Portobello mushrooms are great for vegans and vegetarians as they have a meaty texture that is lacking in other types of mushrooms. You could even eat one like a burger in a bun. That’s not to say that meat-eaters won’t enjoy this mushroom as well. It is very versatile. You can stuff it, use it in stews and casseroles, and just cook as it is with some garlic and cream.
Because Portobello mushrooms are denser than other mushrooms, they have a longer shelf life. However, you can’t keep them for weeks on end. So what can you do if you bought more than you can use within a few days? The answer is simple; freeze them. In this article, we will be telling you more about freezing Portobello mushrooms.
Buying Portobello Mushrooms
It is important to smell the mushrooms before you buy them. You don’t want to buy mushrooms that are moldy or smell musty. In addition, you need to check that the mushrooms are firm. Avoid Portobello mushrooms that are bruised or soggy. They are way past their best and freezing won’t improve their texture. They should be fleshy and firm and the undersides, also called gills, should be brown and firm.
Freezing Portobello Mushrooms
There are different methods of preparing the mushrooms to freeze (see also Freezing Stuffed Mushrooms) and we will go through each in detail. The best way that Portobello mushrooms keep their flavor is by freezing them fresh. Mushrooms frozen this way are best used in soups (see also How To Freeze Mushroom Soup), casseroles, and stews.
However, if you want to freeze the mushrooms for longer, it is best to saute, blanch, or steam the mushrooms before freezing.
Freezing Chopped Raw Portobello Mushrooms
The first step is to clean the mushrooms. Brush off any debris you can see. Don’t wash them as this can make them soggy. Then remove the gills and the stem ends with a sharp knife.
Chop the mushrooms and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure that they are not touching each other. Put them in the freezer for about an hour and a half. Then take them out of the freezer and put them in a resealable plastic bag. They shouldn’t freeze together as they are partially frozen already. You should squeeze out as much air as possible to ensure that they freeze properly. If you don’t, your mushrooms might get freezer burn. This means that your mushrooms will dry out.
It is a good idea to put a label on the bag so that you know when it was frozen. You don’t want to leave it in the freezer for too long. It is easy to forget what you have put in the freezer. Raw mushrooms last for around 10 months in the freezer.
Freezing Whole Raw Portobello Mushrooms
Clean the mushrooms to get rid of any debris. Use a brush to do this. Then remove the stem ends and gills with a sharp knife. You can just stack the mushrooms in the freezer or you can wrap each mushroom in cling film, then place them in a resealable plastic bag. Again, squeeze out the air and write the date they were frozen on a label.
You can also flash freeze the mushrooms. As with the raw chopped mushrooms, place the whole mushrooms on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour and a half before putting them in a resealable plastic bag.
How to Freeze Sauteed Portobello Mushrooms
Out of all the methods of freezing Portobello mushrooms, this will last the longest. The firmness of the mushrooms will be retained which is a bonus.
As usual, clean the mushrooms by brushing them down and trim the stem ends and gills. Then slice the mushrooms the way you want to use them. You may want to chop them into small pieces or make larger slices. The next step is to saute them in butter for a couple of minutes. You will need a high heat for this, but make sure that you don’t cook them all the way through. They need to be cooked halfway through. They will then cook fully in the recipe you are going to cook them in.
Once you have sauteed the mushrooms, remove the excess oil and pat them dry. They then need to be left until they have completely cooled down.
Once the mushrooms have cooled down, put them in a resealable plastic bag and squeeze the excess air out. They are then ready for freezing. Don’t forget to write the date on the bag so you can easily know how old the mushrooms are.
How to Freeze Steamed Portobello Mushrooms
This is the best method to use if you want to keep the flavor of the Portobello mushrooms. As usual, clean the mushrooms with a brush and trim the stem ends and gills. You can then chop the mushrooms, but if you prefer, leave them whole.
If you want them to retain their original color, soak them first in a lemon juice and water solution before you steam them.
The next step is to put them in a steamer or a double boiler and cook them for around a few minutes. Whole mushrooms will need five minutes, while chopped mushrooms will only need three minutes. After steaming, soak the mushrooms in an ice bath to stop them from cooking any further. When you have done this, dry the mushrooms with paper towels and put them in a resealable plastic bag, squeeze out as much air as you can and write the date on a label.
How to Freeze Blanched Portobello Mushrooms
Blanching extends the life of your mushrooms more than steaming them. The prep is the same. Clean the mushrooms by brushing off the debris and trim the stems and take off the gills. Then put the mushrooms in a colander. They can either be whole or sliced. Submerge the colander with boiling water and blanch the mushrooms for about two minutes. You don’t want to blanch them for any longer because they could start cooking which will mean that the mushrooms will be soggy after freezing.
The next step is to put the mushrooms in an ice bath. This will help to stop the mushrooms from cooking. Then get rid of the water and pat the mushrooms dry. Put the mushrooms in a plastic bag and freeze.
The Shelf Life of Frozen Portobello Mushrooms
This all depends on what method you used to preserve the mushrooms. Raw Portobello mushrooms can last for up to 10 months in the freezer. Sauteed mushrooms last for three to six months so keep an eye on the date you froze them. Steamed and blanched mushrooms last the longest. You can keep them in the freezer for up to a year.
Thawing Portobello Mushrooms
It’s not difficult to thaw Portobello mushrooms. All you have to do is take them out of the freezer and put them in the fridge. Leave them to defrost for a few hours or overnight. Once they have been defrosted you can use them in a variety of recipes. If you have frozen them whole, stuff them with cheese and other vegetables. Add them to a dish like beef stroganoff or a vegetable curry. You could make garlic mushrooms out of them which are delicious served with garlic bread. Or perhaps that’s an overdose of garlic!
We think that this article has shown you that you can freeze Portobello mushrooms easily. There are so many different choices about prepping the mushrooms so you can have the mushrooms either whole or chopped. If you find Portobello mushrooms on sale, buy more than you need for that day. You can freeze the rest for later.