Mushrooms cooking in a pan
A Quick Steam Before Sauteing Is Key For Flavorful Browned Mushrooms
Since mushrooms are high in moisture, crowding them in the pan while sauteing can make them release their liquids and become soggy. To prevent this, give them a quick steam first.
Mushroom cells contain chitin, which keeps them firm while cooking. Steaming the mushrooms collapses the air pockets created by chitin's structure and draws out their moisture.
Once steamed, a bit more cooking time will evaporate the liquids, and then the cooked mushrooms will brown fully in the pan without soaking up all the oil.
To get the brownest, most savory mushrooms, use a pan with a tight-fitting lid. Warm the pan up, add a quarter cup of water per pound of mushrooms, and put the mushrooms in.
Salt the mushrooms lightly and cover the pan. Cook until you see the moisture releasing and then remove the lid, stirring to evaporate the liquid, before adding butter or oil.