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Topic: how do you make mushrooms appetizing?  (Read 10099 times)
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« on: November 20, 2009 07:32:37 PM »

I figure that quite a few people enjoy mushrooms, but I never have.

I am not a vegetarian, but I would like to include more vegetarian foods in my diet, and possibly consider converting eventually. I have not been finding red meat to be appetizing lately, but I would like to keep a wide range of foods in my diet.

For my whole life, if there is a food that I do not like, I will go back after a while (could be a month or a few years) and try it.
My biggest problem with mushrooms is the texture.
Does anyone have recipes that could make them tastier (or good enough to ignore the texture)?

In college here, I have access to a "wok" aka frying pan, with lots of veggies, mushrooms, beans, etc and 4 different sauces, usually soy, teriyaki, sweet and sour, and sweet chili. There are also a few different spices and a steamer, and they always have rice and noodles available. Eggs are available for use as well.

Thank you so much for suggestions in advance!

Thank you so much in advance

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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2009 02:05:44 PM »

I'm with you on this one, the texture of mushrooms is just a big 'uggghhh' for me.  Maybe its the chewiness / squishyness / almost 'meaty'? Maybe it is just my imagination!

I can eat them if they are chopped up really small in a tomato sauce for pasta (yep like how you would tempt a small child to eat veggies!).  Even then it can only be button mushrooms, the others kind of freak me out!

It is a bit of a pain as lots of veggie options contain mushrooms - so I too would like to know how to make them a little more appetising!


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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2009 02:31:10 PM »

I used to hate mushrooms as well but I do what you do and always go back and try things.

The one thing with mushrooms I love is stuffed mushrooms. Here is the link to the recipe I always use, they are so delicious and have so many different flavors going on.

I also like to bust out our fondue pot and put a herb mixture together and cook them in their. They absorb the flavors nicely and you can stuff the caps with a nice herb dip. You should check out that link though and use their search feature. I am always pulling new vegetarian recipes off there and trying them out.

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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2009 02:32:34 PM »

not necessarily the healthiest option here, but i like them fried, both pan and deep

also, have you tried other kinds of mushrooms? i know for me the white button ones are soft and fluffy (which i love) and the shitake/cremini are more tough and meaty (also love Smiley now i want a portabello burger, and i am not a veg)

you can try roasting them in the oven, that will add alot of flavor indeed

i would say that experimentation is key....

also, i do what you do, i try things again just to make sure lol

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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2009 08:31:47 PM »

honestly, I can't tell what type of mushrooms are which at this point, just by looking at them.
I will try adding them to my usual "stir fry" Monday and see what happens with it.

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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2009 08:08:47 PM »

Try different types of mushrooms. I don't like the white ones.
Fry some mushrooms with diced spanish onion on low-medium heat, in a little bit of oil, until nicely caramelized. Put in the blender with a hard boiled egg, some salt and pepper, and maybe garlic. It makes for a nice spread.
(I'm sorry, I don't have an exact recipe.)
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2009 07:44:02 AM »

I love mushrooms. I use them in salads a lot. Just slice them (raw) and put them in a salad with cherry tomatoes and some spinach. Use whatever dressing you prefer. I like a balsamic vinagrette.
Maybe try them on pizza? I like mine with olives too.
I go to a sandwich place that makes an awesome veggie wrap. They slice them up and saute them with some green bell pepper and then put it in a warm wrap.(Like a falafel or gyro wrap) Top with lettuce and tomatoes and it is soooo yummy.
Maybe a mushroom stroganoff? Experimentation is key.
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2009 04:40:28 PM »

I recently tried brown oyster mushrooms sauteed in olive oil.  I cooked them with garlic, salt, pepper and thyme.  They were soooo good.  Brown oysters are a lot different than your standard white button mushrooms.
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2009 11:18:55 PM »

My most frequent mushroom concoction is sliced baby bellas (small portobellos) sauteed in oil with paprika, thyme, and rosemary. I'll put that on pasta with some cheese or just on toast, if I don't eat it all before I get the chance!

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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2009 02:46:30 PM »

Mushrooms are the best sauteed! You could saute them in a pan with an onion and/or a green bell pepper, then serve that over pasta (with or without tomato sauce). So good.
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2010 03:35:23 AM »

I'm with ryeblossom - I think white button mushrooms are disgusting!  I don't like the texture or flavour of them as much as other kinds.  I would suggest shitake, but I suppose it's mostly a matter of opinion.  They don't have that traditional mushroom flavour, so they're very palatable.  My sister hates mushrooms and shitake are the only kind she will eat!

My favourite way to prepare them is to saute them lightly with a little bit balsamic vinegar or red wine.  It helps to balance the flavour and make them slightly less...mushroomy!  Soy sauce also works well.

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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2010 06:22:17 PM »

Sauteed baby bellas are really good! And someone else posted a link to stuffed mushrooms - yum!!

I got my hubby hooked on grilled portobello sandwiches -

brush with oil either whole caps or slices and grill on the bbq until tender and cooked- then slap it on some toasted sourdough along with roasted red peppers and some mayo mixed with fresh dill.
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2010 09:20:24 PM »

I agree mushrooms are good when sauteed.  Grin

« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2010 10:46:13 AM »

I am not sure what type my school uses, and I can't make them change it Sad
whatever they are, not so tasty.
I did have stuffed mushrooms that I did not realize were mushrooms until after it was delicious Smiley  I will have to ask for that recipe.

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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2010 03:18:58 PM »

I am not a huge mushroom fan either - my husband however is, so I've put some work into finding ways to cook them that can be enjoyable for both of us.

One of my favorites is to cook sliced portabellas in butter - Earth Balance works too- over low heat in a skillet, until they are cooked down and quite soft, with the addition of some salt and pepper, and sometimes some fresh garlic.  This gives them a great flavor, and the texture isn't bad.  This works with other mushroom varieties pretty well, portabellos are just my favorite. 

I use this same method with portabellos and button mushrooms, sometimes adding an onion to cook down with them, add some additional butter once they are cooked down, some fresh herbs, garlic and parmesan cheese to make a sauce for pasta. 

I have been a vegetarian for a long time, and I like most vegetables, but have never had the love for mushrooms that many of my fellow veggies do.   

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« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2010 01:26:04 PM »

Sautee them with a little olive oil and red wine! delish!

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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2010 04:09:32 PM »

I'm with MissDisney and thelastKodama on this one-- mushrooms love to be fried. ESPECIALLY the big'uns.
Other than that, I treat my shrooms a little like I treat my tofu, and often pair the two. When my fiance is sick, I make him a broth by steeping dried mushrooms in boiling water, because he loves the flavour but not the texture. I eat the reconstituted bits with noodles and basil, myself.
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« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2010 07:03:51 PM »

I just read your name as  "quiet champignon" and thought "well, s/he should know!"  Cheesy

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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2010 07:22:51 AM »

I got converted to liking mushrooms by my mother-in-law cooking button mushrooms, thinly sliced, with butter, garlic, a bit of white wine, and some whole-grain mustard. Pan-fry gently until mushy, or a texture you can stand. Smiley

I know it's not vegetarian, but I love boscaiola pasta sauce. Pan-fry some chopped bacon until crunchy, add some garlic, some whole-grain mustard, and some thinly sliced mushrooms. Cook till the mushrooms look done. Add a splash of white wine, some low-fat cream, and let it simmer while you cook pasta. Ta-da! Tasty! It's my favourite comfort food. (I suppose you could substitute bacon for not-bacon, but I have a rather irrational suspicion of highly processed soy products, so I've never tried it.)

Also, mushroom steaks, Jamie Oliver style. And by that, I mean baked in an oven, dripping with butter and garlic. Grin

I'm a firm believer in cooking mushrooms with butter and garlic, you may have noticed.
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« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2010 03:17:08 AM »

You could try Mushroom Burgers?

I whiz up a bunch of different mushrooms in the food processor to start with.  Fry some finely chopped onion and garlic in a bit of oil until soft and then add the chopped mushrooms and fry a bit more.  Mix in a big handfull of breadcrumbs, some finely chopped fresh herbs that you like, a big dollop of dijon mustard, and then i also add some sweet chilli sauce to spice them up a bit.  Get messy with your hands making them into burger shapes (or could be meatball or sausages either) and then leave in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up before you cook them.  I initially tried frying them - but they disintegrated a bit, so I now bake them in the oven for about 20 minutes after spraying them with Fry Lite.

My local supermarket has a special offer on pumpkin and carrot breadrolls at the moment, and these burgers are lovely in those with some lettuce and a big dollop of ranch dressing.

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« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2010 07:48:12 PM »

that actually does sound kinda tasty

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« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2010 02:12:15 PM »

I completely understand about the mushroom dislike - I was the same until I discovered mushroom soup!  Delicious!  I then moved on to sauteed mushrooms on toast (brown - has to be brown!) with a bit of stilton crumbled over.  Yum yum yum.

Now I put them in a lot of things to bulk them out, like stir fries, fajitas, and bolognese.  Give the toast topping a try, and if you don't like blue cheese, brie is good too!  Smiley

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« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2010 04:06:44 PM »

Portobello mushroom burgers! I hated mushrooms until I tried these. Just make sure you grill them up really well on each side. If you like a spicy kick, top them with pepperjack cheese.

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« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2010 03:10:20 PM »

I always cook them with garlic and a bit of cheese and it never fails!

« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2010 10:41:31 AM »

I get my kids to eat portabellos by first lightly sauteing them gill side down, then building them up like a pizza. a layer of spinach for the first layer, topped with chopped tomatoes, fontina cheese, and a few italian herbs. broil it until the cheese is good and melted and lightly browned and enjoy
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2010 07:12:22 PM »

I like mushrooms in omelets with spinach and lots of cheese. I also like them fried and put on top of veggie burgers (with lots of cheese... yes I like cheese). I've also had them cooked with red bell pepper and onion which was pretty good. Hope this is helpful.
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« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2010 05:58:02 AM »

Saute them in butter, minced garlic, soy sauce.

Put them in pizzas, pitas, fried rice, and mixed veggies.

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« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2010 06:47:34 AM »

I too used to hate mushrooms, but now I looooooove them.

I love to stuff big portabellos with cream cheese and pinenuts, super delicious.
Or blue cheese. Yummmmmm.

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« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2010 11:21:44 AM »

The best advice that I ever received about mushrooms was to treat them like meat.  That means that, let's say you want to make chicken stir-fry.  Marinate the sliced mushrooms the same way that you'd marinate the chicken and add them to the wok first (otherwise they'll never get done, just like meat!)   

Mushrooms absorb flavors -very- well, so if you're not too keen on that mushroomy taste (which I adore, but DH can't stand) use marinades in flavors that you do enjoy.  They also pair well with onions, so you might try adding equal amounts of onion and mushroom to a dish.  I especially like them with peppers and onions in veggie fajitas.

As for the differences between different types, the only kinds that I have access to on a regular basis are: white button, crimini or baby portabella, and shiitake.  I think that the criminis have a bit stronger flavor than the white buttons, but that flavor is absolutely, completely, utterly BORN to be paired with tarragon! Oh my goodness, I cannot sing tarragon's praises enough when it comes to criminis.  Just smelling it as it cooks is enough to send my palate soaring. 

Shittakes have a woodier stem than either buttons or criminis, so they should be removed before you cook them, but I usually add them into the mix when i'm making vegetable stock.  They probably have the meatiest texture of the three, so if that texture is something you're not particularly fond of, just slice them as thin as possible, and they'll take on more of the texture of well-carmelized onions.

For more information and ideas about how to use mushrooms, I highly recommend the Good Eats episode "The Fungal Gourmet".  He makes mushrooms make sense ^_^

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« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2010 02:50:31 PM »

I'm sure this has probably been said, but fry them up with some butter or olive oil and some seasoning.  throw in some onion also!  I usually make a delicious spinach entree with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, onion,  marinade, green peppers and butter.  YUM!

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« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2010 05:43:50 AM »

Saute button mushrooms with butter and garlic, add salt to taste.

Slice shitake mushrooms thinly if you don't like them much.  Add them to tomato meat sauce and pour them in your favorite pasta.

Put diced mushrooms in omelettes.


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« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2010 10:11:10 PM »

Sauteing them is definitely best. I sometimes marinade mine in hoisin and chinese five spice for twenty mines, chuck under the oven/on the bbq/however you want. Delicious!
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« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2010 02:05:14 PM »

I make stuffed mushrooms for holidays that my vegetarian sisterinlaw and non-vegetarian family devour before I can get them onto the table.

(My sisterinlaw eats dairy and egg so that's in the filling. I'm sure there's other binding agents you could use if you don't.)

The filling consists of Morning Star Farms Garden Veggie patties, shredded Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and egg. You thaw then chop up the patties nice and small and combine with the rest of the ingredients. I don't really measure but I use the whole box of the patties, one egg, and a handful of the cheese and breadcrumbs. (If you have more filling than what fits in the mushrooms I make "meatballs" out of it and cook them in my sweet & sour sauce (grape jelly and chili sauce). Those disappear, too.)

Cooking time is about 15 minutes at 350*.
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2010 04:48:00 PM »

I am the same way about the texture. As a kid, I would always pick the mushrooms out of the spaghetti my mom made. I have now figured a way around that though. I chop them up pretty small and then fry them in a pan with olive oil before adding them to a recipe. (I still don't like them plain.) This way, you get the flavor, but not so much the texture.

A great mushroom recipe (not vegetarian recipe) is as follows:

Lemon Chicken with Mushroom Sauce


    * • 7 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
    * • Olive oil
    * • 1 lemon
    * • ½ C butter
    * • 5C sliced mushrooms
    * • 1 1/2 C chicken broth
    * • 4T flour
    * • 3T fresh chopped parsley
    * • 1 minced garlic clove
    * • 1 tsp each: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, pepper, parsley, cumin, basil, oregano, and cayenne pepper--or to taste


 1. Combine spices, ½ lemon’s juice, and about 5T olive oil. Marinate chicken in mix for 1 hour, at least.
 2. Preheat oven to 400*F
 3. Heat olive oil in skillet. Brown chicken breasts on both sides. Transfer to 9”x13” glass baking dish greased with olive oil. Slice remaining lemon and place on chicken. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until done.
 4. In large skillet, melt butter. Add mushrooms and garlic clove. Stir while cooking until brown. Sprinkle with flour and blend. Gradually add chicken broth to create a creamy sauce. Add parsley at last minute before spooning onto chicken breasts.

You may need to grow more accustomed to the texture for this one though....and probably wont need to make so much. I thought I would share though, while on the topic of mushrooms.

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« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2013 02:41:14 PM »

I get my kids to eat portabellos by first lightly sauteing them gill side down, then building them up like a pizza. a layer of spinach for the first layer, topped with chopped tomatoes, fontina cheese, and a few italian herbs. broil it until the cheese is good and melted and lightly browned and enjoy

Tried this today for lunch - me and the man're taking tenative steps into the veggie world in order to support our daughter's choice when she's home from school. It's a bit of an adventure learning new methods of putting flavors and textures together but this is a winner! For 2 'srooms I mixed up abt 2/3 can of organic fire roasted tomatoes with pizza spices then topped with cheese, black olives and for some crunch, fresh green beans cut in 1/4" pieces. It made a more satisfying mouthful than the original pizza spin and had all the flavor. I think that if you're really hungry one wouldn't fill you and you'd better provide for a second or have a satisfying side dish. It's definately something I would recommend to convert a meat-eater tho. Didn't miss the meat and didn't have any slippery squishy mushroom goo.

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« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2013 04:18:41 PM »

I managed to get myself used to the texture over time.  Just slice suuuper thin and fry 'em.  Every few times you do it get just a little thicker until you really don't notice.  I'll still pick some of them out of stuff, but the texture doesn't make me gag.  I /do/ enjoy the taste, but the texture is just creepy.  And anything where you mince it or mash it will get rid of most of the texture, and that works with just about anything. =]

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« Reply #36 on: July 28, 2013 08:33:15 AM »

If you ask your parents for a mini chopper for Christmas, so you can take the work out of all that small chopping and eat healthier, you'd probably get one way before that (as a mom, I know I would definitely send you one right away  Grin).

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« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2013 08:38:49 AM »

I love mushrooms but the white button mushrooms get me to gag every time.  I think it's the fact that they are rather tasteless.

Mushrooms have an earthy taste and they absorb everything you add to 'em.

My favourite thing to do with portabello mushrooms:
-  soak 'em in a mixture of soy sauce, veggie stock, and garlic  (poke holes in both the top and the bottom using a fork)
-  drain and pat 'em dry
-  fry 'em over high heat until the surface is brown
-  eat like a burger!

I also like to add garlic, onions, a little bit of red wine, to cooking mushrooms and puree 'til soft.  It's a good consistency for spreading and tastes good too!

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« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2013 05:19:55 PM »

There is a recipe for cheese grits with a mushroom topping on the Smitten Kitchen site that is good. 

There are also several good options in the 1001 Vegetarian Recipes cookbook I have...and I like to add them into my tortierre recipe although I guess that isn't vegan.  Grin

Personally, I like mushrooms as a side note rather than a main element in a dish. And I usually use portabellos - button mushrooms have no flavor so they are just a squishy ingredient.

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