Quick Start Guide to Selecting, Storing, and Cooking MUSHROOMS!

How to choose the mushroom variety:

Each mushroom variety has a unique flavor and texture, as well as unique health benefits.  The best way to become familiar with the different varieties is to try them yourself!

Chestnut- Fresh chestnut mushrooms have a firm, crisp texture and woodsy smell. The flavor is mild, earthy, and nutty. Excellent in soups, eggs, and risotto. (source)

King Trumpet- “In most oyster mushroom species, the stems are too tough to eat, but the stem of king trumpet mushrooms is very pleasing to eat. The texture is crunchy and firm, like a portabello mushroom cap. These mushrooms have very little flavor or aroma when raw. When cooked, the taste has been described as being umami, with the flavor and texture of an abalone. These mushrooms have a long shelf life and can stay firm and fresh in the fridge for over a week.” (source)

Lion’s Mane- “One of the most interesting-looking and beautiful mushrooms in the world. Its flavor and texture is similar to crab or lobster meat: a sweet savory flavor, and meaty stringy texture. This is also a renowned medicinal mushroom and is being researched for its potential to re-grow nerves in the brain and for its immune-enhancing and anti-cancer properties.” (source)

Maitake- Maitake has umami, also known as the “fifth taste”, which involves a savory component. These mushrooms are semi-firm are have a complex flavor, with additional hints of fruitiness, spiciness, and earthiness.  While this mushroom can be used in recipes for taste alone, it’s also considered to be a medicinal mushroom. 'Maitake’ means dancing mushroom in Japanese. The mushroom is said to have gotten its name after people danced with happiness upon finding it in the wild, such are its incredible healing properties. This mushroom is a type of adaptogen. Adaptogens assist the body in fighting against any type of mental or physical difficulty. They also work to regulate systems of the body that have become unbalanced. ” (source)

Oyster- Dan says these are the most popular and versatile mushroom he grows. The oyster has a mild nutty flavor and delicate texture. Oyster mushroom consumption significantly reduced blood glucose, blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol in diabetic patients. (source)

Shiitake- Shiitakes have a nutty, smoky, and earthy flavor with a meaty texture.  The cap is the choice edible part, while the stem is typically removed before cooking due to it's tough texture.  However, the stems can be cooked in stocks or stews to infuse a rich flavor.

How to store mushrooms:

Mushrooms store best in the refrigerator with good air flow.  Storing them in the plastic clamshells is ideal and they will last for about a week.  After several days, you may notice white fuzz appearing on the mushrooms.  This is normal mushroom mycelium (not mold) and is edible.  It's a signal that the mushrooms should be eaten soon.

How to cook mushrooms:

Saute  

Probably the best way to taste the unique mushroom flavor is to saute them.

  1. Heat some oil or butter in a skillet.
  2. Chop or tear the mushrooms into pieces and add to the skillet.
  3. Cook until tender on the inside and crispy and golden on the outside.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

See complete recipe and photos here.

Grill

Mushrooms can be grilled in a tinfoil package along with other vegetables for a great summer side dish.

  1. Chop or tear the mushrooms into pieces. 
  2. Add other vegetables (if desired), seasoning, and a few dabs of butter.
  3. Place in a tinfoil packet and grill until tender.

Use in recipes

Here are some ideas from the Glory Garden blog:

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff with Sirloin Steak

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Mushrooms

Take a tour of Dakota Mushrooms and Microgreens and learn how they are grown in the video below.

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