Dried mushrooms are a staple in my house and are a wonderful substitute for meat in some cases.
They also make a wonderful base for a broth that is rich in umami. However, especially for local dried mushroom, the challenge is almost always how to clean them and rehydrate them.
They are picked by gatherers in the village and are usually dried and packed without being cleaned and so by the time you do buy them, they are filled with lots of dirt. Therin lies the challenge. To make your life easier, its aways advisable to clean a whole lot of them then then freeze what you are not using.
Follow these simple steps to clean the mushrooms:
1. Put your mushrooms into a large bowl and to this, add hot water.
2. Once the water has cooled enough for you to handle, use your fingertips to rub the mushrooms between your fingers to loosen the dirt
3. Let the mushrooms sit in the water for another hour or so, enough that the dirt settles at the bottom of the bowl.
4. Skim the mushrooms off the top of the water and set aside, then drain out the dirty water and wash the bowl.
5. Put the mushrooms back into the bowl and wash them again in clean cold water.
6. Remove the mushrooms gently, pour out the water and clean the bowl.
7. Put the mushrooms back into the bowl and repeat from step one.
Keep doing this until the water is clear and has no residue. You can freeze the mushrooms to use later or cook them immediately.