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Oyster Mushrooms 101


When most people think of fruit they don’t necessarily think of mushrooms. Although, that’s exactly what mushrooms are—the fruiting bodies of fungi. One of the most popular mushrooms amongst Chefs and health advocates alike is the oyster mushroom. PLUS, we sell them every week of the year to our CSA members and our Chefs. You can give these a try ANYTIME you'd like. King Mushrooms grows blue/gray oysters, yellow oysters, pink oysters, and white oysters -- we often just sell the gray ones or a "rainbow mix".

Unless you’re very familiar with cooking mushrooms they can sometimes pose a challenge in the kitchen. While many mushrooms share certain features as to how you might cook them, the truth is that cooking mushrooms to perfection is as individualistic as the mushrooms themselves. So, exactly how might one approach oyster mushrooms in the kitchen assuming that they’ve never cooked them before? Lucky for you we put together this guide based on our experience, and the wisdom of chefs and mushroom growers alike. Here are our go-to tips on the best ways to use oyster mushrooms in your kitchen.


Storage & Selection


The first rule with fresh mushrooms is to use them up! Mushrooms will lose quality like any other fresh food, so it’s best to enjoy them as quickly as makes sense in your kitchen. You’ll want to work with oyster mushrooms that are firm and dry, with a pleasant earthy smell. Avoid soggy mushrooms and off-putting smells. 

Store fresh oyster mushrooms in your refrigerator—crisper drawers work great as long as they don’t hold too much moisture. If you buy them from us via King Mushrooms, you'll receive them in a paper bag. That bag is PERFECT for storing them, as they don't respond well to light in storage, and it's ideal to store them in a warmer section of your fridge.


Sauteeing & Frying


Just like eggplant, oyster mushrooms will soak up fat when fried or sautéed. Sautéing will bring out more of the soft, slippery, and slightly chewy texture that some prize in this mushroom. Mushrooms will lose moisture at first, and then as that evaporates they’ll begin to soak up any fat in the pan. Garlic, dark leafy greens, chilis and onions or shallots are all wonderful additions to an oyster mushroom sauté. Choice flavorings can range from Pan-Asian to Continental cuisines.

Pan-frying and stir frying are also a great way to enjoy oyster mushrooms. These cooking methods will bring out more of a firm and crispy texture to the mushrooms; and the high heat and fast cooking method will drive more flavor into the mushrooms from whatever flavorings you’ve added.

PS- this amazing photo comes from this recipe here: Pan Fried Oyster Mushrooms . To make it vegan, simply sub vegan butter or oil for the butter/ghee.Just like eggplant, oyster mushrooms will soak up fat when fried or sautéed. Sautéing will bring out more of the soft, slippery, and slightly chewy texture that some prize in this mushroom. Mushrooms will lose moisture at first, and then as that evaporates they’ll begin to soak up any fat in the pan. Garlic, dark leafy greens, chilis and onions or shallots are all wonderful additions to an oyster mushroom sauté. Choice flavorings can range from Pan-Asian to Continental cuisines.

Pan-frying and stir frying are also a great way to enjoy oyster mushrooms. These cooking methods will bring out more of a firm and crispy texture to the mushrooms; and the high heat and fast cooking method will drive more flavor into the mushrooms from whatever flavorings you’ve added.

PS- this amazing photo comes from this recipe here: Pan Fried Oyster Mushrooms . To make it vegan, simply sub vegan butter or oil for the butter/ghee.



So, you’re firing up the grill and those oyster mushrooms look too small and brittle to stand up to the heat. You can easily see them falling through the grate in a sad, slow-mo, imaginary scene in your mind. Think you can’t grill your oyster mushrooms? Think again!

RECIPE: Miso Grilled Oyster Mushrooms + Buttered Farro

Now is the time for a cast iron skillet. Simply heat up your cast iron skillet on the grill when you begin the flame to clean the grates. Once your cast iron is hot you can fry or saute your mushrooms while you grill your other goodies. Bonus: the mushrooms pick up that smokey grill flavor that is so beloved. If you leave your oyster mushrooms in large chunks you can even sear them on the grill a bit. Just be careful, and gentle, they fall apart easily.

RECIPE: Vegan Grilled King Oyster Mushrooms (pictured here!)


Soups & Stews


Oyster mushrooms are a delight in soups and stews. They absorb the flavor of the other ingredients, and flavor the broth itself with wonderful mushroomy goodness. These cooking methods will soften oyster mushrooms so the texture has less chew than in a sauté, but a similar texture nonetheless. 

Pair oyster mushrooms with tofu, beef, wild game or simply enjoy all by themselves! Here is one recipe for Mushroom Stew that looks simple - make in 30 minutes - and delightful (pictured here!). They make a wonderful filling for dumplings and are easy to toss in a simple ramen soup. Not only do these fungi taste great, but they also contain a bevy of vitamins, nutrients and even antioxidants! Here on the farm we love enjoying these gems for their amazing flavor and nutrition.

How do you cook your oyster mushrooms? Do you have any secrets to using mushrooms in the kitchen? Share with us and the Farmily on Facebook or Instagram



Elevated Salads


Rabbit food? We think not! Salads can be some of the most satisfying meals on the planet, and are often packed with raw foods. You don’t have to just stick to lettuce and dressing though! Break out the cheese grater (or better yet a food processor!) and go to town shredding up carrots, apples, beets, cucumbers and whatever else you like eating raw. Sprinkle your shredded vegetables on top of your favorite greens, add some raw seeds or nuts, toss in some vinaigrette and voila! There’s no shortage of salad inspiration online and in cookbooks. Salads can literally take on the characteristic of almost any cuisine, from Chinese to French, and American to Polynesian. Don’t let yourself or your salads down!



Heirloom vs. Hybrid Tomatoes

Learn the Basics in our Blog Post!


Ripe, juicy tomatoes are at the top of the list when people think of summer produce. What kind of tomato though? Is it a historic heirloom variety or a modern hybrid? What’s the difference anyways?

No matter how you pronounce tomato there are many different kinds of them to choose from! They come in all shapes (teardrop, sphere, ellipsoid), sizes (grape-sized to grapefruit-sized) and colors (green, orange and purple to name a few). To settle any confusion (although maybe not on the pronunciation side of things) we’re giving you a brief overview of the differences between heirloom tomatoes and their modern hybrid counterparts. Interested? Read on here to find out about the heirlooms and hybrids we’re growing for you!


https://www.moonvalleyfarm.net/post/tomato-basics-heirlooms-vs-hybrid


RECIPE of the WEEK:

Arugula Lentil Salad


Ingredients

  • ¾ cups cashews (¾ cups = 100 g)

  • 1 onion

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 chilli / jalapeño

  • 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil

  • 3 slices bread (whole wheat)

  • 1 cup brown lentils, cooked (1 cup = 1 / 15oz / 400 g)

  • 1 handful arugula/rocket (1 handful = 100 g)

  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional

Instructions

  • Roast the cashews on a low heat for about three minutes in a pan to maximize aroma. Then throw them into the salad bowl.

  • Dice up and fry the onion in one third of the olive oil for about 3 minutes on a low heat.

  • Meanwhile chop the chilli/jalapeño and dried tomatoes. Add them to the pan and fry for another 1-2 minutes.

  • Cut the bread into big croutons.

  • Move the onion mix into a big bowl. Now add the rest of the oil to the pan and fry the chopped up bread until crunchy. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Wash the arugula and add it to the bowl.

  • Put the lentils in too, and mix them all around. Season with salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. Serve with the croutons.

  • Super tasty!

https://hurrythefoodup.com/arugula-lentil-salad-vegan/

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