Scrumptious, medicinal, psychedelic, or generally lethal, mushrooms are equal elements fascinating and mysterious. Mushrooms and their mycelium nonetheless elude us, however we’ve turn out to be common mycophiles in all elements. The times of solely discovering white button, cremini, and portabello mushrooms on the grocery retailer are over. It’s common to search out recent shiitakes or oyster mushrooms amongst them and the farmers’ market brings much more varieties.
Do you have to wash mushrooms?
For those who’ve ever learn a recipe that makes use of mushrooms, you may need come throughout recommendation that it is best to by no means wash them as a result of they soak up water. As an alternative, many cookbooks advise you to wash them with a humid fabric. However, the cooking journal Cooks Illustrated advises washing them with water. Whereas there may be some absorption, the quantity is negligible.
Methods to use several types of mushrooms
There are simply over 2,000 species of edible mushroom species. This information doesn’t cowl all of them, however we chosen a few of the most typical varieties that you simply’ll discover within the grocery retailer or farmers’ market.
1 White button mushrooms
For those who’re acquainted with just one sort of mushroom, it’s most likely white button, or Agaricus bisporus. White button mushrooms are a kind of gilled mushroom and they’re truly the identical as creminis and portabellas—which we’ll get to under—however they’re harvested at an earlier stage throughout their development cycle.
White button mushrooms are virtually flavorless of their uncooked state, however they shine once they’re used as an addition to a dish. Slice them up for a hearty vegan stew or cube them up and add them to a plant-based bolognese for a meaty texture. They’re additionally a great addition to tofu scrambles. If you wish to get pleasure from white button mushrooms in a purer type, slice them, then sauté them in oil or dairy-free butter with minced garlic and recent, chopped parsley.
2 Cremini mushrooms
Also called child bella mushrooms, cremini mushrooms are Agaricus bisporus harvested later of their development cycle. As a consequence of this, they’ve a deeper, extra savory taste than white button mushrooms and are higher suited to consuming uncooked in salads. However, should you’re an umami fiend, then cook dinner them the identical means that you’d cook dinner white button mushrooms. They may also be filled with quite a lot of fillings, similar to vegan crab and dairy-free cream cheese.
3 Portabello mushrooms
Noticeably larger than the youthful Agaricus bisporus, portabello mushrooms have a heartiness to their taste which may make ’shroom-haters shirk. It’s widespread to take away their stems and simply cook dinner the caps, both marinated or plain. They’re versatile, so if a recipe requires white buttons or creminis, you need to use portabellos.
Portabellos are nice stuffed, like in these spinach and mashed potato-stuffed mushrooms. However, they’re additionally a basic veggie burger ingredient—both utilizing the entire cap or dicing and mixing it with different substances similar to legumes and grains to type a patty.
4 Shiitake mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms—Lentinula edodes—are small brown mushrooms native to East Asia which are historically cultivated on logs. Now accessible worldwide, fashionable shiitake mushrooms are normally grown in managed situations, both on logs or in a man-made substrate.
These mushrooms, which can be found recent or dried, have a deep umami taste and can be utilized in all kinds of dishes, from sizzling pots and stir-frys to pasta sauces and vegan BLT sandwiches. Their woody stems are sometimes eliminated earlier than they’re cooked. For those who’re utilizing dried shiitake mushrooms, save the cooking liquid as a soup inventory—you are able to do the identical with the uncooked stems. At all times be sure that shiitake mushrooms are cooked completely. They’re identified to trigger a rash when eaten uncooked or undercooked.
5 Maitake mushrooms
Also called hen of the woods or Grifola frondosa, maitake mushrooms—which is Japanese for “dancing mushrooms”—have a golden brown shade and develop in delicate, ruffled conks. They’re polypore mushrooms, that means they inhabit dwell or lifeless bushes. Polypores assist the wooden rot and play a essential position in forest ecosystems.
Maitake is greatest when younger, because it turns into robust and woody when left to age. It may be baked, battered and fried, sautéed, grilled, or cooked and used as toppings, both on pizza or on a buttery crostini for a cocktail party or an evening in with family members.
6 Oyster mushrooms
A staple of farmers’ markets, oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) are distinct from king oysters, which we’ll get to under. These gilled mushrooms are normally white or mild tan and the cabinets develop in overlapping, spherical clusters. Within the wild, these mushrooms develop on decaying bushes in temperate and subtropical forests. They will even decompose plastic! Oyster mushrooms are generally foraged, however many of the ones you’ll discover are cultivated.
Oyster mushrooms flip slimy when cooked in lots of liquid, in order that they’re not suited to soup or stew, however in any other case, they are often grilled, sautéed, or fried—particularly when coated with a crispy batter. They make an particularly nice substitute for seafood, both in a buttery linguine dish with recent parsley or in a sandwich, like this oyster mushroom po’boy.
7 Enoki mushrooms
Flammulina velutipes, or enoki mushrooms, develop in clusters with lengthy, slender white stems and a small pin-cushion tip. Their taste is delicate and never notably noteworthy, however they’ve a pleasantly chewy texture that makes them suited to sauteing, grilling, braising, and including to sizzling pots, noodle soups, and sundubu jjigae (Korean comfortable spicy comfortable tofu stew). They’re additionally incredible in heat, blended mushroom salads.
8 King oyster mushrooms
Wildly different-looking from oyster mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms—also called king trumpet, French horn mushrooms, or Pleurotus eryngii—have skinny brown caps and thick white stalks that give them a tree-like silhouette. They’ve a meaty, chewy texture that makes them the go-to ’shroom when changing meat or seafood. The mushrooms could be minimize vertically into skinny slices to make vegan bacon or the stalks could be minimize into cash to make an alternative choice to scallops. However, king oysters may take sautéing, frying, braising, grilling, in addition to being cooked in soups, stews, and sauces.
9 Porcini mushrooms
Porcini—Italian for “piglet”—mushrooms have spherical brown caps and thick white stalks that develop on the base of bushes. The earthy, nutty Boletus edulis is prized in Italian and French delicacies, so they’re particularly good in each cuisines, be it pasta, risottos, hearty soups like minestrone, and mushroom gravies. They’re normally accessible in recent or dried varieties. As with shiitakes, dried porcini mushrooms are sometimes used to raise the flavour of stews.
10 Morel mushrooms
One of many holy grails of mushroom foraging, the morel mushroom, or Morchella, is mild tan in shade with a conical, honeycomb-like cap. It’s truly extra intently associated to truffles than they’re to mushrooms. This charismatic fungi sprouts from moist soil in forests between the months of March and Might. This quick harvesting interval signifies that they are often pretty costly at $20 per pound once they’re in season.
These luxurious mushrooms have a savory taste when cooked they usually add depth to any dish. They’re suited to most types of cooking however as a result of they’re so dear and distinctive, you would possibly wish to use them in a means that showcases the entire fungus.
11 Chanterelle mushrooms
The stunning chanterelle, genus Cantharellus, is the golden youngster of the mushroom-foraging world. These funnel-shaped woodland mushrooms are generally discovered close to hardwood bushes, with which they share a powerful mycorrhizal (symbiotic) relationship. They’re additionally actually scrumptious. Chanterelles emit a fruity aroma and have a peppery chew to them with notes of apricot, some say.
Chanterelles are greatest in easy dishes the place their taste received’t be outshined. Strive cooking them with gnocchi in a dairy-free garlic butter sauce with salt, pepper, recent parsley, or thyme, and a squeeze of lemon. Once you cook dinner them, the mushrooms turn out to be tender, however keep some firmness.
12 Shimeji mushrooms
Also called Hypsizygus tessellatus, or beech mushrooms resulting from how they develop from lifeless or dying beech bushes, shimeji mushrooms are native to East Asia. These edible fungi have lengthy, skinny stems and small caps. They arrive in white or brown varieties. As with the mushrooms from the Agaricus bisporus household, the latter has a extra apparent taste.
These mushrooms have a considerably crunchy texture with a light, nutty taste when cooked. They’re good in sizzling pots, rice bowls, soups, and stir-frys.
13 Lion’s mane mushrooms
Hericium erinaceus, the lion’s mane mushroom, is a giant, white mushroom made up of lengthy, skinny strands that resemble the eponymous massive cat’s title. Practitioners of Chinese language conventional medication have used this tree-borne fungus for hundreds of years. Lion’s mane mushrooms include substances that stimulate the expansion of mind cells, and research present they could enhance cognitive operate and cut back signs of tension and despair.
When cooked, this mushroom is alleged to style much like crab or lobster meat. So, it’s greatest browned in a little bit little bit of olive oil with salt, pepper, and minimal seasoning.
14 Wooden ear mushrooms
Wooden ear mushrooms, additionally identified by their scientific classification, Auricularia heimuer, are a crinkly kind of fungus with a shade that ranges from mild to darkish brown. The wild selection grows on deciduous bushes, however can be cultivated for industrial functions on sawdust logs.
Well-liked in Chinese language delicacies, they’ve a gelatinous texture and delicate taste. Sometimes, they’re bought dried and should be rehydrated earlier than cooking. Use wooden ear mushrooms in sizzling pots, soups, and stir-frys.
15 Rooster of the woods mushroom
The coveted hen of the woods mushroom (Laetiporus sulphureus) is well noticed by its overlapping goldenrod-colored cabinets, ruffled edges, and enormous measurement. Foragers can discover these saprotrophic (feeds on lifeless bushes), parasitic mushrooms on the base of lifeless or dying hardwood bushes. They develop in North America and Europe and there are seven varieties within the former.
Rooster of the woods will get its title from its taste, which individuals say is paying homage to hen meat and lemon. In vegan cooking, you could possibly use it to exchange hen in hen piccata or sauté it in olive oil and add it to a pasta dish, like this angel hair pasta with dairy-free feta, kale, and lemon.
This listing is only a snippet of the flavors and textures of the edible fungus world. You’re more likely to discover uncommon varieties on the farmers’ market. For those who do, ask the vendor how greatest to cook dinner them.