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Mushrooms in Chinese Cooking


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I like both, but I especially like the little Disney cartoon umbrella shape! I can see a little elf sitting under it!

jo-mel, give me some of that mushroom you're eating. I want to see that elf too.

Me thinks Jo-Mel is eating a "different kind" of mushroom! :blink:

I like scrambled eggs with straw mushrooms in them. Kids don't care for them.



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I've never seen fresh straw mushrooms. It seems to me they're not being cultivated fresh in the USA; don't know why. (More research, more research.... mutters.)

This is most likely the case for a number of reasons.

First, Volvariella volvacea likes to grow on rice straw (hence the name "straw mushroom" or "paddy straw mushroom"). This is something that exists in abundance in China, but not so much in the US.

Second, as this mushroom is not commonly consumed fresh, it can likely be produced less expensively in China compared to the US.

Third, Volvariella volvacea likes high humidity and temperatures from 85 to 95F.

Finally, it is very difficult to distinguish Volvariella volvacea in the desirable bud stage from Amanita phalloides (aka the "Death Cap Mushroom"), one of the most poisonous mushrooms in North America.


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The straw mushrooms used in Chinese dishes made in restaurants are canned mushrooms not fresh ones.

If you can't find them in your local supermarket, your best bet may be to wait until you have the opportunity to visit a town/city which has Asian grocery markets then buy them by the boxes.  As with other canned products, they will last a long time.

Other canned vegetables used in Chinese cookings (typically):

Bamboo shoots

Water chestnuts

Baby corns

I've never liked canned straw mushrooms or baby corn, both of which have that annoying canned taste to me. I can tolerate canned bamboo shoots and water chestnuts OK if the rest of the dish has enough taste to override the canned taste, but both of those are better fresh in season, and some fine Chinese restaurants do use fresh bamboo shoots or water chestnuts or both.

Michael aka "Pan"


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  • 3 months later...

I think I picked up a bunch of what may well be king oyster mushrooms in an Asian market the other day because they looked cool -- and somewhat like brutally expensive porcinis -- and they were cheap. The label was in Chinese, but they look a lot like this.

Any suggestions or traditional recipes beyond the Euro-centric uses we can come up with on our own?

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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According to one website I was messing with, "king oyster mushroom = eryngii mushroom = eringii mushroom. Substitutes: matsutake." It appears, then, that they may be kissing cousins rather than the same thing. Also, I think matsutakes are premium priced, now? Ours were cheap.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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-actual- matsutakes are crazy expensive. The domestic ones from Washington State are cheap. I've used them in nabemono-type soups, you could also try doing the tempura thing with them or stir frying.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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they're not at all like matsutakes. matsutakes have a very distinctive flavor and aroma. that would be like suggesting substituting a button mushroom for a porcini.

king oysters, or eryngii, are kind of odd mushrooms. the flavor is mild, like an oyster (to which they are closely related), but the texture is very firm, even fibrous. cook them and they're still crunchy. i like to use them for pickles as they don't go flabby.

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Nobu Matsuhisa suggests baking them:


Baking them with a ton of butter and a bit of shoyu maybe? Or braise the hell out of them in some sort of miso/seaweed broth.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Nobu Matsuhisa suggests baking them:


Baking them with a ton of butter and a bit of shoyu maybe?

That particular recipe may be a little beyond the contents of my cupboard -- short on yuzu and truffles are so expensive this early in the season :wink: -- but something baked might work well with the pork belly we snagged the other day.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Once you actually taste them you will realize they are nothing like matsutake. Eryngii (as they are called in Japanese) exploded onto the Japanese market a couple years ago and seem to be here to stay. I often stick them onto the grill with just some oil and salt and pepper, they are great eaten as is but are also wonderful with a little ponzu.

I also stirfry them into a simple kinpira (cook in sesame oil with dried chiles then splash in a bit of soy sauce, sake and mirin)


eryngii mushroom soup, kombu broth with soy and mirin for seasoning with green onions and white pepper


I also used them in my bibimbap for the recent cook-off, in this case I stirfried them with sesame oil and added just a splash of soy sauce and some sesame seeds and salt.


Another very quick side dish I do is saute them with bacon...

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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They are wonderful oblique cut or slivered and sauteed in butter w/a touch of garlic. They also make crazy wonderful mushroom soup. They have a mild, but not insipid, flavor and a meaty texture. They are unlike matsutakes botanically, texturally, in flavor, and certainly aroma.

Connie Green of Wine Forest Wild Mushrooms in Napa has a pair of Dobermans who 'guard' the her walk-ins. Rosie, the red female, has to be physically restrained in the presence of King Oysters, or else she will eat them by the case, without shame or restraint. She is interested in matsus only for their use as hockey pucks.

My experience in Texas indicates that Kings are always wonderful and a great bargain at Asian markets.


Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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They add good texture to stir frys.

Cut in 2 inch lengths, halve longitudinally, and then cut in longitudinal sections about 1/4 inch thick at the outside. I'm sure there is some technical term for this.

They have a nice firm "cartiligenous" texture. As others have noted, unlike porcini or matsutake, they do not have a very strong flavor.

Very nice grilled, too.


Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Inspired by this thread, I went to my local H-Mart (formerly HanAhReum) and bought some supplies:


I sliced up some King Oysters, and sauteed them with butter, some whole bean shoyu, with the whites of green onions.


I then wokked up some tiger shrimp (from Bangladesh, who knew) with more butter and garlic, green onions, bean sprouts, chinese rice cooking wine, salt and pepper to taste, and threw in the King Oyster saute.


Plated dish with store bought tofu banchan, jap chae noodles, and a baked potato with butter.

I was sort of going with the teppan-butter-yaki-Benihana vibe with this one. The kitchen certainly smelled like a Benihana when I was done!

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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  • 3 weeks later...
I think I picked up a bunch of what may well be king oyster mushrooms[...]

Any suggestions or traditional recipes beyond the Euro-centric uses we can come up with on our own?

Busboy: I assume that you would have some interest in a Chinese recipe on how to cook these king oyster mushrooms... since this question was posted in the China forum.

My latest post illustrated how to cook chicken with Shiitake and Enoki mushrooms. You may well use king oyster mushrooms instead (or add to the other 2 mushrooms).

Chicken Stir-fried with Shiitake and Enoki Mushrooms (Moo Goo Gai Pan, 蘑菇雞片)

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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  • 6 months later...

A friend of mine snapped this shot:


in a seafood shop around kennedy town and was wondering what it was. it's totally stumped me, it looks like some sort of mushroom but way bigger than I've ever seen. He says the box is a standard size box so each piece would be about the size of your arm. Any ideas what it is?

Edited by Shalmanese (log)

PS: I am a guy.

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Interesting, looks like the pieces of wood the fungii were growing on are still there.

Maybe sliced pieces of some sort of shelf or bracket fungus?


Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I googled the company on the visible label and they're into phytocosmetics. They have a Canada presence (so maybe someone up there is familiar with their products and could assist?) but here is a thumbnail clip about them from an online list of companies:


So jhirshon's guess is probably on the money.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Generally there is no side effect by consuming lingzhi. People starting to take lingzhi may feel dizzy, itchy, thirsty, or even experience pelvic-fatigue, resulting from increased defaecation and urination. However, these reactions are considered normal and demonstrative of lingzhi's activity by practitioners of Chinese medicine, as toxins are dissolved, mobilized, and excreted.

Pelvic Fatigue?!?!?!

PS: I am a guy.

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  • 9 months later...

While prepping in advance for dinner tomorrow night, I decide to get some shiitake mushrooms to soak in water overnight in the fridge. I grab the bag and...ACK! AI YA! :shock: ...hundreds of tiny, tiny red insects have infested my doong goo. Needless to say, they were tossed in the trash. The shiitakes were brittle and crumbled when I touched them. (I then washed my hands a million times. I still feel those bugs...ick!)

What happened? I stored them in the pantry like my mom does. This has NEVER happened before. I'm pretty cheesed off because these were doong goo that my mom bought for me in Manhattan's Chinatown. Granted they were the small, inexpensive ones (USD 8/lb) but my MOM bought them for me so that's why I'm pissed off those stupid insects ruined my batch. Luckly it was only about 1/4 lb (maybe less) that I tossed so money-wise it's not bad. But practical-wise and sentimental-wise (are those words?) it sucks butt!


Can anyone clue me in on what happened? Thanks!

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