Fresh morel mushrooms are prized by both professional chefs and home cooks. The wrinkly, spongy edible fungi soak up delicious flavors and are easy to prepare. The first step toward preparing morels is to clean them. The simple process ensures a tasty — not gritty — mushroom.

Things You'll Need

On a clean surface, use a sharp knife to cut the morels in half lengthwise.

Check that the mushroom is hollow, which is one way to identify a true morel — not a mushroom that may be poisonous.

Fill a large bowl with water and add a couple of teaspoons of salt, if desired.

Place the mushrooms in the bowl and gently stir the water. Let them sit for about 10 minutes.

Give the mushroom a gentle shake in the water to free any debris. Remove them from the bowl and place them on paper towels to dry. Cook the mushrooms as soon as possible or dehydrate.