Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are a tasty variety of mushroom to add to your cooking repertoire! Make them fried with herbs using this tasty recipe.

Oyster mushrooms

Got your hands on some oyster mushrooms? Let’s get cooking! This edible fungus is not nearly as common as the white button mushroom: but it should be! This variety has a mild, savory flavor and a delicate texture that works in all sorts of recipes. Here at A Couple Cooks we’ve been cooking through all the types of mushrooms, so we were excited to see this variety on the shelf in our standard grocery store. Sauté them up as a side dish, mix them with pasta, or even make them as a vegan meat substitute! Here’s what to know about this popular fungus.

What are oyster mushrooms?

There are so many different types of mushrooms you can find at the store! Oyster mushrooms are a variety that’s becoming easier to find in non-specialty American grocery stores. Here’s more about this tasty fungus:

  • Oyster mushrooms are a common type of edible fungus with caps that are shaped like oysters. The stems are very short and they grow in clusters.
  • Types of oyster mushrooms: There are seven main varieties. The most common types you’ll encounter at the store are pearl oyster mushrooms and King oyster mushrooms. The King variety is much larger and grows individually instead of in clusters. Other more unique types you might find at a farmer’s market or foraged are blue oyster mushrooms and pink oyster mushrooms.
  • Where to find them? You can find this type of mushroom at some grocery stores or specialty food stores. You can also find them at international or Asian grocery stores.
Oyster mushrooms
Pearl oyster mushrooms grow in clusters

What do they taste like?

Is it worth picking up this special type of ‘shroom? Absolutely. Here’s more about the flavor profile:

  • What do oyster mushrooms taste like? The flavor is delicate and savory, with a hint of complexity on the finish. Some people say they have a slight seafood flavor, or a subtle anise finish (black licorice). Either way, they’re best eaten fried or sautéed: we don’t recommend eating them raw.
  • Do oyster mushrooms smell fishy? Some can! This variety of mushroom can smell subtly fishy when you remove them from the packaging. Perhaps that’s another reason for the name of this fungus!

How to store and clean them

Once you get ahold of these mushrooms, what’s the best way to keep them fresh? How to clean them before cooking them?

  • Store the mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator (not produce drawer). The best way to store mushrooms is in a paper bag, which allows them to breathe. Leave them in the main part of the refrigerator to get good airflow, not the produce drawer.
  • Clean them with a quick rinse. This type of fungus grows on wood, so they likely won’t be as dirty as say, a cremini or portobello. Give the mushrooms a quick rinse to get off any dirt (don’t soak them or they can become soggy).

How to cook oyster mushrooms

Ready to get cooking? This sauteed oyster mushrooms recipe is a basic way to eat them: pan fried with herbs, garlic and lemon juice. While it’s common in Japanese and Chinese cuisine, it’s also eaten in European cuisines so here we’ve paired it with Mediterranean flavors. (For Japanese-style flavors, try these recipes for Lion’s Mane Mushrooms or Enoki Mushrooms: they’ll work here too!)

  • Slice off the bottom stem. Slice off the stem of the mushrooms, which separates the individual caps.
  • Saute 2 to 3 minutes in olive oil. Add a smashed garlic clove to infuse a bit of flavor.
  • Add chopped herbs and lemon juice in the last 30 seconds. This brightens and lightens the flavor. Use any herbs you like: chives, basil, oregano, or thyme would be fantastic.
Oyster mushrooms recipe

Ways to serve this oyster mushrooms recipe

How to serve this oyster mushrooms recipe? Here are a few ideas:

More recipe ideas

There are lots of other ways to cook up this variety! Here are some common ways to eat them:

This oyster mushroom recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
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Oyster mushrooms

Oyster Mushrooms Recipe


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 to 3 small servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Oyster mushrooms are a tasty variety of mushroom to add to your cooking repertoire! Make them fried with herbs using this tasty recipe.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces oyster mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 smashed garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs (chives, basil, oregano, thyme, etc)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Slice off the bottom stem of each group of oyster mushrooms, which separates them into individual mushrooms. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet. Add the mushrooms and smashed garlic clove and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until golden and tender. Stir in the herbs and lemon juice in the last 30 seconds. Turn off the heat, remove the garlic clove and serve. 
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mushrooms

Keywords: Oyster mushrooms, oyster mushrooms recipe

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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