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Tasting Dried Mushrooms

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2009

Porcinis aren't the only dried mushrooms with an intense, earthy flavor. Here are a few others that taste great in stews and sauces.

Our recipes often call for dried porcini mushrooms to add an intense, earthy flavor to stews and sauces. But what about other dried mushroom offerings at the supermarket? We bought packages of dried morel, chanterelle, and black trumpet mushrooms and then followed our typical method for reconstituting them--covering them in water, microwaving them on high for 30 seconds, and allowing them to steep for five minutes. We then used each one in place of dried porcini in recipes for mushroom risotto and porcini-Marsala pan sauce. With some adjustments, all proved acceptable substitutes. Our changes were straightforward: bumping up the proportion of mild morels, increasing the soaking time for chewy chanterelles, and reducing the amount of smoky-flavored black trumpets.

    DRIED MUSHROOMSFLAVOR/TEXTUREHOW TO SUBSTITUTE
    MorelMilder than porcini. Woodsy, with a meatlike flavor. Ridged texture is good for catching sauce For each ounce of dried porcini, use 1 1/2 ounces dried morels.
    Chanterelle Bright, fresh, slightly sour flavor, with a perfumelike aroma.Use the same amount of dried chanterelles as dried porcini. Steep for 35 minutes after microwaving to fully soften. Discard any stems that do not soften.
    Black TrumpetSmoky and peppery, with an aroma of moist earth. For every ounce of dried porcini, use 1/2 ounce dried trumpets. Because trumpets hold lots of grit and pine needles, rinse with extra care.

    Morel

    Chanterelle

    Black Trumpet