What Do Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like?
Oyster mushrooms tend to have a subtle, savory anise flavor. Because their flavor is mild, without the strong earthiness of some mushroom varieties, they work well in a range of different dishes. Oyster mushrooms also take on a tender, pleasing texture when cooked. Cooking methods like frying, roasting, and grilling can retain more texture in the mushrooms while braising and sautéing makes them softer.
Oyster Mushroom Recipes
One of the most popular ways to cook oyster mushrooms is to stir-fry or sauté them. This requires a preheated hot pan, a small amount of liquid, and stirring. Make sure to give them space so their moisture can cook off, that way they will truly sauté rather than steam. Serve as a side dish or use in sauces, stir-fries, pastas, risotto, or even to top toast.
Because they get so silky when cooked, oyster mushrooms respond well to braising, too. Add them to soups and stews or sauces. The mushrooms can also be grilled whole on skewers, roasted, or dredged in a crispy coating and deep-fried.
Where to Buy Oyster Mushrooms
Since most commercially available oyster mushrooms are cultivated in greenhouses, they tend to be available all year round. They are sometimes sold loose by the ounce but are more often sold packaged or bagged for a set price. They sometimes appear at major supermarkets in the produce section, and fresh and dried mushrooms can often be found at Asian markets. Wild varieties are in season during the fall.
Look for mushrooms or clusters of mushrooms with a bright, springy texture and no wilted or dark spots. These spots indicate the mushrooms have soaked up moisture and started to go bad. Dried mushrooms should be in an airtight container and mostly whole with a pleasant aroma.
When foraging for oyster mushrooms, look for clusters on dying or fallen beech trees. Young mushrooms are best, and American foragers should avoid yellowish lookalikes which are poisonous.
How to Store Oyster Mushrooms
Water is the greatest enemy of oyster mushrooms. Store them in a loose paper bag (not plastic) in the fridge for up to three days. They are delicate and will start to wilt and become dry and tough the longer they sit and wait to be eaten.
Dried oyester should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to one year. Cooked mushrooms will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator or can be frozen for up to three months. We do not recommend freezing raw mushrooms since the moisture breaks down their delicate texture.
Oyster mushrooms are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients. They’re also low in carbohydrates, so they’re a good choice for people following low carb dietary patterns.
Here’s the nutritional content of 1 cup (86 grams) of raw P. ostreatus oyster mushrooms (3Trusted Source):
- Calories: 28
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: <1 gram
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Niacin: 27% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): 22% of the DV
- Folate: 8% of the DV
- Choline: 8% of the DV
- Potassium: 8% of the DV
- Iron: 6% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 8% of the DV
- Zinc: 6% of the DV
oyester also contain smaller amounts of other nutrients, including vitamin D and selenium.
SummaryStudies in people with and without diabetes have found that oyster mushrooms may improve blood sugar levels and other aspects of health when taken as a supplement or consumed as part of the diet.