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I Just run them under the tap and cut or flick out the dirt with a fillet knife. The older ones will really soak up water so make it as short as possible. Next, pat dry in a kitchen or paper towels. You will go through a lot of paper towels though. They can harbor some bugs(those black ones and little white worms) so after i chop them up, i let them sit awhile to allow them to come out before cooking. They also hold a lot of moisture so get a good nonstick or very seasoned cast iron pan and sweat them out on a lower setting(my stove is about 3 1/2) turning frequently until they turn brownish; this can take awhile 10 to 15 minutes after which you can add some olive oil or butter and seasoning(whatever floats your boat...I usually just use garlic and a little salt and pepper, turn up the heat a little, and get a nice sear. At that point...stuff yourself till you pop....and if you have any left over, spread them out on a cookie sheet and freeze. At which point you can bag them up for future use.

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I do nearly the exact same thing as PB, minus the garlic, a mushroom I actually dislike garlic on. I use the sink sprayer to get some pressure behind the water for the gills. Big thing is to not soak them and be sure you toss them in the pan dry to sweat them out, then EVOO, salt, and a dash of pepper does the trick for me. Great with pasta, white meats, anything sauteed!

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I don't like eating maggotesque worms so I do a heavy soak, rinse, change the water, submerge underwater, repeat until there are no worms in the water. Unfortunately I had them loosely in the fridge before I noticed a mass migration of those worms all throughout the whole fridge..oops..I made a big batch of cream of mushroom soup with ramps and asparagus out of mine. I have a lot more kitchen at my disposal than most do though.. grin

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I also soak..not a fan of eating worms..

Alton Brown from food network did a mythbusters type show once and did the soaking or spraying mushrooms.. Granted he did not use oyster mushrooms, but use button and portabella.. But his tests proved that soaked mushrooms took on no more water than the lightly sprayed.. just sayin.

Cooks illistrated also did a test that also found that it makes no difference to soak...

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found the stuff from the Alton Brown show..

Myth #3

Washing mushrooms causes them to absorb alot [sic] of water?

Our experiment begins with 4 ounces of button mushrooms, which we will then move into a hand strainer set inside a bowl, alongside 4 other hand strainers in 4 other bowls, all containing 4 ounces of button mushrooms. Now to these, we will then add a liter apiece of water.

4 Ounces Button Mushrooms

1 Liter Water

AB: [to his Assistants] Except the one on the end. Leave the one on the end empty. Just go ahead. Pour that right on there, guys. Very nice.

The one on the end, I have got other plans for. Excellent, excellent. We're just going to let those soak. Now phase 1 is only going to be for 10 minutes. So I'm going set my timer and walk away.

Ten minutes is up. So now we extract the mushrooms from the first bowl of water, and allow them to drain very, very thoroughly, for at least 30 seconds. In the meantime, I'm going to reset for another 10 minutes, and man the scales.

Now, if you remember, we started with 4 ounces of mushrooms, and now we have 4.2 ounces of mushrooms. That means that after a 10-minute soak in cold water, these mushrooms only sucked up ... well, right around a teaspoon of water. And I'm willing to bet that 90 percent of that is actually up inside the stems because they're very fibrous and kind of vein-like. I'll be very interested to see what another 10 minutes brings.

So another 10 minutes has elapsed. That means this next set of mushrooms has been in the drink now for 20 minutes. We're going to let that drain thoroughly before hitting the scales. And of course, we will set our clock one more time for 10 minutes.

Now we see that what once was 4 ounces of mushrooms has now ballooned to 4.25 ounces of mushrooms. Very curious. Now if we can use the last batch as any kind of indicator, that means that the extra 10 minutes of soak only brought in another 0.05 ounces of water. Which is only really, I don't know, 10 drops maybe. It'll be interesting to see what the next set says.

I, for one, am glad that the timed portion of this experiment is over. We now, of course, extract the third batch of mushrooms, drain and weigh.

After a 30-minute soak, these 4 ounces of mushrooms now weigh 4.15 ounces. Now I am willing to accept that differences in the individual mushrooms may have resulted in this batch soaking up less than the 20-minute batch. But what's important is that basically, after 5 minutes, these mushrooms stopped soaking up water. All of them soaked up what is essentially a teaspoon of water. Very, very interesting.

Now you may have noted that I have decided to weigh all of these with the avoirdupois method, meaning ounces, pounds and what-not, instead of metrically, as we did the steaks, and there's a very good reason for that, which is that when I changed the battery in the scale, I forgot to flip the metric thing. But it doesn't matter, we've learned something here. One last experiment, and it has to do with those dry mushrooms over there.

Before we hand down the verdict on this whole mushroom-washing thing, I think that we should see if there's a difference between soaking in cold water and giving them a good spray.

AB: [turns on the sink faucet] Toss around a little.

ASSISTANT: [tosses the mushrooms under the water in a sieve]

After all, this is how most of us who would wash mushrooms, would wash them at home. Great. Drain, then we weigh.

After a cold blast of water, our 4 ounces of mushrooms weigh 4.2 ounces. Exactly the same as the mushrooms that soaked for 10 minutes. Curious.

So as it turns out, mushrooms do soak up a little, teeny-weentsie bit of water, but it doesn't matter whether they get a quick spray or a 10-minute soak, or really, even a 30-minute soak. They just don't take in much water. So I don't know about you, I'm going to wash my mushrooms, and I'm going to consider this myth smashed to bits.

The cell walls of mushrooms are made of chitin, the

same substance that makes up an insect's exoskeleton.

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I like worms ...lots of protein smile I really do not have much problems with the worms, and if i do see some that are wormy will either toss it or just line a zip bag with paper towels and let then sit in a fridge overnight, where they will come out. Will concur that the smaller fresh mushrooms do not soak up much water, but the bigger ones certainly do, they get that spongy texture near the base, not really a big deal though...just soak up the water with some sort of towel. Either way you do it....they are tasty!!!!

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I've seen that video from Alton Brown, and he used store bought buttons, which don't hold much water to begin with, and are probably a bit dehydrated coming from the store. Oysters will take on twice their weight in water in a short soak... Buttons are locked up tighter than a drum as well. I don't recall him even opening the mushrooms prior to soak. Ever soak morels? You lose a ton of color and taste, and they become quickly water-logged. Have to lay them out to dry before storing. I think either way is probably fine, I just prefer to rinse them.

For storing in the fridge, toss them in a tupperware container and put clear plastic wrap over the top, punch a couple of holes allowing them to breathe and allowing some moisture to escape. Works awesome, bug free fridge... wink

I too don't have a ton of issues with bugs. I pick them shortly after rains, and only pick fresh clouds. I notice that the partially dried up ones, or ones starting to turn in color are full of bugs. I leave them or toss them...

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