Crimini mushrooms: More commonly known as brown mushrooms, Crimini mushrooms are the same as white button mushrooms, just a different color. Like the white button mushroom, it has a similar flavor, as well as culinary uses. Due to its color, it works best in soup and other cooked dishes over its paler counterpart. They also work well over any steak or roast.
Portobello mushrooms: Originating from white button mushrooms as well, Portobello mushrooms are just Crimini mushrooms which have grown to their full size. Similar to the mushrooms above, portobellos have a meaty and firm texture and are a popular substitute for meat in any dish. They’re best used grilled, sliced, or served whole and cooked. They also taste almost as great as your typical beef burger, while providing more nutrients.
King oyster mushrooms: Native to Asia, the Mediterranean and parts of North Africa, we find that the average home cook doesn't incorporate this mushroom into their regular cooking as much as they can. This mushroom is thick and extra meaty, with an earthy yet mild flavor. They’re best used battered and fried or sauteed due to their meatiness and size. You should however avoid using them in soups, as they can take on a slimy texture when used with liquids.
Shiitake mushrooms: Through the dedicated research of a Japanese doctor in the 20th century, shiitake mushroom was found to have medicinal properties. To this day, it is still considered to be so in many cultures. This mushroom is native to East Asia and are found both fresh and dried. Similar to porcini mushrooms, when dried, they have a similar pungent flavor making it perfect for a risotto. When cooked, they are soft and have a woodsy flavor. This mushroom is extremely versatile and can be used in most types of cooking, whether purchased fresh or dried. They're great in soups, pan-fried or cooked into noodle and rice dishes.
Enoki mushrooms: This tiny bunch of mushrooms are especially popular in Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese cooking. Just remember to cut a bit off the bottom before using and then tear part loosely. Their mild flavor makes them versatile and adaptable to a variety of cuisines, but they always seem at home in Japanese dishes. They’re best used raw, but can also add a nice bite to your soups and stir-fries. Don’t cook them for too long though, otherwise they can get pretty tough.
How To Properly Clean Mushrooms
Now that you know which mushroom works best for your recipe, let’s dive into how to clean your mushrooms.
You might have probably heard the old wives tale to never wash your mushrooms. This stemmed from the belief that when washed, your mushrooms would absorb the water and become waterlogged due to mushrooms being 90% water. Previously to clean mushrooms, a paper towel or small brush would be used to clean it in place of water. This as you can imagine is quite tedious and takes way too much time.
Thankfully, this has been widely debunked so feel free to wash away all your mushroom dirt using water. However, be careful not to soak your mushrooms to wash, but instead just rinse them. The easiest way to clean your mushroom is to place your mushrooms in a bowl of water and swirl them around for a minute or so until the dirt mostly settles to the bottom. Then simply remove from the bowl and pat dry. If you're lazy, you can simply place your mushrooms in a strainer and spray them with water till the dirt is washed off and then pat dry.
How To Make Cream Of Mushroom With Our BamNut Milk Everyday
In our homey version of a cream of mushroom, we substitute regular milk/cream for our BamNut Milk Everyday. This plant-based milk is made from Bambara groundnuts, making this cream of mushroom perfect for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike without sacrificing any flavour. This recipe also only takes 30 minutes to prepare, and the results will give its canned counterpart and run for its money.