Portobello mushrooms are large, round mushrooms with a prominent dark brown color, which is used as a central ingredient in vegan dishes because of their meaty texture.
But can you eat the gills of a portobello mushroom? Are they poisonous? Well, the gills of portobello mushrooms are completely safe to be consumed, and most recipes that call for mushrooms do not need you to remove the gills on the underside of the caps.
However, portobello mushrooms have very dark gills, and when added to a dish, they can turn it dark and unappealing. This is why you may need to take the gills from the underside of the mushroom before using.
Can You Eat The Gills Of A Portobello Mushroom?
Yes, you can eat the gills of a portobello mushroom, and it is not necessary to remove the gills from portobello mushrooms before using them.
However, the dark gills transfer their color onto everything they come in contact with, discoloring any stuffings, sauces, and salad dressings that accompany the mushrooms in the recipe.
The gills may also hold a little sand and dirt from the substrate on which the mushrooms were grown; removing them prevents accidentally adding grittiness into your finished dish.
How To Clean Portobello Mushrooms
Cleaning portobellos mushrooms is a vital step you shouldn’t skip, even if the mushroom looks all smooth and perfect.
You don’t want to bite into your juicy mushroom and get a mystery crunch of dirt. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean portobello mushrooms.
- With a damp paper towel, gently wipe any dirt or debris from the portobello mushroom. Using a damp paper towel to clean your mushrooms is best as it helps prevent the loss of flavor that occurs when mushrooms are cleaned in running water.
- Cut out the mushroom stem using a sharp knife or give them a twist with your fingers.
- Gently scrape away the dark brown gills underneath the mushroom cap with a spoon. Although edible, the gills can hold bits of dirt, and their dark, dull color will discolor your dish, so they are best discarded.
Nutrition Of Portabello Mushroom Gills
Unless you are concerned about ruining the appearance of a light-colored sauce, you do not need to take out the gills of portobello mushroom.
However, if you decide to scoop out the mushroom gills, you can use them for excellent brown mushroom gravy.
Portabello mushrooms are known for their high water content, consisting of about 92% water and approximately very low calories (26 calories per 100 grams).
Portobello mushrooms also have high protein content (2.5 g) and contain a wide range of essential amino acids. These mushrooms are low in fat (0.2 grams) and high in fiber (1.5 grams).
Portabello mushrooms also contain several vitamins and minerals. Like: niacin (4.5 mg), pantothenic acid (1.5 mg), folate (22 mcg), potassium (484 mg), phosphorus (130 mg), selenium (11 mcg) and magnesium (11 mg).
Shopping And Storage Of Portabello Mushrooms
When shopping for portobello mushrooms, it’s best to buy them from the loose mushroom bin instead of the pre-packaged caps.
This way, you get to inspect the mushrooms a little bit closer. When inspecting portabello mushrooms, the first area to check is the cap and stem; it should be firm. Avoid shriveled or soft caps.
Next, flip the mushroom over and inspect the gill structure. It should be dry and have a faint pinkish hue when held up in the light. If the gills have a deep dark black color or look wet, the mushroom isn’t fresh and should be avoided as well.
Storing your mushrooms is very easy; they can be stored whole in the refrigerator in an open plastic bag. You could store portabello mushrooms for a few days in a refrigerator if they were gotten fresh.
You can remove the gills from underneath the cap to extend the shelf life quite a bit—up to a week or more as the gills are the first to go bad.
Finally, when cooking your mushrooms, keep in mind that they are extremely porous, so if you decide to marinate them, do not marinate them for too long to prevent them from sucking up more juice than they can handle. 30 minutes of marination before grilling or roasting should do the trick.