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Wild Mushrooms, The Basics - What to Know

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

I am often asked, what do I do with the mushrooms now? You've purchased or foraged your own mushrooms and now they sit on your counter. What do you do next? Here is a list of regional mushrooms you can likely find throughout the U.S. and what you can do with them. There's everything from herbal teas to mushroom jerky to ice cream to dehydrated, fresh, powder, or broth. There's so much you can do with mushrooms and they are truly a gift to your health and senses.

Chicken of the Woods

Chicken of the Woods a.k.a. Sulfur Shelf

TO PURCHASE:

  • Fresh - 1 lb $10.00-15.00

  • Dehydrated - 1oz $9.00

  • Powder - 1oz $10.00

USE: This sulfur shelf mushroom resembles the true flavor and texture of cooked chicken, with a lemony flavor. Not earthy. If fresh, these mushrooms are excellent in any recipe that uses chicken. My favorite use of these is in a chicken curry, with fresh vegetables from my summer garden. If curry isn't your thing, sauted or roasted in olive oil with your favorite herbs and a little salt and pepper, these mushrooms will fool any meat eater. If dried, you can soak them over night and use them the exact same way you would fresh. I usually boil them to break them down a bit, then let them soak overnight and use the broth as well in my recipe the next day. I find them to be more tough than fresh and some might not appreciate the texture. When dried, you can also grind them down into a powder and use the powder to replace chicken broth in recipes, adding a chicken/lemon flavor to your dish.


Hen of the Woods a.k.a Maitake

Nearly 10 Pound Maitake

TO PURCHASE:

  • Fresh - 1 lb $10.00-$15.00

  • Frozen - 1 1/2 lb “steak” $4.50

  • Dehydrated 1oz $7.00

  • Powder - 1oz $6.00

  • Jerky - 1/2 lb $30

USE: Uncanny to white meat. Meatier than the Chicken of the Woods. My favorite thing to make with hen of the woods is mushroom jerky. See recipe below:


Maitake Jerky


Ingredients: 4-5 pound Maitake 2 cups apple cider vinegar

2 cups soy sauce

2 cups water

*Liquid should cover the mushrooms. If it doesn't add equal amounts liquid to cover. If you want it less salty use more apple cider vinegar and less soy sauce. I tend to use less soy sauce as I find the final product very salty.

optional : 1 head garlic

optional: 1 chunk ginger

Directions: Simmer fresh mushrooms in a pot until all the liquid has been reduced. The mushrooms should absorb all the liquid. Once reduced, place maitake on dehydrator racks (125˚ F on your dehydrator) or on drying racks to be placed in the sun. I live in Northern Wisconsin and it's a rare day the sun is strong enough to do this, but if you have strong, consistent sunlight- go for it. You can also use your oven and set the temperature at its lowest setting, making sure to leave the oven door ajar to release moisture. They're done when you find the consistency you like. I usually let them dehydrate overnight - 12 hours. I've never done them in the oven, but I would imagine it takes about 2-4 hours. When done they should have the consistency of beef jerky- chewy. This is consistently everyone's favorite and when I tell people that it's a mushroom they look at my in disbelief. Try it for yourself and let me know how it turns out! I've also used Oyster mushrooms using this same recipe. It's different, but does produce a chewy jerky-like treat.


If jerky isn't your thing, they're excellent in stroganoffs, cream sauces, chili, you name it. Their flavor isn't as earthy as, say, the Bolete/Porcini and the texture fills the void of meat in any dish.


Boletes a.k.a. Porcini

Bolete

TO PURCHASE:

  • Fresh - 1 lb $8.00

  • Dehydrated - 1oz $4.00

  • Powder - 1oz $5.00

USE: I use Porcini much like I would button mushrooms. Like all mushrooms, they should be cooked before eating. Porcini's have an earthy flavor make good use in hearty dishes. Cream sauces, stroganoffs, that sort of thing. I'll often add them to chili's to thicken it up.


Black Trumpet a.k.a. Horn of Plenty

Black Trumpet

TO PURCHASE:

  • Fresh - 1 lb $40.00

  • Dehydrated - 1oz $8.00

  • Powder - 1oz $9.00

  • Salt - out of stock - 3.4oz $11.00

USE: Oh, the coveted Black Trumpet. This is a mushroom that is plentiful where I live. When they bloom, its not uncommon to find them nearly everywhere on the island. Be sure to harvest they correctly, or you'll have a sandy mess. Black Trumpets grow very close to the ground, often in damp, mossy patches. Using a knife, trim them above the ground so as not to carry the soil with you. My favorite way to use this mushroom is to grind it up into a powder and add it to cream sauces or use as mushroom flavor to dishes. Another great way to use this is to add the powder to your favorite salt at a 1:3 ratio and BOOM! Seasoning salt. It gives you the umami flavor, so many are seeking right now.


Oyster

Oyster

TO PURCHASE:

  • Fresh - 1 lb $8.00-12.00

  • Dehydrated - 1oz $5.00

  • Powder - 1oz $6.00

USE: This mushroom adds a great amount of the umami flavor so many people relish . The fresh mushroom smells of anise but the flavor does not. Pad Thai is an excellent dish to add these mushrooms into, slice these mushrooms in long, thin strips to resemble the rice noodles and you'll be delighted with the flavor they add to Asian-inspired dishes.


Chanterelle

Chanterelles

TO PURCHASE: Fresh - out of stock - 1oz $14.00

Dehydrated - 1oz $6.00

Powder - 1oz $7.00


USE: sweet, apricot flavor. Excellent in egg dishes, cream sauces over pasta, and fried in butter and added on top of white or red meats, this mushroom is versatile!


Reishi

Reishi

TO PURCHASE: Fresh - 4oz $15.00

Powder - 1 oz $ 6.00


USE: use a tea, add to smoothies, or some people will put 500mg into a gelatin capsule and take as a supplement. This mushrooms is known for its medicinal benefits and is used widespread in Eastern Medicine for a variety of cancers and autoimmune ailments. Best use is as a tea, mixed with your favorite tea mixtures.


Chaga

TO PURCHASE:

Raw chunks - 1lb $28.00

Powder - Made on request - 1oz $4.00


USE: similar to Reishi in its medicinal benefits, they are widespread of often used in Eastern Medicine. Processing the chaga will be your biggest challenge. You can be absolutely lazy and simply drop a chunk into a pot of boiling water for a few hours and bottle up to tea and keep it in your fridge for 5-7 days. Or you can use a very sharp butcher knife and cut the chaga into chunks, which you can then put into a food processor and shred them into a find powder. If you don't feel like destroying your food processor you can put the chunks into a paper bag, grab a hammer, and bang away. Good for stress. Chaga can be added to coffee, as it as a bitter flavor and may enjoy the flavors combined or find the chaga more palatable. You can also add chaga powder, like Reishi, to smoothies, in supplement capsules, or sprinkled into any dish for medicinal benefits. The best way to absorb the nutrients is through tea. But using them in different ways produces different nutrient absorption. A fascinating topic that is worth a read.


Lions Mane

TO PURCHASE:

Fresh - 1 lb $10

Dehydrated - 1oz $6.00

Powder - 1oz $7.00


USE: This mushroom isn't used as a culinary treat but rather a medicinal remedy. Eastern medicine links this mushroom to aid in memory loss and other neurological issues. Often added into teas, smoothies, or really any food, the flavor is subtle enough to add a little bit into anything to experience it's benefits.


Wild Mushroom Mix (boletes, oysters, chicken of the woods, black trumpets, wood ear, hedgehog)

(L-R) Chanterelles, Black Trumpets, Boletes

TO PURCHASE: Fresh - 1 lb $15.00

Dehydrated - 1oz $7.00

Powder - 1oz $8.00


USE: Depending on what's in season this mix is a great way to eat seasonally or store a mixture for winter. Great for soups and stews (dehydrated) or if eaten fresh, this is a great way to learn the different flavors of the wild mushrooms without having to purchase a lot of one kind.


Wild Mushroom Mix Salt (sea salt, bolete, oyster, chicken of the wood, black trumpet, wood ear, hedgehog)

TO PURCHASE:

Made on request - priced seasonally


To purchase any of the mushrooms above, please contact me through email at sfollis87@gmail.com. Check back to this page for seasonal changes and recipes.

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