Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Lions Mane Mushroom

Lion’s mane is also known as Hericium erinaceus, sheep’s head, bear’s head, and yamabushitake. Two months ago, I had never heard of this mushroom, and now I enjoy eating it. While browsing around on fungi.com I for mushroom kits to grow, I found this one. It’s goofy look charmed me into buying it an giving it a whirl.

Lions Mane Mushroom

It looks like a giant fluffy hunk of cauliflower to me. Apparently, it is best picked when young as several other mushrooms I’ve tried recently are as well. It’s also good to pick them before the spines get too long or they get a slight bitter taste. I’ve read ‘too long’ starts at 1/4”.

If you look closely at the picture below or above, you can see a slight discoloration on the ride side where the mushroom is going from white to yellowish. It is a sign the humidity wasn’t high enough for it, and it was getting a bit dried out. Dried out also leads to a slight bitter taste.

Lions Mane Mushroom

As a new mushroom grower, I’m still learning what they like. I found this one very easy to grow. Read: I didn’t screw it up completely on the first try like I did the pink oysters! It also grew rather quickly. The growth above only took about two weeks and weighed about six ounces. The kit should flush several more times. You can see in the last photo all the white fuzziness is the mycelium. They are still alive and healthy. They only need a bit of water and some light to fruit some more mushrooms.

Paul Stamets, mushroom guru, wrote a nice article about some of the medicinal properties on the Huffington Post: here which includes memory and mood improvement and maybe nerve regrowth. Neat.

So how does it taste? I’d read that it tastes like lobster or other seafood. Neither of us thought it tasted like lobster, but it did have the chewy texture of lobster. We both enjoyed it, and would eat it again. To read more about how I cooked it, check out the recipe I posted on my food blog: Everyday Tastiness: Poached Lion’s Mane Mushroom.

Lions Mane Mushroom on Black Rice with Brussels Sprouts

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