Stop washing your mushrooms. I know it may seem counterintuitive to not wash a fungus that grows in the ground before putting it in your mouth, but trust me on this.
Notice I didn’t say “don’t clean your mushrooms.” You should clean them, you should just do it without water. See, once mushrooms are wet, they are nearly impossible to get dry again, and excess water can cause the tasty caps to steam rather than brown. Given the fact that those crispy, savory edges are the best part of sauteed mushrooms (thanks Maillard browning!), it makes sense to avoid water as much as possible.
So how do you clean them? Bon Appetit suggests a “dry-cleaning” method of dusting off dirt and debris with a pastry brush or crumpled paper towel. Given that cultivated mushrooms are grown in sterilized compost, it’s unlikely that anything tagging along will be harmful. If you encounter a stubborn spot that you simply must remove, you can try wiping it away with a slightly damp paper towel, but consider the sink a no-fly zone.
Want Crispy-Edge Mushroom Perfection? Don’t Wash ‘Em | Bon Appetit
Photo by Ernesto Andrade.