Rules for processing fresh mushrooms
One of the popular varieties of mushrooms is honey mushrooms - they retain a peculiar taste in fried, pickled and salted form. Proper pretreatment of honey mushrooms is an important stage, which is mandatory before cooking, because pieces of earth, grass blades and leaves accumulate on mushrooms.
Rules for processing fresh mushrooms
Primary processing in the forest
To facilitate the subsequent stages of cleaning, it is worth starting the process right at the time of collection. This will require time, but there will be less work at home. Wormy and damaged specimens should be weeded out immediately. From the bottom of the legs with a sharp knife they remove dirt, earth, needles and adhering twigs, cut the bottom. Be sure to cut off the part that is damaged by worms. It is not necessary to remove the wavy collar (which we also call the skirt) on the leg - this does not affect the taste of the cooked dish.
From the lower half of the leg, the part that secured the fungus to the mycelium is neatly cut off. The film is removed from the cap. If you cut off the mushroom and not pick it, you will not have to remove dirt and the remains of the mycelium from the base of the mushrooms. The most delicious part is the hats, so you can get rid of the legs and not process the dirtiest part of the mushroom.
Home Cleaning Technique
Immediately after a walk through the forest, the harvest is sorted. Fresh honey mushrooms, torn from the mycelium, begin to quickly darken. Processing can not be postponed for more than 3 hours after collection, because mushrooms spoil very quickly. They should not be left in the package. Properly clean mushrooms immediately upon arrival from the forest. If for some reason timely cleaning is not possible, the crop is dipped in cool water with the addition of a spoonful of citric acid and the same amount of table salt.
To properly clean mushrooms, you will need a sharp knife, colander and sponge. The latter is needed to wipe the legs and hats. From the bottom of the knife, dirt is cleaned with a knife, in some cases the entire bottom is cut off. Before cleaning, the legs are separated from the hats.
All damaged places are deleted. The rim under the hat is removed or washed off with a stream of water. After all the mushrooms are thoroughly washed (if you are not going to dry them). Young mushrooms are not required to be cleaned.
Subsequent actions will vary, it depends on the method of preparation. Cleaning will require a sharpened compact knife, a toothbrush with hard bristles and a piece of soft cloth.
Irina Selyutina (Biologist):
If you have harvested a large crop, it is best to divide it into several parts for processing. Those honey mushrooms that you want to leave can be placed in a cool room, where there is no access to direct sunlight and laid out in one layer on a newspaper. In this condition, they can lie for a day, during this time they will partially dry out and they can be cleaned in a dry way. However, it’s better to immediately deal with the mushrooms upon returning from the forest. This will preserve the crop and help to avoid further poisoning.
- Honey mushrooms for drying: in this case, the contact of mushrooms with water is eliminated - the absorbed moisture will not completely evaporate from them, therefore, high-quality drying will not take place and as a result, your workpiece will not be stored for a long time. Using a brush, the plates under the hat are carefully combed - bugs can sit there. Using a soft cloth, sand remains.
- For pickling: a preliminary soaking in a liquid will be required for 40 minutes (only you can not keep it for more than 1 hour - then honey mushrooms will lose some of their taste). Instances for this processing method are selected healthy and large. The "skirt" is removed. Then the products are washed under a cold stream for no more than 3-5 minutes. Freshly grown mushrooms need a half-hour soaking in water and salt before washing. The next stage is cooking in salted water for about 40 minutes. After all the procedures are allowed to start processing.
- For freezing: this processing method requires only freshly picked specimens. Fungi are carefully selected for freezing, damage, even minor ones, is unacceptable. With a stiff brush, the mushroom is cleaned of dust particles, branches, etc. Small mushrooms do not need to be cut into small pieces. Mushrooms are not washed in water.
Irina Selyutina (Biologist):
If honey mushrooms are very dirty, you will have to wipe each hat with a cloth dampened with water or an old kitchen towel and leave it to dry for 1 hour. Only after this, honey mushrooms spread containers or packages in batches and sent to the freezer. If you want some mushrooms to be frozen in separate copies, then spread honey mushrooms on flat surfaces of trays or cutting boards, freeze them and only then place them in bags or containers for storage in the freezer.
If you collected overgrown mushrooms, then immediately determine their quality. If it suits you (appearance, smell) - leave the mushrooms for further processing. The best option for overgrown cooking would be mushroom caviar or pate.
Honey agarics technique
Washed mushrooms must be cooked immediately.
Immediately after the mushroom picker has finished processing fruiting bodies, he washes them under cool running water using a colander. To rinse honey agarics and get rid of the "skirt", the pressure is increased.
Do not leave washed fresh mushrooms overnight. If after harvesting there is no time to immediately start cooking, the crop is poured with boiled water for 20 minutes, laid out along a colander, doused with cool water and laid out in the refrigerator. Such a thermal procedure ensures the safety of honey agarics and ensures their long storage.
Soaking honey mushrooms
Soaking is done after preliminary processing in the forest and before cutting the bottom of the legs and washing under water. The purpose of soaking is the final disposal of the worms. It will take 1 tsp. salt per 1 liter of water (as a prophylaxis - half a spoon). The salt should completely dissolve in the liquid. After the mushrooms are flooded with a solution, the worms will float to the surface. Soaking time and the form of processing depend on the size of the mushrooms:
- salting: soaking in a steep saline solution for 2 hours;
- cooking: the procedure is optional, the main attention is paid to cleaning and washing mushrooms;
- pickling: the crop is soaked for 30 minutes or poured with boiling water, immediately after which it must be processed;
- frying: soaking is not required;
- drying: contact with water is contraindicated.
Processing mushrooms after harvest consists of several stages, the execution technique of which depends on the method of preparation. Following the instructions, the mushroom picker is able to clean the crop of litter without damage. High-quality processing will make it possible to prepare a delicious treat from collected mushrooms.