Morel mushrooms are a rare treat for any mushroom lover. Morel mushrooms add a wonderful earthy touch to dishes, and they’re packed with nutrients.
That said, morels are hard to find, and you may want to save some if you’re lucky enough to have extras.
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Freezing them for later use is a smart idea. Here’s how to freeze morel mushrooms to ensure they keep their taste and nutritional quality.
What You Should Know About Freezing Mushrooms
- Mushrooms change texture and color when they’re frozen, but they keep their flavor.
- You can freeze them cooked or raw.
- Use your frozen mushrooms within a year.
Getting Started: Prepare Your Morel Mushrooms for Freezing
Start by cleaning your morel mushrooms.
1. Since morels are often freshly foraged, it’s important to remove insects, wormholes and other debris. Brush off dirt and bugs, and use a knife to cut off wormholes.
2. Run your cleaned morels quickly under cold running water. Morels are highly absorbent, so don’t overdo the cleaning. Never soak them.
3. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
4. Cut off the stems. Morel stems are tough and lacking in flavor. Use only the caps.
Freezing Cooked Mushrooms
The best way to cook morels is to pan fry them. Use a touch of butter or olive oil in a pan. When it’s hot, add the mushrooms.
Cook them on low to medium heat until they turn brown. Flip them occasionally to make sure they don’t burn. You can add seasonings or leave them plain.
Freezing Raw Mushrooms
If you prefer to freeze them raw, clean them thoroughly before you use them. Avoid any morel pieces that are discolored or slimy.
Some people prefer not to wash mushrooms before freezing them. This helps prevent freezer burn.
If you don’t want to wash them, brush off the dirt and debris carefully before you freeze them.
Follow the same flash-freezing procedure you would use for cooked mushrooms.
How To Freeze Morel Mushrooms
The best way to preserve their flavor is by flash freezing first. This is the best technique for both cooked and raw mushrooms.
1. Let the mushrooms cool after cooking them.
2. Place the cooked or raw mushrooms on a cookie sheet or baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer for two hours.
3. Once the mushrooms are frozen, use a knife or spatula to lift each one from the cookie sheet.
4. Place your frozen morel mushrooms in freezer-safe bags or containers. Squeeze out as much air as possible when you do this.
5. Leave a half-inch space at the top of each bag or container.
6. Place the freezer bags in the freezer.
How To Use Frozen Morel Mushrooms
You don’t have to thaw them before using them. Add them to any hot recipe and enjoy the earthy, nutty flavor of morels any time.