Ah… mushroom powder, how much I love thee! Sounds a bit odd, I’m sure. Seems like these days, not many people are that fond of mushrooms even though they’re so yummy! If you’re not familiar with the term “umami” then be prepare for some education.
Pop quiz: How many types of taste are there? Any guesses? 4, 5? Well, there’s sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. That’s it, right? It depends on who’s answering the question. For awhile, people stuck to the four but there are others (including me) who stick to the 5 types of taste buds. So, what’s the fifth one? Umami, which is a Japanese word that doesn’t have an exact translation but you will find it described as “deliciousness” or “savoriness”. I just prefer to call it “that ‘je ne sais quoi’ “. Research has shown that mushrooms are high on the umami scale. On a side note, you will find in Ayurveda (a holistic medicine derived from India) that there are 6 types of taste: sweet, salt, sour, pungent, astringent, and bitter. I don’t have much knowledge on the matter but it does seem like an interesting topic. Perhaps something to read more about at a later point. I am definitely a nerd so this type of thing seems right up my alley.
If your dish or soup needs some extra pizzazz, try using mushroom powder. It works great as a flavor enhancer due to the high glutamate levels. A natural MSG, so to speak. Since this is my first time making mushroom powder, I just stuck to the good ole regular button mushrooms. Next time, I get some portabella mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms.
- 1 ounce package of mushrooms
- Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel to remove the dirt. (I actually like to quickly rinse my mushrooms, drain, then clean with a damp paper towel. In a culinary sense, you shouldn’t wash them but my personal preference is to do so. You could also have a mushroom brush but I don’t see a need for that.)
- Slice mushrooms to desired consistency. 1/8″ to 1/16″ thick. The thinner you cut them, the faster the mushrooms dry. For consistency, I used a mandolin.
- Arrange the mushroom slices evenly on the food dehydrator tray. In six hours, it should be done. Be sure to rotate the trays and have the vents open up top (if applicable). If you don’t have a food dehydrator, then the oven works just as well too. Just set the temperature to 150°F on an non-oiled baking sheet for an hour. Flip the mushrooms and let it bake for another hour. If you can break it easily then it’s done.
- Let the mushrooms cool, then place mushrooms in food processor. You can also use a coffee grinder.