The Proper Way To Rehydrate Morel Mushrooms

Drying morels for preservation can take a long time depending on the dehydration method. Still, it's all worth it since the mushrooms acquire an extended shelf life. And once you're ready to use the dried mushrooms, rehydrating them is a simple and quick procedure.

First, you'll need a container big enough to hold all the morels you want to rehydrate — a bowl or glass jar are great choices. Next, put water in a pot and bring it to a boil, then pour the boiling water onto the dried morels in the container until they're completely submerged. Cover and let soak for about 30 minutes or until soft. During this time, the dry fungi will absorb the water, swell, and become tender. Once fully rehydrated, strain out the now brown-colored water but don't discard it (this is a tasty morel-flavored stock you can use in your cooking).

There are also alternative ways of rehydrating morels. You can use room-temperature water, but be aware that might take a bit longer than using hot water. You can also use stock, broth, or even wine and follow the same soaking process. No matter the liquid you choose for rehydrating, you'll be happy to know that, unlike most types of mushrooms, rehydrating morels restore their original chewy texture, making them one of the best mushrooms to rehydrate.

Cooking rehydrated morel mushrooms

Once rehydrated, morels are a versatile ingredient you can cook in various ways. Their earthy, nutty, rich flavor can elevate any meal to star status on the dinner table. One of the most common ways to cook these mushrooms is to saute them. Heat a little butter or vegetable oil in a pan, add the rehydrated mushrooms, and stir. Season and flavor with salt, pepper, and your desired herbs. The delicious sauteed morels will be ready to serve in about five to seven minutes.

Another easy morel recipe is morel sauce. Begin by sauteing the mushrooms the same way. Feel free to add some aromatics like shallots, onion, and garlic. Next, deglaze the pan with red wine and add the morel stock you strained when rehydrating the mushrooms. Season to your liking and cook until the sauce is reduced. If you want a creamy version, like the one in our morel mushroom cream sauce pasta, simply add heavy cream and let it simmer.

You can also cook rehydrated morels in soups and stews to enhance the flavor of whichever broth you use. For even more adventurous mushroom recipes, bake some stuffed morel mushrooms or fry up battered morel fingers. Whichever way you prepare rehydrated morels, these mushrooms will add a gourmet touch and an unparalleled depth of flavor and texture to your cooking.