These sous vide mushrooms are nicely firm and have a juicy, succulent texture and a great flavor. It takes 30 minutes to cook them to eat as is, and only 10 minutes if you want to use them in sautes, omelettes and dishes that require additional cooking.
While I am not new to sous vide cooking in general, this is my first time cooking with a 'real' sous vide tool - the Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator with WiFi. I wanted to make something quick and something that I haven't attempted before, just to test drive my new kitchen gadget while it's still easy to deal with any performance issues. After looking through a few of my modernist cookbooks the choice fell on sous vide mushrooms.
I love mushrooms in just about any form. My wife makes amazing mushrooms by sauteing them in butter with a little salt and pepper. They are-out-of-this-world good and are my favorite for sure. I even use them as a substitute for meat, like in lasagnas. Naturally, I got curious to see how sous vide mushrooms would stack up against sauteed and other mushrooms.
Most recipes I've seen online recommend cooking mushrooms at 186F for one hour. The temperature range, depending on the source, varies from 176F to 194F. 186F is the most commonly recommended though. The recipe I found in the Sous Vide at Home: The Modern Technique for Perfectly Cooked Meals written by Lisa Fetterman suggests only 10 minutes of cooking at 176F. But then again, the cooking instructions and the description to the original recipe are somewhat contradicting - at the end of cooking instructions it says "serve immediately", while the description suggests additional cooking.
Lisa suggests finishing these sous vide mushrooms with balsamic vinegar and using them as an accompaniment to steaks, scrambled eggs, burgers or even as a base for a creamy pasta sauce - "Simply drain the liquid (save it for adding to sauces, braises, or soups) and then saute the mushrooms in butter or olive oil, adding your favorite herbs or spices".
So, what did I decide to do? I decided to leave 10 minutes at 176F for using the mushrooms in other dishes where additional cooking would be used. For straight consumption I went with 30 minutes at 176F.
The result was great: the mushrooms turned out nicely firm, but easy to bite. The flavors were spot on. I actually enjoyed them quite a bit. The firmness was quite refreshing from the usual soft texture that mushrooms acquire during conventional cooking. All this greatness after 10 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes of cooking.
On my to do list is to try cooking mushrooms for 60 minutes at 176F and 60 minutest at 186F, a most common method. It will be interesting to compare the results. Though, I can hardly see much room for an improvement in texture from this point. Do you prefer firmer or softer texture in sous vide mushrooms?
On the ingredient list itself, the only thing I did was to add vinegar. The base is very good. The soy sauce is a very welcome addition. Here is what Lisa says about it: "Soy sauce might seem out of place here, but it has a great affinity for mushrooms: in small quantities, as in this recipe, it amplifies their earthy, umami flavor while staying out of the spotlight. Soy sauce is the wind beneath maitake’s wings". I could not agree more. But the in the end, I felt like some acidity was the only thing missing. I almost felt like adding a spoonful of Italian dressing to my mushrooms.
- 1 lb mushrooms (e.g. maitake, shiitake, cremini, oyster, button, etc., cleaned, rinsed and cut into bite-size pieces)
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (extra-virgin, very good quality)
- 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar (or white vinegar, or balsamic vinegar if you want some sweetness)
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (freshly ground)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- Preheat your sous vide water bath to 80°C (176°F).
- In a bowl, combine the mushrooms with the rest of the ingredients and toss to coat evenly. Place the mushroom mixture in the bag and seal using the water displacement method, or use a vacuum sealer.
- Lower the bagged mushrooms into the water bath and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the water bath and serve the mushrooms immediately.
This post was updated on January 22, 2019
Do you have any tricks to stop liquid from getting sucked up into the vacuum sealer and preventing a tight seal? I just got my sous vide and vacuum sealer today and I'm running into this issue with other things as well. Thanks in advance
Victor @ Taste of Artisan
For sure, I've dealt with that issue for years until I finally gave up, saved up, and bought an Ary Vacmaster VP215 chamber vacuum sealer. The only way I figured out how to deal with that issue is to watch the liquids very closely as they rise and hit the seal button as soon as the liquids get close to the sealing bar. Sometimes a little amount of liquid gets through, which would not get into the sealer but would interfere with the seal nevertheless. I would wipe it off and create a second seal. It was a painful process, and our FoodSaver would overheat on a regular basis and require cooling down. If you do a fair amount of sealing, I strongly recommend getting a chamber vacuum sealer. I don't even mention the savings you will realize buying Vacmaster vacuum pouches in bulk.
Try using the bags, and use less per bag / more bags. That should do the trick.
Does the sous vide add something special?
Victor @ Taste of Artisan
It does. In general, it enables you to cook food to safe temperature levels without overcooking it and ruining texture. You can think of it as the 'low and slow' cooking that many admire. Sous vide also ensures very even cooking in all parts. We love sous vide mushrooms primarily for the texture.
How long do sous vide mushrooms last. I assume you can freeze then too?
Victor @ Taste of Artisan
Just like regular cooked mushrooms, they will be good for a few days in a fridge. Freezing works well too. Place them on a cookie sheet and flash freeze until fully frozen. Then package and vacuum seal. These should be good for a few months in a freezer.
Looks like a great recipe. Wouldn't freezer ziploc bags melt at that temp? I was under the impression that they can't handle heat higher than around 152F.
Polyethylene/nylon, of which Ziploc bags are made, can handle up to 195F, at which point they start to soften. I use freezer bags, same material only thicker, but I've used Ziploc bags before, both work well.
Good to know! 👍🏼
I can't believe how good this recipe is! Loving it.
I am just starting with sous vide cooking and this is a great starter recipe. Very easy and quick.
Could I prepared these and then chill and use later? Also, would these work on pizza?
I don't see why not. I would sautee them after chilling though. Should work on pizza just fine.
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