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I have taken a deep dive into lions mane mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms already so the next mushroom we’ll be talking about are these beautiful oyster mushrooms! Most importantly, since I am a cooking website, I’ll be sharing how to cook oyster mushrooms as it seems like that is what most are interested in! You’ll be glad to know cooking oyster mushrooms isn’t as intimidating as it may seem and there are many different ways to cook oyster mushrooms that is both easy and flavorful. Alright, let’s dive in.

several bunches of oyster mushrooms on a marble surface
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What Are Oyster Mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms belong to the genus pleurotus ostreatus. As you can see in the photos, they look as if they have gills or fins on the bottoms of their oyster caps. They come in several varieties of shape, color, and size. If you’ve ever spotted blue or pink colored ones, just know that they’re super rare!

Did you know that oyster mushrooms grows on trees like shiitake mushrooms? They aren’t like portobello mushrooms or white button mushrooms that are cultivated in soil.

golden oyster mushrooms in a cluster

Oyster Mushroom Varieties

Pearl: these are the most widely cultivated and the most common type that you’ll find. They’re easy to find at grocery stores, farmers markets, and really anywhere that sells mushrooms.

Golden: these are as their name says — golden! They’re deep golden yellow and they can be found at farmers markets, but I’ve actually seen them at my local grocery store too.

King: ok these guys are definitely different looking than the other two oysters. These have thick, wide stems, with a standard looking mushroom cap on top and are super meaty. In fact, a lot of folks shred the king oyster mushrooms and make them into like pulled “pork” and/or other “meat” dishes.

up close image of oyster mushroom caps and the gills underneath

How to Cook Oyster Mushrooms

Prep: As with all mushroom varieties, you’ll first want to clean off your mushrooms. This does not mean to run them under water! You just want to take a damp paper towel to them to brush off any excess dirt you can see. Thankfully, oyster mushrooms don’t really have a lot to clean off since they grow on trees and it’s just the stem that is usually dirty, and you’re trimming them from the stem anyway so, like I said, not much to clean with oyster mushrooms!

Take a sharp knife and trim off the oyster clusters from the stem. I typically like to cook my oyster mushrooms whole so I don’t do much chopping with them. Depending on what recipe you’re making, you can do the same — keep them whole or chop them up.

Cook: I have found the best way to cook oyster mushrooms is to cook them in a single layer on the stovetop in butter or olive oil with freshly minced garlic and fresh thyme. That’s the most basic way of cooking it but also the tastiest (in my opinion). The flavors of the thyme butter and garlic absorb into the meaty oyster mushrooms and it’s just so rich and tasty. Add some finely diced onions too if you wish!

Ways to Use Oyster Mushrooms

Side dish: a simple side dish of oyster mushrooms allows for a tasty and hearty accompaniment to a denser main course. Mix oyster mushrooms together with this simple lions mane recipe.

Grains: add oyster mushrooms to a risotto (or try this vegan version) or a farro salad or this leek and farro dish.

Pasta: cooking oyster mushrooms with a creamy pasta dish is always a yes! This creamy lions mane pasta would be lovely with an addition of oyster mushrooms to “beef” it up even more!

Learn More About Mushroom Varieties

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