Ever been to the grocery store or farmer’s market and been overwhelmed with the mushroom selection? Well it’s time to move on from the Baby Bellas and White Buttons and get adventurous! Why not take Enoki for a spin? Or the hideous yet delicious Morel? Don’t be shy and let us help you get to know these fungi!
With an aroma likened to sourdough, these smooth, creamy delights are often used in Italian cuisine and offer a woodsy flavor. Sold fresh they can be expensive, but you can find them canned and dried at reasonable prices. To reinvigorate dried porcinis, simply soak in hot water for 15 minutes before cooking. Try them in this Habanero Porcini Mac & Cheese.
Like their namesake, these mushrooms are whitish and fan-shaped and oftentimes intimidate new cooks with their stacked physique. However, these delicate fungi are simple to prepare and offer a mildly sweet flavor. Generally affordable, Oysters do well in Japanese and Chinese-inspired dishes like stir-fry and soups, but also pair well with seafood.
Who doesn’t recognize these cute, lil’ fellas? Buttons are one of the most prevalent mushrooms in supermarkets and also one of the cheapest. Offering a subtle, earthy flavor, Buttons work well in soups, salads, and, of course, atop pizza! Try them in Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas.
Portobellos are actually the most mature stage of white button mushrooms, with crimini being the “adolescent” stage. Mild in flavor, this solid ‘shroom is excellent as a meat substitute and tastes awesome when grilled. Portobellos are great for beefing up sauces and pasta dishes and also marinate well. Try them in Portobello Mushrooms with Giant Peruvian Lima Beans.
Found most often in Asian cuisine, these woodsy mushrooms are great for enhancing meat dishes, soups, sauces, and even salads! With their savory, umami flavor, they add a delightful complexity to dishes. You can usually find fresh shiitakes at the supermarket, though they also come in dried and powder form. Try them in this Broccoli Soup with Shiitake Chips.
How fun are these?! Enoki mushrooms are adorable, little fungi that almost resemble bean sprouts. Common in Asian cooking (especially in its native land of Japan), Enoki mushrooms are great in soups and salads, adding a delicious flavor and satisfying crunch.
Hen of the Woods
Okay, these are so good and worth the sometimes-hefty price tag. Hen of the Woods aka maitake (another Japanese native), are loaded with rich, delectable flavor. Used in both Japanese and Western cooking, Hen of the Woods’ earthy aroma and gamy taste go well with rice, stir-fry, and soups.
Normally foraged in the wild, chanterelles offer an almost apricot scent, similar to their vibrant coloration. With floral, fruity, peppery notes and a delicate texture, chanterelles work well with eggs and atop meat entrees. Also, their high moisture content allows these fungi to last up to 10 days in the fridge!
Also known as Baby Bellas, these are the “adolescent” stage of Portobellos. Criminis work well as a substitute for their white button counterparts when desiring a deeper, richer flavor. Use in soups, salads, accompanying meats and, yes, atop pizza. Try them in this Queso Fundido with Chiles and Mushrooms.
A face only a mother could love… Offering a nutty, smoky, and earthy flavor, Morels work wonderfully when sautéed with butter. While they can be expensive when bought fresh, they are well worth the investment!