Black Oyster Mushrooms
Inventory, lb : 0
Black Oyster mushrooms are a medium to large oyster variety growing in shelf-like structures, with caps averaging 5 to 25 centimeters in diameter and a very short or non-existent stem. The caps, when young, may appear smaller and more convex, growing larger, flatter, broader, and wavier over time. The caps also display a unique black and white marbling across the surface and there are white gills underneath the cap, giving the mushrooms a meaty and firm consistency. The thick white stems are also edible, not just the caps. Black Oyster mushrooms have a slightly chewy texture and are soft with a bittersweet aroma reminiscent of anise. They also have a mild, sweet, and nutty, umami-forward flavor.
Black Oyster mushrooms are available in the spring through fall.
Black Oyster mushrooms are a hybrid, cultivated variety of oyster mushroom, botanically known as Pleurotus ostreatus. The mushroom is a rare variety not commonly found in commercial markets and is primarily grown through specialty farms. There are many types of oyster mushrooms worldwide that range in color from brown and gray to pink and yellow. Regardless of their coloring, many of these varieties share a similar flavor profile and are incorporated into a wide variety of savory culinary dishes. Black Oyster mushrooms are also sometimes known as Shimofuri, which means “marbling” in Japanese, Black King Trumpet, and Black Pearl. Oyster mushrooms are saprotrophs, meaning they feed off of decomposing wood. They are also considered carnivorous since they paralyze and eat tiny worms called nematodes.
Black Oyster mushrooms are a source of calcium to strengthen bones and teeth and iron to build the protein hemoglobin for oxygen transport through the bloodstream. The mushrooms also provide some potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, vitamin C to boost the immune system, and other vitamins, including vitamins B and D.
Black Oyster mushrooms have a mild flavor well suited for cooked applications such as frying, stir-fry, and braising. They can be cooked and added to soups and curries, battered and fried into tempura, used as a seafood substitute, or sauteed into stir-fries. The mushrooms can also be stuffed into dumplings, cooked into eggs, used as a topping over pizza, or stirred into pasta and risotto. Black Oyster mushrooms pair well with meats such as poultry, beef, and fish, aromatics including onions, shallots, green onions, garlic, and ginger, potatoes, herbs such as thyme, parsley, and cilantro, peas, green beans, and eggplant. Fresh Black Oyster mushrooms are highly perishable and are recommended to be used immediately for optimum flavor and quality. The mushrooms can also be stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator for a couple of days or dried for extended use.
Oyster mushrooms are a favorite variety for home cultivation. There are many different types of mushroom home growing kits, and these kits have been increasing in commercial popularity throughout the United States as consumers are shifting their focus towards home-grown or direct from farm food. Black Oyster mushrooms are considered one of the easier varieties to grow as they do not exhibit specific growing requirements and can be cultivated in sawdust or a variety of other substrates. Once cultivated, the mushrooms are used by home chefs and are valued for their fresh, earthy flavor.
Black Oyster mushrooms were developed by hybridizing Japanese and European oyster mushroom varieties and can be grown in temperate and subtropical climates worldwide. Today Black Oyster mushrooms are a rare variety that is only available through select specialty growers. The Black Oyster mushrooms featured in the photograph above were found through Golden State Papayas, a farm in Carpinteria, California.
Recipes that include Black Oyster Mushrooms. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Caroline's Cooking||Japanese Mushroom Rice|