Want to know how the correct method for cleaning morels? In this we’ll show you, the avid morel hunter, how to clean your wild mushrooms of the midwest with our cleaning method of just a few easy steps.
Step 1 – Cut Them In Half Lengthwise. Brush Off dirt and leaves.
This is always good practice. One of the easiest way to tell true morels apart from false morels is that true morels have a hollow stem and cap.
Cutting in half also helps get the bugs and creepy crawlies out which we’ll cover in step 3. Plus larger mushrooms are easier to cook when cut in half.
You may need to use a small light brush to get off the dirt and leaves.
Step 2 – Place your wild mushrooms in a tub or large bowl and cover with cool water for 10 minutes
This is the first rinse and clean to get the dirt and leaves off. Just use cool water or cold water.
Step 3 – Drain the tub, sprinkle with salt, then cover with water again for 30 minutes.
The salted water gets rid of the bugs. You’ll need enough to shock the bugs out of the mushrooms but not too much as to make the mushrooms too salty.
See minute 3:30 of the video below for an example of what the bugs look like. They are very small and easy to miss. Always soak in salt water!
Step 4 – Drain and give a quick rinse, cover again with cold water to get rid of the salt.
No need to soak. Just cover then drain.
Step 5 – Do a quick rinse under running cold water then lay out on a paper towel or clean kitchen towel
The paper towel will help wick away some of the water.
How to Cook Morel Mushrooms – Our Favorite Recipe
Your morel mushrooms are now clean and ready to eat. Do not eat them raw as they contain a small amount of hydrazine which is destroyed when cooked.
We recommend pan frying them with a little butter or olive oil to bring out the flavor.
Here’s our favorite seasoned flour morel recipe:
- Equipment and supplies – frying pan or cast iron pan, butter, flour, salt, black pepper
- Make seasoned flour – Place flour, salt, and black pepper in a plastic bag and mix. Use only a pinch of salt and pepper as you can add more after cooking.
- Add the morels to the bag and shake until they are covered with the flour mixture. Not able to find enough morel mushrooms to make a good serving? No problem. Just add in some sliced button mushrooms as well.
- Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a pan on medium heat
- Add coated morels and fry till golden brown for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
How To Store Morel Mushrooms
You can store your clean morel mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge. You can also freeze them and store them in freezer bag or plastic bag using the instructions below.
How To Freeze Morel Mushrooms
If you want to freeze your morel mushrooms lay them on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Don’t use a damp paper towel as they could stick to it.
Once frozen take them out and put them in a freezer bag then place back in the freezer. See our full instructions on freezing mushrooms here.
Watch the video below for a quick 2 minute cleaning method demonstration on cleaning morel mushrooms.