Oyster Mushrooms 101
Everything you need to know about cooking with oyster mushrooms! What they taste like, variations, how to buy, store, clean, and eat this unique edible fungi!
Chances are, you haven’t heard much about the humble oyster mushroom. But I’m here to tell you that there is more to the mushroom world than portobellos and button mushrooms.
Oyster mushrooms are the mushroom you need to be eating more of. They’re packed with nutrition, quick to cook, and make for the best vegetarian pulled pork substitute (step aside, jackfruit). Let’s talk about oyster mushrooms!
Type of Oyster Mushrooms
While there are many varieties of oyster mushrooms, the two most common types that you are likely to find in a supermarket are:
- Pearl Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus): These are tender and small, with almost no stem (see previous photo).
- King Oyster (Pleurotus eryngii): These have thick white stems and small flat caps, with a heartier, more meaty texture than other oyster mushrooms (pictured below).
What do oyster mushrooms taste like?
The taste of oyster mushrooms is very mild, and some describe it as subtly woody or like seafood. What makes this mushroom so unique is their texture. Both pearl and king oyster mushrooms can have a very meaty texture when prepared properly!
Where to Buy Oyster Mushrooms
Depending on where you are, oyster mushrooms can be tricky to find. Asian supermarkets will almost always carry oyster mushrooms, with natural food grocers also sometimes carrying them. If you live in an area with a large Asian immigrant population (like here in the Netherlands), your neighborhood grocery store may also carry them!
How to Store Oyster Mushrooms
Store oyster mushrooms in a loosely closed plastic bag in the fridge, where they should stay fresh for 5 to 7 days.
How to Clean Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms usually grow on wood, so they probably haven’t been in contact with dirt and shouldn’t need mush washing. Gently clean each mushroom with a damp cloth. If you have a lot of oyster mushrooms you can rinse them, but be careful not to rinse for too long as they can become water logged (goodbyyye flavor!)
Oyster Mushroom Recipes
I love using oyster mushrooms to replace meat in many vegetarian recipes. Here are a few of my favorite ways to cook with them!
By shredding king oyster mushrooms, seasoning with spices, and baking, you can create a vegan mushroom pulled pork that rivals the real stuff! The perfect pulled pork alternative for sandwiches, tacos, nachos…or whenever you need vegan pulled pork.
These vegetarian pulled “pork” mushroom tacos are loaded with adobo-spiced pulled mushrooms and a fresh corn ceviche that adds sweet crunch. Best vegetarian taco recipe of all time? Quite possibly.
This Buttermilk Fried Mushrooms recipe is about to revolutionize your vegetarian cooking. With air fried oyster mushrooms and a crunchy coating, it tastes just like fried chicken!
These vegan nachos are piled high with easy mushroom BBQ “pulled pork” and a cashew-based queso cheese sauce that will knock your dairy-free socks off.
This vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Dip uses shredded oyster mushrooms to recreate the tailgate favorite dip!