Grilling Portobello Mushrooms Like a Master
In the past decade or two, portobello mushrooms have become crowd favorites, whether as a stand-alone element or as a side component to main protein dishes. The rich umami flavors of portobellos can be further brought out when they are exposed to a live fire grill. Here, the natural meaty taste of the mushroom mixes with the wood smoke, giving it a complex combination of flavors.
Before you can indulge in these savory delicacies, you'll have to first prepare portobello mushrooms for grilling. To start, throw the mushrooms in a container, and wash them thoroughly. Afterwards, wipe the mushroom caps with a paper towel. It's also possible to peel the caps, but that step is not necessary. If you are planning on mixing the mushroom with other components or filling the insides with other ingredients, take a metal spoon, and gently detach the stem and the underlying black veins with the edge.
Marinating mushrooms is similar to marinating your poultry meats and vegetables. If it's your first time marinating portobello mushrooms, you can find a variety of existing recipes for marinades that complement the texture and flavor profile of a portobello mushroom. A simple marinade would be mixing one part of balsamic vinegar with three parts of olive oil. You can then add seasoning of your choice, such as salt and pepper, oregano, basil, and other seasonings. For maximum flavor retention, you can mix the mushrooms with the marinade, and leave the dish in your fridge overnight.
Before putting the portobellos on a grill, you can either slice them into thin pieces or leave them whole, depending on how you plan to use the mushrooms, like as a side dish or as a main component. Next, grill the mushrooms over a medium-heat grill for 3-4 minutes per side or until the mushroom tenderizes. Another clear indicator that portobello mushrooms are adequately cooked is when they start to exude some of their juices. If you are grilling sliced mushrooms, consider using a grill basket to prevent the mushrooms from falling into the bottom of the grill.
After spending their time on the grill, you can now start plating the portobello mushrooms. When you remove the mushrooms from the heat, let them rest for about five minutes. This allows the flavors to further develop and the juices to cool down at perfect eating temperature. Versatility is something that mushrooms, including portobellos, are known for. You can serve them with your favorite salad greens, tossed with a dash of vinaigrette, or as the main protein substitute for your vegan burger, topped with cheese and classic burger condiments.
Grilling portobello mushrooms doesn't require the culinary experience of a master chef. By using the aforementioned tips, you can grill mushrooms for your next barbecue like a professional. And because they don't take a long time to cook or prepare beforehand, it's an ingredient that you can enjoy regularly, whether as a topping for your pizzas or as a breakfast companion with eggs.