How to microwave mushrooms
New research says the healthiest way to cook mushrooms is to microwave them. We explain how to preserve their goodness while making them taste great.
If you’ve ever cooked mushrooms, whether frying, baking or boiling, you’ll know that they start off looking dry and then produce more liquid than you’d anticipated, which means that despite their appearance they are very juicy. This makes them ideal for microwaving as you don’t have to add a single extra ingredient if you don’t want to. Do make sure you eat the juices as well to get the maximum amount of nutrients.
A basic method for how to cook mushrooms in the microwave:
- Place sliced mushrooms in a microwave-safe bowl or container.
- Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes on high, stirring the mushrooms once.
- Keep on cooking in 30-second bursts if you need to.
The method and cooking time may vary depending on the size and type of mushrooms – see our instructions below for button mushrooms and portobello.
Why it's good to microwave mushrooms
New research by the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition looked at certain mushroom types (namely white button, shiitake, oyster and king oyster mushrooms) along with different cooking methods and found that when mushrooms are exposed to short cooking times they retain more of their vitamins and nutrients.
Make sure you’re using top kitchen kit with our pick of the best microwaves, tried and tested.
What's the best type of mushroom to microwave?
Different mushroom varieties do not respond in the same way when they are cooked. Chanterelles, for example, taste better when fried and oyster mushrooms can end up leathery if they are cooked for too long.
Microwaving mushrooms won’t enhance the flavour but will concentrate it. The mushrooms will simply taste of cooked mushroom as you are not caramelising any juices. You can, however, add flavour by smearing mushrooms with garlic butter, coating them in olive oil (with a sprig of thyme), or using a few drops of soy sauce.
Read more about the various types of mushrooms and their cooking uses.
Different methods for microwaving mushrooms
- Sliced: Slice as many mushrooms as you want into a bowl, cover tightly, then cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring the slices once. If the slices are still not tender enough, cook in 30-second bursts until they're done.
- Button mushrooms: Put whole, trimmed button mushrooms in a shallow bowl in a single layer, ribbed side up, and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Cook for 30-second bursts if they need longer.
- Portobello or field mushrooms: To grill a whole portobello mushroom for a burger, put it rib-side-up in a shallow bowl and cover tightly. Microwave for 2 minutes, then remove the cover. Cook for another 2-3 minutes depending on the size of the mushroom, or until tender and any liquid collected in the cup has evaporated.
Read about the health benefits of mushrooms.