Shiitake has a meaty texture and a rich, buttery, flavor six times more intense than that of a white button mushroom. Dried, it has fifteen times more flavor building nucleotide's than than porcini! This means it adds a great depth of flavor to any recipe, but it is especially well suited for red meats, stir fry, soups, and saute dishes.
The firm, but pleasantly chewy, white flesh of the king trumpet can be fully utilized from cap to base. It has a delicate flavor profile of woodsy and slightly sweet and adapts well to French, Mediterranean and Chinese cuisines. Trumpets hold up very well to saute, stir fry and are especially good grilled, becoming golden brown and crisp.
Maitake's wonderfully unique, excellent, flavor neither overpowers or is easily overpowered in a dish. It is incredibly versatile and can be roasted, baked, deep fried, sautéed and stir fried. The "hen of the woods" as it is sometimes called, pairs well with other wild mushrooms, bitter greens, shallot, garlic, thyme, potatoes, cheese (especially Parmesan and Gruyere), eggs, bacon, shellfish and beef.
This mushrooms beautiful chocolate brown caps make for a stunning presentation in many dishes. Their bold and earthy umami flavors are frequently described as “earthy” and peppery, with a firm texture, slight crunch, and a satin finish that holds up beautifully in cooking with near 100% utilization. Can be a great, less expensive, substitute for Porcini.
This large, firm mushroom has rich, sweet, buttery flavor and extremely tender texture. Enjoy its unique attributes by keeping it simple: brush with olive oil, grill or sauté. The texture is like cutting into a finely cooked ribeye steak. Awesome vegetarian substitute as well. A minute sliver at the base of the stem and you'll have close to 100% use.
This unique looking mushroom is often described as having a texture and flavor similar to crab meat. It is also a well studied medicinal mushroom noted for its ability to enhance and improve cognitive function. It is great in a pasta dish as a faux seafood, tempura battered and deep fried, smashed and roasted or sauteed and dipped in clarified butter. This is another awesome vegetarian substitute, and a minute sliver off the base of the stem and you'll have close to 100% use.
The Nameko has an earthy flavor with a note of cashew. The flavor is enhanced when sautéed, and the silky texture holds up well while cooking. A gelatinous coating on the caps will lightly thicken soups and sauces. This is a go-to for Asian soups and many other Asian inspired dishes.
Pleurotus ostreatus var. columinus
A delicate, mild flavor with a velvety texture and a favorite around the world. Oysters can be eaten raw (in moderation) or cooked, and pair well with chicken, seafood and white meats. This mushroom's meaty texture lends well to frying, stir- fry, and braising. As they are extremely perishable, use Oysters as soon as possible for optimum flavor and quality.
The morel mushroom is perhaps the most widely recognized and enjoyed wild mushroom in the world. The pitted cap holds sauces and flavors in spectacular fashion. It's meaty texture, and deep umami flavor, can be enjoyed simply sauteed in butter, added to pastas, meat and fish dishes... frankly we don't know of a use they aren't fantastic for!
Porcini is perhaps the second most loved mushroom in the world behind the morel. It has a nutty, rich flavor and a firm, at times almost crunchy texture. It can stand up well to most any cooking method and is most often used with red meats and rich savory dishes, or on its own, sauteed or butter poached, with a little good salt.
Black trumpets are to pasta what glove is to hand. They have an intoxicating sweet and woodsy aroma with a soft, yet chewy, texture and a rich, nutty, slightly smoky flavor. Don't let their delicate look fool you, they pack an amazing amount of flavor. Fish and sauces are another excellent use beyond pasta.
Yellow foot, sometimes called a "winter chanterelle, does not share many of the flavor qualities of its more well known name sake. It has a slightly peppery flavor and a mild umami punch. It is also among the most hydrated mushrooms from the wild. Take time to sweat the heavy liquid off before attempting to brown with any fat and you will be rewarded!
Another favorite around the world, the chanterelle, has a beautiful egg-yolk yellow color, adding a pop to any dish. Their flavor is interestingly fruity, with hints of apricot, nuts and pepper. Its complex profile of flavors makes it an excellent choice for fish, seafood, chicken, pastas and white meats. Avoid using in heavily spiced dishes that may overpower its subtle flavors.
The lobster mushroom is the parasitic union of two completely different mushrooms that form to make this prized treat. It is incredibly firm, like a potato, white a dense white meat than remains quite firm, nearly crunchy, even after cooking. Though called a "lobster" the name comes from its coloring, rather than its flavor, which is a deliciously sweet and nutty combination. Slice with a potato peeler and drop in hot oil for a lobster chips treat!
In Japan this mushroom is revered for its indescribable aroma. It is a slightly funky, very spicy (think red-hots candy) and earthy aroma that sometimes fetches hundreds of dollars per pound for perfect specimens. It is best used in dishes where it is the star. Sliced thinly and steamed with rice is a favorite, but any broth based dishes can be fantastic. Fish is another good choice, or simply solo, poached in a little red wine.
Hedgehogs get their name from the unique spines they have, rather than the gills we are accustomed to seeing. They are a firm mushroom with a pronounced nuttiness and savory quality. They hold up well to almost any cooking method and add both fantastic umami flavor and a nutty crunchy texture to any dish that calls for mushrooms.