Portobello (at least in terms of size; not necessarily deliciousness) are the “king of mushrooms”.  It’s truly amazing how large they can get, and that size allows you do use them in some very unique and very cool ways.  I love them grilled, where they pick up a nice charred flavor, and a great texture, but there are thousands of recipes using them.  Regardless of which you choose, you have to (ok you don’t have to, but I usually do) clean them.  For me, cleaning a portobello, means getting rid of the stem, and the large gills underneath the cap.  The gills have a very strong, musty flavor, that I generally don’t like, and I think they are best removed.  Fortunately, as I show you in the cooking video, doing so is really quite easy.  Hope you find this technique useful.

How to Clean a Portobello Mushroom

  • The first step to remove a portobello is to take off the stem
  • Generally they will break off easily if pulled in the opposite direction in which it's leaning; it should snap right off
  • If needed, take a small pairing knife and cut it off at the base
  • Removing the gills is slightly more complicated (but only slightly)
  • Cradle the portobello, in one hand with the gills facing up and the stem removed
  • Use a soup spoon in your other hand to scrape the gills off, moving in circular path, right around the portobello
  • The gills will come out very easily, so you don’t need a lot of pressure – in fact, push too hard and you may go right through the mushroom; so tread lightly, and if needed you can go back over it a second time
  • Discard the gills as they come off; I don’t use them for anything
  • After you get most of them out, just go back to clean up the spots you missed, and you’re good to go