Mushroom Growing Guide

Mushroom Growing Guide

Common Mushroom Varieties And Their Benefits

Common Mushroom Varieties and their Benefits

Mushrooms are a staple in many people’s diets and a broad range of edible mushrooms can be found at grocery stores. Even better, many of these common mushrooms can be easily grown at home.

Should you want to begin growing your own mushrooms, you will need to determine which variety will work best for you. Here is a list of edible mushrooms and their benefits:

Cremini

Cremini mushrooms, often referred to as baby Portobello mushrooms, have an earthy taste, a light brown color, and a delicate texture. They are more expensive than ordinary button mushrooms, but are full of flavor.

  • Cremini mushrooms can be sautéed quickly because of their moisture content.
  • Cooking with herbs and butter before mixing into a soup recipe helps boost the natural flavor.
  • The stems can be used as well and make good fillings for omelets.

Oyster

Oysters have a pale ivory color, but sometimes you can find lavender, blue, pink, or yellow varieties.

  • The delicate and briny flavor makes it perfect to cook with butter or olive oil.
  • Oyster mushrooms are naturally moist and tender adding delicious flavors in salads.
  • Because they can deteriorate quickly, Oyster mushrooms should be used immediately.

Portobello

One of the most well know varieties, Portobello mushrooms are big in size and offer a meaty flavor.

  • Portobello mushrooms can be marinated. Try a simple recipe of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  • Because of their enormous caps, Portobello mushrooms can be cooked on the grill and make for a fantastic hamburger substitute.
  • They can blacken a sauce, so be sure to scrape out the gills properly before cooking.

Enoki

The crunchy texture of Enoki mushrooms make them unique and they are long and delicate, making for an excellent garnish.

  • Enoki mushrooms are famous in Asian cooking and are great additions to a stir-fry dish. When prepping the mushroom, trim the 1 inch stems from the bottom and then use the remaining mushroom.
  • Unlike other varieties, Enoki mushrooms can be washed in a colander and dried in any salad spinner.
  • For storage, refrigerate in a paper bag and the Enoki mushrooms will last for around a week.

Shiitake

A well known variety, Shiitake mushrooms can be used either dried or fresh to get the advantage of their smoky taste. The caps may range from brown to black in color.

  • Shiitake mushrooms have a strong flavor which lends them to stir fry dishes; try seasoning them with garlic and ginger.
  • Because of the sturdy stems on Shiitakes, it is impossible to overcook them.
  • Shiitake stems can be used to flavor sauces and stocks. Just be sure to remove the stems after cooking.

Porcini

Porcini mushrooms have a woodsy taste so just a few are enough to flavor a dish.

  • The Porcini mushroom flavor works well in French and Italian cooking; try using in a risotto, lasagna, or pasta sauce recipe. If grilling, skewer the porcini and brush with extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Porcini mushrooms are mainly available in late fall and summer, but can be found at Italian markets.

Morel

Morel mushrooms have maze like crevices and tall caps making them very prominent. Although expensive, their nutty flavor adds a great taste to any recipe.

  • The porous structure absorbs sauce well. Try them in omelets, beef gravy, or steaks.
  • Be sure to clean morel mushrooms very well as they can often harbor tiny, easily-overlooked insects. Gently shake them after brushing to dislodge lingering dirt.

Chanterelle

  • Chanterelle mushrooms can be brown, white, orange, black, and yellow. Their fruity aroma and funnel caps make them unique and the caps have wrinkles instead of regular gills on the bottom.
  • The fruity aroma from these mushrooms work well in soups, omelets, risottos, sauces, and salads.
  • Chanterelle mushrooms need to be added late during the cooking process to avoid hardening.

Agaricus (White Mushrooms)

These are a common mushroom and vary in size. Often called button mushrooms at a young age, and jumbo once mature, Agaricus mushrooms have a mild flavor and firm texture.

  • These mushrooms are versatile since they can be eaten raw or cooked. Try them in soups and stews.
  • Be sure to carefully wash them before use to avoid any insects or toxic chemicals.

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