Oyster Mushrooms from the Picking to the Plate.

Oyster Mushrooms from the Picking to the Plate.

So you grew some Oyster mushrooms, woohoo!!! It's a wonderful feeling to see those clusters of flesh and knowing that you had an important role by nurturing them to this point.

While Oyster mushrooms may be delicious sliced raw on a salad, they are best when cooked. The heat draws out the delicate sweet flavour and turns the texture to a surprisingly velvety-smooth delight. 

Dehydrated/dried Oyster mushrooms have a longer shelf life, however they are arguably more nutritious when cooked. 

So here we want to give you the what, when and how involved in enjoying the fruits of your labors.

 

NB:

Eating mushrooms that have been contaminated with harmful bacteria can make you sick. While fresh mushrooms do not naturally contain bacteria that can make you ill, they can become contaminated if they are grown on compost that has not been properly sterilized. This is where it's often better to buy our grow kits. We sterilise all the equipment and make all the mods to ensure your cultures and grow containers stay good and clean for healthy mushrooms. https://sporespot.com/collections/edible-medicinal-mushroom-cultures
 

When to pick em:

Pleurotus ostreatus, or the Oyster mushroom, is found growing on trees year-round. Fortunately none of the lookalikes are poisonous, so the best way to distinguish an oyster mushroom is by taste. Fresh oyster mushrooms are dry. If the texture is damp or slimy (before being cooked), the mushroom has spoilt. Also note colour changes in the flesh of the mushroom, the top of the mushroom (it's skin) should have a colour usually resembling the name of the Oyster mushroom, and the flesh/gills underneath should all have the same white or cream colour. If some of the mushrooms in the cluster have different hues or tints, they might be in the process of spoiling and pose a risk to eat.
Gently squeeze the mushroom. If the mushroom is fresh, the skin will be firm, but the meat will be soft and slightly spongy. If there is white 'dust' settling in the surfaces directly under the gills, these are spore (mushroom seeds) that means you should pick them. The other sign that they should be harvested is the rim of the mushroom cap is turning up. That usually happens as the spores are being dropped. The spores are stored in the gills, it's the mushrooms natural process to open the gills and drop the spores. As the spores drop the thickness of the gills reduce and this causes the cap of the mushroom to 'frill' and curl upwards (exposing and opening more of the gills). 

 

How to pick em:

Picking the mushroom off the substrate shouldn't be too difficult. Hold the clust up so you can see the stems. While one could gently slice at each little stem until all the Oysters are freed from the cluster, it is often easier to find  and cever the collection of stems at the base. The stem/stipe can be very rubbery, especially when the mushrooms have grown very large, so a sharp smooth blade will do the job. For smaller clusters their stems are less fibrous and are often easily plucked of the substrate as a delicate little clump.
(See above: Good quality Oyster mushrooms)
(See above Left: Good quality Oyster mushrooms. Right: old, bad quality/spoilt Oyster mushrooms)

 

How to clean em:

It’s worth noting that the exposed flesh of a mushroom, when cut or sliced, will absorb water like a sponge, so rinse mushrooms before slicing them. And be careful not to wash mushrooms until you are ready to cook them or they will turn slimy.
All you need to clean those mushrooms is water and a paper towel. With a damp paper towel swipe the top of the cap and the bottom of the mushroom. Then cut about half of the stems off and discard that part because this will be rubbery (You can discard the stems or save them to make a vegetable stock.). If the mushrooms were growing outside or the gills were close/touching the substrate, it would be worth giving the gills a rinse of water to remove any stubborn dirt or (more importantly) any insects that may have gone a wandering in between the gills.
Oyster mushroom flesh/gills

Storage:

Store them in the vegetable compartment of the fridge or a cold store in a lidded yet slightly open plastic box (or a paper bag) so that they can breathe. Raw, these mushrooms will last in the refrigerator for 4 to 7 days. Some say they will be good for 2 weeks. In my own personal experience I have managed to keep them edible for as much as 3 weeks, but for the purposes of this blog, I ask you to air on the side of caution, as I have a forages digestive system and consider myself lucky.
Don't wrap the mushrooms in plastic or store in airtight container, as this will speed spoilage.
Alternatively one can dry sliced mushrooms at 110 F until the pieces are crispy dry (or follow specific instructions that come with your dehydrator). This process takes 4 to 6 hours for 1/4-inch slices and up to 8 hours for thicker slices. Allow the dried mushrooms to cool completely before storing them.
 
 

Why cook em:

Oyster mushrooms have a milder flavor and more tender consistency than Shiitake but they do hold their own.
With a sweet woodsy taste, Oyster mushrooms are also quite versatile and substitute well into many mushroom recipes.
This fungi can be fried or grilled to eat as an appetizer or a side dish.
They're extremely low in calories but contain a good chunk of protein, fiber, niacin and riboflavin. In addition to the nutrients listed above, oyster mushrooms also contain a small amount of magnesium, zinc and selenium.
Cooking mushrooms also destroys any toxins and carcinogens. Many nutrients in mushrooms are more accessible after they have been cooked, including some powerful antioxidants- carotenoids and ferulic acid.
The other side of that coin it that mushrooms lose most of their water when cooked, and that reduces their water-soluble victim content.

How to Cook em (basic):

Simple Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound (453 g) oyster mushrooms
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Makes 2 to 4 servings

Wash and cut the oyster mushrooms. 

Thoroughly wash the oyster mushrooms to remove any dirt, insects, straw, or wood debris. Take a paper towel or kitchen towel and blot the oyster mushrooms until they're dry.

Cut the mushrooms into thick slices (about 1/2 inch or 12 mm thick). 

Heat the oil in a pan and add the oyster mushrooms. 

Pour 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil into a large nonstick skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high. Once the oil is hot and shimmers, place the oyster mushrooms in the skillet.

Season and sauté the oyster mushrooms for 6 minutes. 

Stir the oyster mushrooms and sprinkle them with salt and pepper according to your taste. Continue to stir and cook the oyster mushrooms until they've softened and browned a little. This should take about 6 minutes.

Taste and serve the simple sautéed mushrooms. 

Transfer the oyster mushrooms to a serving platter and taste them. Adjust the salt and pepper, if needed. Serve the oyster mushrooms once they're cool enough to handle. 

For something a little more carbi-fied, get some bread toasted and buttered and when the mushrooms are golden around the edges, slide them out of the pan and onto the toast on your plate.

For a nice variation on this, you could add a little cream and fresh parsley towards the end, or try cooking them in sesame oil.

Store the leftover oyster mushrooms in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

(reference: https://m.wikihow.com/Prepare-Oyster-Mushrooms)

 

Stir-Fried Oyster Mushrooms

  • 13 ounces (360 g) oyster mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) light soy sauce.  
Makes 1 to 2 servings
Wash and cut the oyster mushrooms. 

Thoroughly wash the oyster mushrooms to remove any dirt, insects, straw, or wood debris. Take a paper towel or kitchen towel and blot the oyster mushrooms until they're dry. 

Chop the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.

Boil the oyster mushrooms for 20 seconds and drain them. 

Heat a large pot (at least 4 quarts or 3.78 liters) full of water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the mushroom pieces and boil them for 20 seconds so they soften a little. Set a strainer in the sink and drain the mushrooms through it. If you don't have a strainer, you can scoop the mushroom pieces out with a slotted spoon.

Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds. 

Pour 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of vegetable oil into a nonstick skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. Heat the oil for 1 minute and stir in 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Stir and sauté the garlic until it smells fragrant. This should take 30 seconds.

Stir in the oyster mushrooms and sugar. 

Place the drained oyster mushrooms into the skillet and stir them into the garlic. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) of sugar over the mushrooms and stir the mixture.

Stir-fry the mushrooms for 1 1/2 minutes. 

Continue to stir and fry the mushrooms over medium-high heat until the mushrooms begin to brown around the edges. This should take 1 1/2 minutes.

Season and stir fry the mushrooms for 1 more minute. 

Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) of salt and 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of light soy sauce over the mushrooms. Stir and fry the mushrooms until the seasonings are absorbed. This should take 1 minute.

Serve the stir-fried oyster mushrooms. 

Turn off the heat and transfer the stir-fried mushrooms to a serving plate. Serve the mushrooms along with steamed rice and other stir-fried vegetables. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

(Reference: https://m.wikihow.com/Prepare-Oyster-Mushrooms)

 

Roasted King Oyster Mushrooms

  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 g) king oyster mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons (56 g) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/4 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons (7 g) chopped flat-leaf parsley

Makes 3 to 5 servings

Wash and cut the oyster mushrooms. 

Thoroughly wash the oyster mushrooms to remove any dirt, insects, straw, or wood debris. Take a paper towel or kitchen towel and blot the oyster mushrooms until they're dry.

Cut the mushrooms lengthwise into thick slices (about 1/4 inch or 6 mm thick).

Preheat the oven and spread the king oyster mushrooms on a sheet. 

Turn the oven on to 425 °F (218 °C). Get out a rimmed baking sheet and lay the slices of king oyster mushroom on it. The mushrooms can be overlapping a little on the sheet.

Drizzle butter, stock, and olive oil over the mushrooms. 
Dice 4 tablespoons (56 g) of cold unsalted butter and scatter the pieces evenly across the mushrooms. Drizzle 1/2 cup (120 ml) of chicken stock or low-sodium broth and 1/4 cup (120 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil over the mushrooms. Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste.
Roast the king oyster mushrooms for 50 minutes. 

Put the sheet of mushrooms in the preheated oven and roast them until the liquids have evaporated. The mushrooms should become a little browned and soft. Turn them occasionally and roast them for 50 minutes.

Garnish the mushrooms with parsley and serve them. 

Remove the mushrooms from the oven. Use paper towels to blot any excess moisture from the mushrooms and transfer them to a serving plate.

Chop 2 tablespoons (7 g) of flat-leaf parsley and sprinkle it over the mushrooms. Serve the king oyster mushrooms while they're still hot. 

Store the leftover oyster mushrooms in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

(Reference: https://m.wikihow.com/Prepare-Oyster-Mushrooms)

 

How to Cook em (Medium):

Soup

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup light or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/3 cups cilantro (about half a bunch)
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint
  • 2 stalks green onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 3 TBS unsweetened apple cider
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
    Mushroom Chips
    • 190g king trumpet mushrooms, sliced at about 1/8-inch thick
    • 2 TBS olive oil
    • salt
    • pepper
    Optional Toppings
    • chopped toasted hazelnuts
    • paprika
    • cashew cream* *For the cashew cream, you’ll want to use a blend that is equal parts water and cashews (e.g., 1/2 cup water to 1/2 cup soaked cashews).
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread mushrooms all over the baking sheets. Brush both sides of the mushrooms with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the mushrooms are crispy. After about 25 minutes, rotate the baking sheets and swap the position of the baking sheets on the racks. Make sure that they are completely crisp before pulling them out of the oven.
    2. Bring water to boil in a large saucepan Once water boils, stir in coconut milk and let the liquids simmer on medium-low heat.
    3. Blend cilantro, spinach, basil, mint, green onions, almonds, oil, apple cider, jalapeno pepper, garlic, lemon, and a teaspoon of salt in a food processor. You should get a nice creamy mixture in 1 to 2 minutes. You may need to scrape the sides of the food processor bowl to get all the herbs blended.
    4. Pour mixture into simmering liquids and stir until the ingredients are well mixed. Turn off the heat. Add more salt (if desired) and freshly ground black pepper. If the soup still has large chunks of herbs in there, you can pour all contents into a large blender to blend, or you can use an immersion blender.
    5. Stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into the soup. Top green soup with chopped hazelnuts, mushroom, paprika, cashew cream.
    Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container. 
    The soup can be served chilled, too!

    (Reference:https://healthynibblesandbits.com/summer-green-soup-with-king-oyster-mushroom-chips/)

     

    Mushroom Stir Fry

    • 200g Oyster Mushrooms
    • 150g egg noodles
    • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
    • A clove or two of garlic, crushed or chopped
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
    • 300g Veg (Cabbage, Broccoli, Green Beans, Spring Greens etc)
    • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 4 tablespoons water
    • Bean sprouts (optional)
    • Sesame seeds (optional)
    • Slice of lemon

    Slice up your mushrooms and veg in advance.

    chopped ingredients

    Cook the noodles in a pan of boiling water for the length of time instructed on the packet (usually around 4 mins). Drain and put to one side.

    Heat a wok or large frying pan on a high heat until it begins to smoke then add the toasted sesame oil.

    When hot, add your garlic and ginger and stir continuously for 30 seconds before throwing in the mushrooms and continuing to stir-fry.

    After around 3-4 minutes your mushrooms should be starting to brown so add the veg and continue to stir fry for another 4-5 minutes until cooked through but still a little crunchy.

    Next, mix up the soy sauce and water in a cup and add it into the wok, followed by the cooked noodles, bean sprouts and sesame seeds (if using). Stir quickly before the liquid all evaporates and after 1 minute or so take it off the heat and squeeze the lemon in. Serve and enjoy!

    (Reference: https://grocycle.com/oyster-mushroom-recipes/)

     

    Thai Mushroom Soup

     (Use Thai green curry paste if you can’t lay your hands on some of the spices)

    • 200g fresh Oyster Mushrooms
    • 2-3 fresh chilies cut and smashed (use less if preferred)
    • 3 kaffir lime leaves
    • 2 stalks lemongrass cut into 5cms bits and smashed
    • 2 cups water or vegetable stock
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • 200g spinach or spring greens
    • 3 tablespoons lime juice
    • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
    • handful of fresh coriander

    Cut the mushrooms into smallish chunks.

    Bring the water/stock to the boil and add the lime leaves and crushed lemon grass. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the chillies, coconut milk, the mushrooms and the greens.

    Simmer for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft, turn off the heat and add the lime juice, soy sauce and coriander.

    Serve the fragrant steaming broth into deep bowls and enjoy. If you like your soup a bit thicker of more filling you could also add noodles toward the last 5 minutes of cooking.

    (Reference: https://grocycle.com/oyster-mushroom-recipes/)

     

    Fried in batter

    Serves: 4
    (Cooking time is 30 mins, prep is 10 mins)

     

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound oyster mushroom
    • 1 cup oil
    • salt and black pepper to taste
    For the batter:
    • ⅓ cup flour
    • 1 egg
    • ⅔ cup water
    • ½ teaspoon salt

     

    Instructions
    1. Mix the flour, egg, water and salt well in a container and set aside.
    2. Coat the mushrooms with the batter and set aside.
    3. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-low heat, carefully add in ⅓ of the mushrooms and fry for about 7-8 minutes.
    4. Fish the mushrooms out of the pan and turn to medium-high heat, add the mushrooms back into the pan to fry for another 1-2 minutes.
    5. Continuing with the process until all of the mushrooms have been fried.
    6. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper to serve.

    The only seasoning used for this dish is salt and pepper. After frying, the mushroom has a meaty flavor and tastes like bacon.

     (Reference: https://www.spicetheplate.com/veggie/fried-mushroom/)

     

    We hope you enjoy trying some of these dishes, we know that we have tried a few, and thoroughly enjoyed every nourishing mouthful. So put on your apron and cook up a storm.

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