A guide to dried mushrooms

A guide to dried mushrooms

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While fungi foraging is a popular autumnal activity, many of the special varieties of mushrooms are commercially unavailable in Australia. Fortunately, French and Italian producers have perfected the art of drying mushrooms, and this means we can enjoy them year round by adding texture, flavour and complexity to many dishes.

The Essential Ingredient packages and sells a range of dried mushrooms. With flavour bombs like the savoury shiitake and meaty porcini, the highly prized earthy and fragrant morel and the rich and nutty chanterelle, our mushrooms can be used in a myriad of ways.

Luxurious and convenient, our dried mushrooms can transform any meal into a feast. They will work their magic in sauces, risottos and braises, in rich ragouts and nourishing broths, and even in salads and stir fries.

Suitable for many cuisines, our range of dried mushrooms is a must!


Chanterelles (France) are shaped like a furled trumpet and can also be found in Italy, Poland and Germany. They have a toasted, spicy, nutty flavour with a hint of apricot. They go well with beef, offal, duck and can also be used in soups sauces and casseroles. Soak for 1 hour, though even with long cooking will retain a slightly chewy texture.


The morel is the most highly prized of mushrooms, beautiful in appearance and with a rich, smoky flavour perfect with chicken, fish or pasta. Its intensity, character and unique flavour is not lost in the drying process.


Shitake (Japan) has a distinctive aroma and meaty flavour and bares no resemblance to European varieties. The dominant flavour are perfect with soups, braises and of course rich and spicy Asian inspired dishes.

Porcini (Cepes)

Porcini (Italy) closely related to the French cepes, is probably the best known and widely used in Europe, its intense meaty aroma makes it perfect for pasta and rice dishes. Soak for 30 minutes before use.

Bolet Jaune

Bolet Jaunes (France) a member of the cepes family, readily available and relatively inexpensive, excellent for use in stocks and sauces or for intensifying the flavour of cultivated mushrooms. Soak for 20 minutes before use.

Some of our favourite uses for dried mushrooms:

  • A simple salad of morels, peas, pea shoots, mint and goat cheese seasoned and dressed simply with lemon and olive oil is sensational.
  • The clear bronze soaking liquor left from rehydrating dried mushrooms can be used for a bright, rich, satisfying soup or in a risotto with taleggio and thyme.
  • How about a hawker style braised pork dish with star anise, soy and shiitake?
  • For a wonderful wild mushroom bruschetta, gently fry rehydrated garniture forestiere mushrooms in a pan with butter, garlic and thyme, season and spoon onto toasted, garlic-rubbed, oil-soaked sourdough and top with savings of parmigiano reggiano or serve the mushroom mix with fresh pappardelle for a perfect plate of pasta.
  • Or mix powdered porcini with butter and serve with your favourite steak or on a piece of toast under scrambled eggs!

Our collection of dried mushrooms is available in-store and online for delivery to anywhere in Australia.

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