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3 Picky-eater Friendly Recipes for Cooking Mushrooms

I was quite the picky eater growing up, and as I got older, I learned a few tricks to get better about eating foods I didn't like. Fast forward to today, and there aren't many foods I don't enjoy. Episode two of So, You Don't Like will be focused on mushrooms. This is tough to tackle because there are so many different types of mushrooms. The good news is that mushrooms can be made really delicious if you know how to cook them right. I'll show you 3 recipes that transform mushrooms into something special and delicious.

Classic Technique - Sauteed Shitakes with Garlic and Thyme

1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed

1 clove garlic, minced

1 sprig thyme, finely chopped

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

The secret to these mushrooms is that we'll cook them in water first to help with the texture. This allows them to get extra crispy in the olive oil. Cut the shiitake mushrooms into bite-size pieces. Mince your garlic as well. At the stove, heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add enough water to come up halfway on the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until the water evaporates completely. Add a squeeze of olive oil and continue sauteing until the mushrooms turn deeply browned and crunchy. Add minced garlic and thyme, and cook until the garlic is softened. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper, and enjoy a perfect mushroom side dish.

Texture - Creamy Gochujang Mushroom Pasta

150g Chopped cremini mushrooms, very fine so they mix with the sausage

150g sausage

1 Large Shallot

2 Garlic cloves

1 tbsp gochujang

60g heavy cream

60g pasta water

10g parmesan cheese

300g pasta

Start by cleaning your cremini mushrooms with a damp towel, and then chop them with a knife until incredibly fine. Dice your shallot and garlic as well. We can move over to the stove to cook our pasta and build the sauce.

Boil the rigatoni pasta in salted water until al dente (I just follow the package for this). Reserve some pasta water for later.

In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the sausage until browned. Remove from heat and set aside. Add enough water to the pan to cover the bottom, and cook the diced mushrooms until the water evaporates completely. Drizzle a little olive oil and continue sauteing until the mushrooms turn brown and crispy. Once crispy, add minced shallots and garlic to the pan, and cook until softened. Mix your gochujang with a splash of water to loosen it, then add it to the mushrooms. Cook that until the pan looks mostly dry again.

Lower the heat, add cooked sausage back to the pan, and pour in the heavy cream and an equal amount of pasta water. Stir in grated parmesan cheese, adjust seasoning, and let the sauce thicken. Add cooked rigatoni to the sauce, mix well, and use any left over pasta water to adjust the texture as needed.

Taste - BBQ tacos

270g trumpet mushrooms. Pulled apart with a fork before cooked.

Equal amount of water for cooking the mushrooms


2 tbsp olive oil

50g bbq sauce + 50g water

2-3 drops liquid smoke

Salt, pepper, chili flake, garlic powder

2 flour tortillas

Slaw with chipotle lemon dressing

To shred the trumpet mushrooms, grab a fork and pull the stalk end. If you continue pulling, you'll end up with a texture similar to pulled pork. At the stove, add enough water to a skillet to cover the bottom. Add your shredded mushrooms and cook over medium heat until the water has completely evaporated. Drizzle in some olive oil and cook the mushroom shreds until they take on some nice browning. Season with salt, pepper, chili flake and garlic powder, then add your bbq sauce/ water mix as well as 2-3 drops of liquid smoke. Cook that until the sauce thickens, and feel free to throw this under the broiler for a charred effect.

Warm your tortillas in a separate pan. For the slaw, I simply mix bagged slaw with a squeeze of lemon, a little mayo, and some chipotle hot sauce. It's easy, but it works really well with the tacos. Top the tortillas with the mushroom mixture, a little slaw, and a little extra hot sauce is nice if your into it. Avocado also works really well, but it's definitely not necessary.

Mushrooms are pretty polarizing, but hopefully one of these recipes convinces you to give them a try. Cheers!



Hey, I'm Cameron, and I'm glad you're here. I post new recipes every week, all intended to build your confidence in the kitchen, each one with video tutorials to help. Craving something specific? Drop me a note in my contact form! 

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