Oyster mushrooms are one of the most common types of cultivated mushrooms in the world. They grow naturally on and near trees in temperate and subtropic forests around the world, and they are also grown commercially in many countries.
What Are Oyster Mushrooms?
Oyster mushrooms are beloved the world over for their delicate texture and mild, savory flavour. The mushrooms typically have broad, thin, oyster or fan shaped caps in a variety of colours, with gills lining the underside. The caps are sometimes frilly-edged and can be found in clusters of small mushrooms or individually as larger mushrooms.
How to Cook With Oyster Mushrooms
Like all mushrooms, oyster mushrooms act almost like sponges, soaking up any water they come into contact with. So don't leave them sitting in water, even for the sake of cleaning them. Cultivated oyster mushrooms usually don't need much cleaning, simply wipe off any bits here or there with a dry or damp paper towel.
The cleaned mushrooms can then be sautéed, stir-fried, braised, roasted, fried, or grilled. Use the mushrooms whole, sliced, or simply torn into appropriately sized pieces.
Dried oyster mushrooms don't need to be soaked to be rehydrated, the way that other dried mushrooms do. Just add them to the dish, and they will soak up liquid right away.
What Do Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like?
Oyster mushrooms tend to have a subtle, savory anise flavour. Because their flavour is mild, without the strong earthiness of some mushroom varieties, they work well in a range of different dishes. Oyster mushrooms also take on a tender, pleasing texture when cooked. Cooking methods like frying, roasting, and grilling can retain more texture in the mushrooms while braising and sautéing makes them softer.