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Everything You Need to Know About Mushrooms

There’s a lot to know about mushrooms—and we’re barely scratching the surface. Our guide is here with tasty thought starters to help get you going in the kitchen. 

White button

The most basic but in a good way. Since it’s such a mild mushroom, we recommend starting here and working your way up to the more fun-looking ones. Remember: always sauté on high heat (with lots of fat) until golden brown and crispy. 

Cremini

These small brown mushrooms are actually young portobellos. You can use them interchangeably with buttons, even though they’re a bit earthier. Think browned and tossed with white beans and kale or on garlic toast with herbs and parmesan cheese. 

Portobello

Everyone knows these big boys. They’re usually the size of your palm! Their rich taste and dense texture makes them one of the most popular meat-free mains: grilled for burgers, stuffed with cheese and covered with breadcrumbs, or served as a steak. 

Shiitake

A favorite for Asian-inspired dishes. These chewy, umbrella-shaped mushrooms are super savory already, but we like to amp up the umami with soy-based glazes, stir-fries, or miso or noodle soup with lots of veggies.

Oyster

These beautiful, fan-like mushrooms are more mild and nutty than shiitakes, yet they benefit from some of the same cooking techniques, like stir-frys. We’ll give these a good pan fry too, which gets them crispy and craggly. 

Enoki

Enokis are long, delicate, and tightly packed together. And because they have such a pleasant crunch, they hold up nicely in broth, from complex Japanese ramen to spicy Korean stews with tofu. 

Dried porcini 

It’s rare to find these fresh. They’ll usually come dried, so you’ll need to rehydrate them in hot water for about 15 minutes. These meaty mushrooms are worth the extra step. Delicious sautéed with butter and added to pasta, risotto, or polenta. 

Maitake 

These clustered shrooms are also called Hen of the Woods. They grow on the base of trees and have a rich and woodsy taste. Brown and toss with wild rice, sauté with leafy greens, or roast and make a mushroom salad with garlic and herbs.