Oyster mushroom, a type of edible mushroom that is among the most widespread mushrooms in the world.
It got its name from the shape of the hat, resembling an oyster in shape, and from the very short stems.
It has a light gray or gray-brown color.
How is oyster mushroom beneficial for our body? What are its benefits? You will learn all this in the following article!
Oyster mushroom, a miraculous type of mushroom
The oyster mushroom, in Latin Pleurotus ostreatus, was first cultivated in Germany during the First World War. It served as a means of livelihood. Even now, it is grown mainly for consumption, but also for the production of pharmaceutical products.
This fungus is found on trees in temperate and subtropical forests around the world.
Her hat is 2-30 cm long, its brim is curled and smooth or wavy. The flesh is white, firm and varies in thickness due to the arrangement of the cuttings.
The mushroom has a bittersweet aroma of benzaldehyde, which also contains, for example, bitter almonds. It is consumed in a number of cuisines, such as Chinese, Japanese or Korean. It is served boiled or also dried.
Why consume oyster mushrooms?
It is best to collect young mushrooms for consumption. Ripe ones have hard flesh and a pungent taste.
Oyster mushroom is an excellent source of protein, fiber and vitamin B. For this reason, it is often part of the diet of vegetarians or vegans.
Its taste is delicate, often compared to the taste of seafood with a hint of anise. As for the texture, after cooking it gets a soft and pleasant taste to the bite.
Do you know how long you can consume oyster mushrooms? It stays fresh for 5-7 days.
Effects of oyster mushroom
In addition to being high in protein, fiber and vitamin B, oyster mushrooms are a good source of antioxidants.
It also has a high content of beta-glucan and several compounds that contribute to the proper functioning of the heart organ.
Thanks to beta-glucans, cholesterol production in the body can be reduced. The oyster mushroom provides twice as many of them as other mushrooms.
Oyster mushroom has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, it positively supports the immune system. It may have anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and beneficial properties for bowel function.
Oyster mushroom is low-calorie and low-fat. It may seem high in carbs, but only 1g of the 6g carbs is sugar. It is also high in protein, fiber and potassium.
|Nutritional values||Raw oyster mushroom 100 g|
|Pantothenic acid||1.1 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg|
Types of oyster mushrooms
There are about 40 species of oyster mushroom in the world. We will introduce the most basic ones that you may encounter.
It belongs to the best-known species of oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus in Latin. It is mainly found in the forests of North America, especially in the USA. It thrives in deciduous forests, especially beech.
It has light gray caps and short stems, which may be slightly blue in the early stages of growth. It grows in large shelf-like clumps on stumps or fallen wood during the summer months.
The taste of pearl mushrooms is sweeter and woody.
Golden oyster mushroom
Latin Pleurotus citrinopileatus. It is mainly found in northern Asia. We can already say from the name that its color is yellow to golden.
Unlike other types of oyster mushrooms, it does not have an earthy smell and taste. It smells like red wine and its caps have a crunchy but slightly chewy texture.
You can eat golden mushrooms raw or cooked. When cooked, it resembles the taste of cashew nuts.
Blue oyster mushroom
The blue mushroom (Pleurotus columbinus) looks similar to the pearl mushroom in the early stages of growth. The blue color of the hats is characteristic for her.
The taste is also similar to pearl oyster mushroom. It has a mild flavor, chewier texture and is an excellent meat substitute.
Nicknamed as king mushroom or in Latin Pleurotus eryngii. Unlike other species, it grows alone, not in clusters.
It has dark caps and light-colored fleshy stems that are crunchy and when cooked have an “umami” flavor reminiscent of seafood.
The king mushroom is found in the Mediterranean, North Africa and Asia.
Pleurotus pulmonarius in Latin, also known as Italian or Indian mushroom.
It has small caps, a longer stem and looks like a pearl mushroom. Its flesh, in addition to having a longer stem, is firmer than pearl mushrooms.
This variety prefers warmer weather and tends to grow in late summer.
Pink oyster mushroom
The pink mushroom (Pleurotus djamor) looks more like a ruffled flower than a mushroom.
Also known as the flaming mushroom, it has a distinct woody aroma and tastes like seafood.
After cooking, the bitter taste is reduced and the pink color fades.
Cultivation of oyster mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms are grown year-round in most parts of the world. It grows very quickly, taking five to seven days to reach maximum size. In the wild, it usually appears after the first frost of the year and during the first warm days of spring. Mushrooms grow best in warm weather with high humidity.
Even for home cultivation, it can be considered one of the easiest mushroom varieties to grow. You can even grow them in plastic packaging. You will need :
- oyster mushroom seedlings (you can buy them at the garden center)
- special substrate for oyster mushrooms or straw
- plastic bag (approx. 60 cm x 30 cm)
- Break the straw into smaller pieces about 2 – 7 cm long.
- Boil in water for about an hour.
- Then drain the water and it doesn’t want to drip.
- Fill a plastic bag to the brim with cooled straw.
- Sprinkle the seed on the straw.
- Tie the bag and make several holes in it.
- Place the bag in a cool, dark place.
Spray the plastic bag with water from time to time, it is necessary to maintain moisture. When the undergrowth of oyster mushrooms spreads throughout the straw within 10 to 14 days and begins to bear fruit, then you can place the bag in a brighter place.
Storing oyster mushrooms
Like all types of mushrooms, oyster mushrooms are delicate and can spoil quickly if stored improperly.
For this reason, it is a good idea to store mushrooms in the refrigerator in plastic or paper bags. Oyster mushrooms can stay fresh in the fridge for up to 7 days.
If you want to freeze the mushroom, we have to boil it first, about 3 minutes. Then rinse it with cold water, dry it thoroughly and seal it in freezer or plastic bags.
Oyster mushrooms can also be stored in a dried state. The drying process is the same as for other mushrooms. If you want to dry mushrooms in a dryer, read a review about electric dryers . You don’t need to soak dried mushrooms before using them, just add them directly to the dish and they should soak up all the liquid they need within minutes.
Processing of oyster mushrooms
Oyster mushroom is most often added to soups, stews or as a meat substitute. You can use it to prepare an excellent filling for pizza or pasta sauce. If you want to be inspired in your cooking, read the recipes for oyster mushroom soups .
One of the most popular ways of processing oyster mushrooms is sautéing or stewing. Do not forget to clean the mushroom before cooking.
Cleaned mushrooms can be sautéed, stewed, fried or grilled. Use mushrooms whole, sliced or simply torn into reasonably sized pieces.
You can also eat oyster mushrooms raw, but they will have a slightly metallic taste. You can add raw mushrooms to salads.
Oyster mushrooms are easy to prepare, as you can see in the following procedure :
- Clean the mushroom properly.
- Dry gently with a cloth.
- Cut into slices (it doesn’t matter how big).
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
- If you have a large number of mushrooms, cook in two batches.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes until a nice golden brown crust forms.
- Remove the mushrooms from the pan and add the butter, garlic and parsley.
- Add the mushrooms to the mixture and you are ready to serve. Enjoy your meal!
Oyster mushroom products
Oyster mushroom syrup – serves as a dietary supplement for strong immunity. It is suitable for children from 1 year, pregnant and lactating women, celiacs. You can add the syrup to water or yogurt.
Oyster mushroom powder – made by grinding dried mushrooms. You can use this powder in the kitchen, for example as a thickener in a vegetarian or vegan menu. It is also often used in recipes from Japanese cuisine.
Do you know how to identify oyster mushrooms in the wild?
- Hat – its shape resembles an oyster or a fan; has a smooth surface
- Flesh – firm and white
- Stem – most species do not have a stem, if they do, it is very short
- Smell – it smells like licorice or anise
So why include oyster mushrooms in your diet? Medical studies clearly show that diabetes patients experienced improvements in blood sugar and other aspects of health when mushrooms were taken as a dietary supplement or part of their diet. The benefit of oyster mushrooms is also the reduction of high blood pressure and cholesterol.