Mushrooms 101: Top 9 Mushrooms to Cook This Summer
Mushrooms have grown in popularity over the past few years, and definitely for a good reason. Not only can they level up your meals, they are extremely good for you. In fact, they are often classified as a superfood! They are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, an antioxidant, and loaded with various vitamins and minerals. Over 400 types are said to medicinal properties, claiming to increase energy, improve memory, and more. Below are nine popular mushrooms that are not only nutritious, but delicious too!
1. White Button Mushroom
White buttons are the most common mushrooms we see in cooking today. In fact, 90% of mushrooms we eat are in this category! Depending on the life stage they are in, they can be white or brown until fully maturing into a portabella. Many of the mushrooms listed below fall into this category. White buttons have a very mild taste and can be eaten raw or cooked. Learn more about cooking white buttons here.
2. Portabella (Portobello) Mushroom
These large mushrooms have become a staple in Italian cooking because of their meaty texture and flavorful taste. Portabella are the most mature in the bunch, making them the most flavorful too (due to water loss). Portabella are also extremely popular in vegan cooking, used to create vegan burgers, steak, sandwiches and more. They are very absorbent and will soak up any flavor you marinate it in! It is also very easy to find and is extremely versatile due to its size. You can roast, grill or sauté this fan favorite. Learn more about cooking portabellas here.
3. Shiitake Mushroom
Shiitake, also known as black Chinese mushrooms, are very popular in Asian cuisine. Their color ranges from golden to dark brown. Shiitake have many different health benefits, such as boosting immunity, increasing energy, and improving cardiovascular health. They have an earthy flavor, but a meaty texture similar to portabellos. These mushrooms are best when they are cooked and the stems are removed. You can cook shittake a number of ways, sautéed, fried, roasted, etc. They make an excellent side dish or topping to any meal. Learn more about cooking shiitake here.
4. Crimini Mushroom
Criminis are commonly known as baby bellas, probably because they are just young portabella mushrooms! They has more flavor than your typical button mushroom, and can be used as a substitute for portabellas or white buttons. They are the same size as white button mushrooms, and can be cooked in the same way. Check out more about cooking criminis here.
5. Oyster Mushroom
Grown all around the world, oyester mushrooms are known for their more subtle yet savory flavor. In fact, oyester are the most consumed mushroom across the globe. This is probably because they are extremely easy to grow. Many claim that their texture is similar to that of an oyster and have an oyster shaped cap (hence the name!). There are many different varieties and there are many various ways to cook them. Add these to any dish for extra flavor and texture. Find more ways to cook oyster mushrooms here.
6. Enoki mushroom
Enoki are well known because of their large role in Japanese cooking. They come in small clusters with tiny white caps attached to thin stems. They have a very mild flavor that many describe as slightly fruity. They’re good raw if you want a crunch, or they can be sautéed or added into soups. Learn more about cooking enoki here.
7. Chanterelle mushroom
Chanterelle stand out because of their golden color. Many people enjoy foraging for chanterelles on their own, as they tend to be fairly expensive. Chanterelles can only grow in humid and dense woodlands, which can make them much more difficult for farmers to grow. They tastes more nutty and sweet than the others, with a chewy stem and soft cap. Chanterelle mushrooms can be baked, broiled, grilled, sautéed or eaten raw, making them a very versatile yet unique option. Check out how to cook chanterelles here.
8. Porcini mushroom
Porcini are extremely popular in gourmet French and Italian dining. They are pretty expensive due to their short growing season and specific growing conditions. Porcini have reddish-brown caps and a slightly sticky texture. They have a nutty flavor that is more prominent than other common mushrooms. They can be sautéed, braised, fried, grilled, or stewed. Learn more about cooking porcini here.
9. Morel Mushroom
Morel mushrooms can only be grown in the wild, making them rare and extremely desired by chefs around the world. They have a very unique honeycomb shape. Morels are extremely flavorful and have a non-slimy, meaty texture. They also contain many various vitamins and minerals, making them an overall top tier mushroom. Morels should only be eaten cooked, and are best fried, grilled or sauteed. Learn more about cooking morels here.