When I first started my adventures in mushroom cultivation, I buried my head in every book on mycology and watched every video YouYube could provide me on mushroom growing. I was able to pick up all the tricks of the trade pretty quickly and prepare myself for all the possible scenarios that this new hobby of mine would throw my way. Humidity problems, bacterial contamination and of course, what a lot of mushroom farmers dread: the Red Fungus Beetle. These roadblocks all hit me at different times throughout my first year of growing and all were remedied pretty quickly.
The one thing that I wasn't prepared for was how much space my mushrooms would require in my regular fridge. I was yielding about 4 to 5 pounds at a time. The type I was cultivating was not like the white buttons or cremini you would get at the local market, these were oyster mushrooms and they were massive. Adding these to my wife's and my daily diet was the only solution I could come up with. I used every recipe I had in my repertoire to try and incorporate my oyster mushrooms in any recipe that would allow it. Tempura mushrooms became a household favorite but a good pan sear goes a long way at getting the most out of your mushroom.
Oyster mushrooms should not be eaten raw and require at least 3 minutes of cooking to release a lot of the moisture that tends to hide within the fungus and most importantly release nutrients that the mushrooms provide.
Oyster mushrooms make a great side to any dinner so hopefully these tips will help you on you future mushroom adventures.
The following basic steps will help make your first oyster mushroom cooking experience a successful one.
You will need a couple things:
- Heavy bottom sauté pan (cast Iron works best)
- Cooking oil (vegetable and canola work great)
- Salt and pepper (for seasoning)
- 1 fresh garlic clove
- Few sprigs of fresh thyme
- Butter (1 Tablespoon)
Tear the mushrooms as opposed to cutting them with a knife.
Get the sauté pan nice and hot over medium heat. You want to see a bit of smoke rising from your pan. When you see that, add about 2 tablespoons of oil and then spread the mushrooms evenly across the pan.
After about three minutes of cooking, give your mushrooms a quick toss then crush the garlic clove and add it along with the thyme to the pan.
Give the mushrooms, garlic and herbs a toss in the pan You want your mushrooms to get a nice dark caramelization, almost like a seared steak color.
After you’ve reached your desired caramelization, turn off the heat and add the butter. Season with salt and pepper to your preference and serve.
If you need a quality cast iron skillet, we have Lodge's 8-inch pre-seasoned skillet available at our Lincoln Square store for $21.22 including tax. It's a great deal on a skillet that will last you a lifetime!
Learn more about cooking mushrooms and other vegetables in our virtual Building Blocks: Vegetables and Rice class coming up on Saturday, March 5 at 10am CST. It's just one of nine classes you can take from the comfort of your own kitchen to learn the major cooking techniques!