Regional and Seasonal Challenge: Oyster Mushrooms
To kick of the year this week’s regional and seasonal challenge is to make something using oyster mushrooms. They can be a part of the ingredients used and do not have to be a stand alone component of your dish. We are very fortunate to get a large assortment of exotic mushrooms at our local supermarkets and farmers’ markets. I tend to purchase plain mushrooms for our salads and during the week to make sauces but every now and then I get special mushrooms for special dishes.
Please let me know if you do something – challenge ends next Thursday evening at midnight.
The oyster mushroom is a common edible mushroom that was first cultivated in Germany for food during World War I. It is now grown commercially around the world on a bed of straw. It is however, one of the more commonly sought wild mushrooms and has the bittersweet aroma of bitter almonds. The oyster mushroom is a delicacy in Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisine. It is frequently served on its own, in soups, stuffed, or in stir-fry recipes with soy sauce. Oyster mushrooms may be used in sauces, such as oyster sauce. The mushroom’s taste has been described as mild with a slight odor similar to anise. Oyster mushrooms are used in the Czech and Slovak contemporary cuisine in soups and stews in a similar fashion to meat. The oyster mushroom is best when picked young; as the mushroom ages, the flesh becomes tough and the flavor becomes acrid and unpleasant. Some toxic Lentinellus species are similar in appearance, but have gills with jagged edges and finely haired caps.