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Can I Steam Mushrooms? A Complete Guide

Food Guide

Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient that can be prepared in many ways, including steaming. Steaming is a quick, healthy, and easy cooking method that brings out the best in mushrooms. In this complete guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about steaming mushrooms, from preparation to serving ideas.

An Overview of Steaming Mushrooms

Steaming is one of the best ways to cook mushrooms while retaining maximum flavor and nutrition. Here’s a quick overview of steaming mushrooms:

  • It’s a fast cooking method, taking only 5-15 minutes depending on the type and size of mushrooms. This makes it perfect for weeknight meals.

  • Steaming keeps moisture in the mushrooms, resulting in a tender, juicy texture. Mushrooms can get rubbery if overcooked, but steaming makes it easy to achieve the right consistency.

  • Nutrients are preserved since the mushrooms are not cooked in water. The steam heat gently cooks them.

  • Their subtle, earthy flavor shines through. Bolder seasonings can be added after steaming if desired.

  • The clean-up is easy with no oils or sautéing required.

Steaming is suitable for all types of mushrooms – white, cremini, portobello, shiitake, oyster, etc. Follow the simple steps below for perfect steamed mushrooms every time.

Preparing the Mushrooms

Proper prep is key to delicious steamed mushrooms:

  • Select fresh, firm mushrooms. Look for mushrooms without dark spots or damp/slimy patches.

  • Clean gently. Use a soft brush or paper towel to wipe away any dirt or debris. Don’t wash or soak mushrooms as they’ll absorb excess water.

  • Trim the ends of mushroom stems which tend to be woody.

  • Slice larger mushrooms so they cook evenly. Cut portobellos and big creminis into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.

  • Leave small mushrooms whole, like buttons or wild varieties.

  • Don’t crowd the steamer basket. Space mushrooms out for effective steaming.

Steaming Methods

There are a few easy ways to steam mushrooms at home:

Stovetop Steamer Basket

A basic stovetop steamer basket works great. Here’s how:

  • Place sliced or whole mushrooms in the basket and set it in a pot with about 2 inches of water.

  • Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat.

  • Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and steam mushrooms for 5-10 minutes until tender.

  • Lift basket out of the pot once done steaming.


Microwaving provides a super quick steaming method:

  • Place mushrooms in a microwave-safe dish and add 2-3 Tbsp of water.

  • Cover dish tightly with plastic wrap, leaving a small vent opening.

  • Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, checking frequently.

  • Carefully remove plastic wrap once done.

Electric Steamer

Using a standalone electric steamer is convenient for steaming all kinds of foods.

  • Add sliced or whole mushrooms to steamer tray.

  • Turn steamer on and steam mushrooms according to manufacturer directions, usually 5-15 minutes.

  • Remove mushrooms when fork tender.

No matter which method you use, steaming mushrooms to the perfect doneness is quick and easy.

Flavoring Steamed Mushrooms

The beauty of steamed mushrooms is that their flavor remains pure and earthy. You can enhance their taste by:

  • Drizzling with olive oil or butter – brings out richness

  • Sprinkling on fresh herbs – thyme, rosemary, parsley all pair well

  • Adding minced garlic – brings tasty depth

  • Squeezing lemon juice – brightens up the mushrooms

  • Splashing soy sauce or tamari – adds savory umami flavor

  • Tossing in spices – salt, pepper, paprika, cumin

Get creative with your own favorite seasonings! Add them before or after steaming.

Serving Ideas for Steamed Mushrooms

Steamed mushrooms make a tasty and versatile addition to many dishes:

  • Toss into pasta, risottos, quinoa bowls

  • Mix into frittatas, omelets, scrambled eggs

  • Layer on pizzas, flatbreads, bruschetta

  • Add to tacos, burritos, enchiladas

  • Serve over grilled meats, fish, or tofu

  • Pile on sandwiches and burgers

  • Mix into stuffed peppers, zucchini boats, etc.

  • Add to soups, stews, chilis

  • Serve as a standalone side dish

Steamed mushrooms pair well with chicken, beef, pork, seafood, and vegetarian meals. Their tender bite and savory flavor enhance all kinds of dishes.

Storing Leftover Steamed Mushrooms

Steamed mushrooms will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Here are some storage tips:

  • Place cooled mushrooms in an airtight container.

  • Drizzle with a little olive oil or lemon juice to keep them fresh.

  • Use within a few days for best flavor and texture.

  • Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving again.

Freezing is not recommended as it affects mushrooms’ cell structure, making them mushy. Enjoy leftover steamed mushrooms within 3-5 days.

Common Steaming Mistakes

Avoid these common steaming pitfalls for perfect results:

  • Overcrowding the steamer – leave space between mushrooms.

  • Cooking too long – check frequently to prevent mushiness.

  • Skipping seasoning – a sprinkle of salt before/after brings out flavor.

  • Not steaming whole – halves and slices cook more evenly.

  • Washing or soaking – gently wipe mushrooms clean instead.

  • Letting mushrooms sit after steaming – they lose moisture. Serve right away or drizzle with oil.

With the proper techniques, steaming mushrooms is easy and yields tender, juicy results full of flavor. Avoid the above mistakes for delicious steamed mushrooms.

Enjoying the Benefits of Steamed Mushrooms

Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to enjoy mushrooms. Here are some benefits:

  • Nutrients are retained since mushrooms are not cooked in water.

  • Mushrooms contain potassium, selenium, vitamin D, and B vitamins.

  • They are low in calories – only about 20 per cup.

  • Mushrooms provide antioxidants, like ergothioneine.

  • Steaming keeps the glycemic load lower than sautéing.

So savor steamed mushrooms guilt-free! They make a very nutritious addition to your diet.

Steaming Mushrooms to Perfection

Steaming brings out the best in tender, juicy mushrooms with full umami flavor. Follow this complete guide for preparing, seasoning, serving, and storing steamed mushrooms. In just 5-15 minutes, you can enjoy the many benefits of this healthy, straightforward cooking technique.

Get ready to enjoy more steamed mushrooms in your life! They pair deliciously with so many meals, so you’ll want to keep them handy on the regular.


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