Portobello Mushrooms

Continuing on the mushroom theme, this seems like the appropriate time to feature these small port1Portobello (Agaricus bisporus) mushrooms that I purchased from Fresh Field at Market!Market! last weekend. Edwin the proprietor has been texting me for weeks telling me he had portobellos on the weekends so I finally got some last weekend. Yum. Portobellos have received so much attention in Western (particularly U.S.) recipes in the past ten years. What are they? Believe it or not, Portobellos are just large (ideally 4-6 inch diameter) Cremini mushrooms which in turn are just a large brown variety of the really commonly available white button mushrooms. Portobellos have a more impressive flavor than the white mushrooms precisely because they are larger, older and more mature. I love the gills under the cap of the mushroom that remind be of the insides of wall airconditioners… These are also known as “portabella” mushrooms and despite the name, they are not Italian but the marketing creation of an American mushroom farm (or so Jack Czarnecki suggests in his book Portobello)…

Sliced portabellos are superb on pizzas and large whole portabellos port2are terrific grilled and served in a bun with caramelized onions… a meatless burger as it were. This is the most distinct trait of portobellos – their meatiness. They are more substantial and their mouth feel screams animal instead of fungus. These are also good grilled and served with a balsamic vinaigrette. Grilled portobellos with some strong cheese like gorgonzola are also really delicious… A small pack of portobellos at Fresh Field was just PHP100. I saw similar quality mushrooms at a specialty food store in Makati and they were asking over PHP400 for the same amount! I am thrilled that the produce choices in Manila are expanding by the week! Bravo to the growers, importers, distributors and retailers!


7 Responses

  1. I love portabello mushrooms even though they don’t offer that much in terms of nutrition. :) I remember the first time I cooked them, I didn’t take the ‘gills’ out. I found out later while watching a show on the Food Network that the gills needed to be taken out. I use a spooon to scrape these off, being careful not to break the caps (I’ve cracked a couple). I stuff the caps with a mixture of sauteed ground beef, spinach and onions. Then top it with grated mozzarella cheese. Bake it in the oven for approximately 20 mins. Good with red wine.

  2. Thanks Marketman. Now i know where to buy portobellos. Ive been getting mine from that specialty store also and it cost like P800 a kilo! I like them grilled or sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with balsamic. More recipes about mushrooms pleeease marketman.. those simple home recipes yet delicious!! :)

  3. MM, try this. Marinate portobello mushrooms in a mixture of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, minced garlic, vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. Grill.

  4. i make my portabellas bistek style:D — however, i don’t remove the gills, as it’s merely a matter of aesthetics. they are also quite nutritious contrary to popular belief — lots of protein and amino acids, plus great for your immune system (especially the shiitake and maitake varieties — your yummy oysters are very good as well)! there are mushroom-growing kits and plug spawns available here — perhaps you could get them there too? you might enjoy growing them on your countertop, since you love them so much.

  5. Stef seems to be right: “Mushrooms are valuable health food – low in calories, high in vegetable proteins, chitin, iron, zinc, fiber, essential amino acids, vitamins & minerals. Mushrooms also have a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine . Their legendary effects on promoting good health and vitality and increasing your body’s adaptive abilities have been supported by recent studies. These studies suggest that Mushrooms are probiotic – they help our body strengthen itself and fight off illness by maintaining physiological homeostasis – restoring our bodies balance and natural resistance to disease.” Thanks for great ideas

  6. Barb, that recipe sounds really delicious. Aj, you are right, that specialty food shop sometimes has outrageous prices! Jean, I have never tried portobellos with rice wine vinegar…interesting… but does the vinegar taste remain highly noticeable? Stef, bistek style always works with mushrooms, no? Great with onions. Frayed, yup healthfood it seems, so wonderful for a fungus that just pops out of the strangest places naturally…

  7. I was in Baguio a few weeks ago and stumbled upon a vendor in the market selling huge portabello mushrooms for just P240 a kilo! Naturally, this had to be part of my pasalubong bag. Also, if you venture into the Baguio market (further inside the labyrinthine vegetable stalls) there is just one store that sells 2nd class shiitake mushrooms. These are newly harvested but pre-cut. For P80 a kilo, it is a steal.



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