Enoki mushrooms are also known as Enokitake, Golden or Winter mushrooms. Japanese cultivators have developed growing methods to produce this beige to white mushroom in bunches with long thin stems and small button caps. The wild varieties are light brown and bigger. Enoki have a very delicate flavour but a pleasant crisp texture. Traditionally, Enoki is lightly cooked, served in soups or stir-fried with vegetables, fish and chicken. It is one of the essential ingredients in Shabu Shabu, the famous Japanese hot pot dish and in the equally popular Sukiyake. This mushroom contains the water soluble polysaccharide flammulin which has been shown to be effective against certain cancers. Enoki are now being cultivated in Australia.
Wood Ear mushroom also known as Black Fungus or Cloud Ear are now being cultivated fresh in Australia.
Previously they were only available in the dried form. This mushroom is an essential ingredient in all Asian cooking, providing a texture contrast in dishes.
Ideal in soups but is also used widely in stir-fries and is a great addition to risotto’s.
The dried form of Wood Ear requires soaking for 15-30 minutes before cooking.
Chestnut mushroom are one of the oldest species of mushrooms, being cultivated by the Ancient Greeks. The mushroom has a brown cap, a long creamy stalk, and possesses a firm texture with a strong mushroom flavour. They are very low yielding and are in constant demand in Australia. When sautéed with some chopped parsley or lemon thyme and a squeeze of lemon juice they can be served on toast or on cooked meat. They are a fine addition to omlettes, stir-fries, risotto’s, pasta dishes and soups.
Shimejii mushroom is a Japanese mushroom that grows on fallen oak, beech or elm trees. There are many varieties of Shimejii but only one is cultivated in Australia at the present time. Shimejii grows in tight bunches joined at the bottom of their stems. They have small brown to grey caps becoming paler as the mushroom matures. The stem is white and has a meaty taste and firm texture. Shimejii are sold in clumps and should be separated from the base before using. They are excellent in soups, casseroles, in tempura, grilled or stir-fried with other ingredients.
Oyster mushroom also known as Pleurotus derives its name from the fluted, oyster shell shape of the mushroom. Found on rotting tree stumps and fallen trees they are common throughout North America, Asia and Europe. Many Species are widely available in Australia today which have significant differences in texture and flavour. Species range from white, yellow, pink grayish brown and purplish brown. Raw mushrooms have a disagreeable taste but when lightly cooked they develop a mild flavour and a very succulent texture.
Oyster mushrooms are very versatile and can be added to soups or can be lightly sautéed and added to seafood or white meat dishes. Crumbed, deep fried and served with sweet chilli sauce they make a wonderful starter to a meal. These mushrooms are extremely perishable and should be used as quickly as possible.
King Brown mushroom is a new species now being cultivated in Australia. This mushroom also known as Eryngii the King Trumpet mushroom is one of the largest species of the genus Pleurotus. This is a superior mushroom by any comparison – it has a long shelf life and offers a superior flavour and texture when compared to other species of oyster mushrooms.
It is called the “King” because of its regal stout form, short gills and thick but tender light beige to tan stem. The stem is a flavoursome as the cap. The texture and flavour make this a most versatile mushroom for use in almost any dish, sautéed, stir-fried, deep fried or served with fish, pasta, or white meat.
Shiitake mushroom also known as Black Forest mushroom was first cultivated in China about AD1100 and was later introduced into Japan where it was cultivated on the Shii tree from which the mushroom derives its name. Most production today is on various species of oak. This mushroom has a broad brown to black umbrella shaped cap with tan gills. Fresh Shiitake have a flavour which is distinct, fragrantly delicate and delicious and can be enjoyed in a wide variety of dishes. It is best cooked to obtain the meaty flavour and texture. The stalk should be removed as it is tough and leathery. Shiitake can be stir-fried or added to fish, pasta, steamed rice, chicken and vegetable dishes. This mushroom is one of the best known mushrooms for medicinal purposes, known in Asia as the mushroom for longevity. Shiitake is now cultivated and widely available in Australia.
Swiss Brown known also as Cremini or Roman Brown.
These golden brown mushrooms have a more robust flavour than the commonly cultivated white variety.
They remain firm when cooked and are a delicious addition to soups, stews and casseroles.
They may also be sauteed in garlic and butter and served with a sprinkling of lemon juice.
When they grow into mature flat mushrooms, they are called Portabella mushrooms.
The name refers to a sticky substance on the cap of the mushroom which contributes to the unique flavour of this mushroom.
Nameko grows in clumps of small mushrooms with a white stem and bright orange to yellow cap.
This mushroom is an essential ingredient in Japanese cooking, used widely in soups, stir-fried dishes or just cooked in a rice vinegar/soya sauce dressing. Nameko is now being cultivated in Australia.