Mushrooms are so controversial. Some people love them, some people can’t stand them. Personally, I’m a huge fan! In the states, we can find white button mushrooms and portobello mushrooms pretty much any where, but there are actually many different types of mushrooms outside of those 2 – oyster, enoki, shiitake mushrooms just to name a few.
Mushrooms Health Benefits
If you love eating mushrooms, you’re in luck because mushrooms also have plenty of health benefits! The actual nutritional information on the mushrooms will depend on the specific type of mushroom itself, but at a high level, they are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Mushrooms are packed with vitamin B, which includes riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. Vitamin B help your body by providing energy that breaks down proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Another vitamin mushrooms are full of is Vitamin D. This vitamin is very important to bone and immune support. All mushrooms will have vitamin D, but certain mushrooms increase Vitamin D amounts due to UV light or sunlight exposure, so you could hit your daily intake by eating just 3 oz of mushrooms!
Mushrooms contain many minerals, like selenium, potassium, and copper.
- Selenium is an antioxidant nutrient that helps protect the body cells from damage which could cause heart disease and cancer. This antioxidant also helps protect you against aging and also boosts your immune system!
- Potassium is also very good for your heart too! It’s also good for your muscles and nerve function. This mineral helps reduce the negative impact that sodium can have. It also helps lower blood pressure. Many people know that bananas have lots of potassium, but did you know that just 2/3 cup of portobello mushrooms has the same amount of potassium as a banana? Cool right?
- Copper assists in red blood cell production in your – which helps delivery oxygen to your body. This mineral helps you maintain healthy nerves and bones. Sounds important right, well just 1 cup serving of mushrooms will help you hit 1/3 of the daily recommended amount of this mineral!
Different Types of Mushrooms (and Recipes!)
There’s actually thousands of different types of mushrooms, so there’s really no way I can go over all of them but I’ve selected some of the most popular in this article – white button mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, enoki, beech, and lion’s mane!
I’ve also included some delicious recipes to try for the different types of mushrooms – so I hope you enjoy!
White Button Mushrooms
This is the most common mushrooms you will find. They’re inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to cook. Its flavor is pretty mild, which means it can be very versatile when you are using it in a recipe. Eat it raw in a salad, or cook it in a soup, side, stir fry, and more!
White Button Mushrooms Recipes
- Moo Goo Gai Pan 蘑菇雞片
- Chicken Schnitzel with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Mushrooms and Tomatoes Stir Fry
- Pan Seared Salmon with Spinach and Mushrooms
- Pan Seared Scallops Fettuccine with Artichokes, Peas, and Mushrooms
- Oven Roasted Mushrooms
- Simple Mushroom and Celery Stir Fry
Portobello and Cremini Mushrooms
If you’re wondering why I’m grouping these two types of mushrooms together, it’s because they’re technically the same type of mushroom!
Portobello mushrooms are the mature version of cremini mushrooms harvested when they’re fully grown. So often times, Cremini shrooms are also known as baby portobello mushrooms. Cremini are about the size of the white button mushrooms, while Portobello can be as wide as the palm of your hand.
Cremino mushrooms are pretty interchangeable with white button mushrooms when it comes to cooking them, other than the brown color. While, Portobello shrooms are slightly more dense and less moist compared to cremino since it’s had more time to grow and lose some of moisture.
Cremini Mushrooms Recipes
- Chinese Spicy Baby Portobello Mushroom Chicken
- Turkey Breast Cutlets in Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Oven Baked Garlic Baby Portobello Mushrooms
- Beef Shish Kabobs with Cilantro Pesto
- Orange Chicken Stir-Fry
- Spicy Paleo Slow Cooker Chili
- Sausage Stuffed Baby Portobello Mushrooms
- Soba Noodles with Glazed Tofu and Stir Fried Veggies
Portobello Mushroom Recipes
- Chicken Sausage, Bacon and Avocado Stuffed Mushrooms
- Beef Shish Kabobs with Cilantro Pesto
- Stuffed Mushroom with Tomato, Basil, and Sausage
- The Easiest Portobello Mushroom Mini Keto Pizza
- Balsamic and Thyme Roasted Portabella Mushrooms
One of my favorite mushrooms to use in Asian recipes! Shiitake originates from China and Japan, and is super flavorful. They’re more dense, similar to portobello mushrooms, and have an earthy, almost smokey flavor compared to the other mushrooms.
I commonly use dried shiitake mushrooms in soups to add a delicious flavor to the broth, but you can also use fresh shiitake mushrooms for stir frying or any other dishes.
Shiitake Mushrooms Recipes
- Shiitake Mushrooms Stir Fry with Peppers
- Sesame Oil Chicken Recipe (Ma You Ji 麻油雞)
- Taiwan Rice Noodles Stir Fry
- Deconstructed Paleo Chicken Egg Roll Bowl
- Wild Mushroom Soup
- Paleo Immune Boosting Chicken Soup
- Tom Yum Soup with Shrimp
Oyster mushrooms ( species Pleurotus ostreatus) is also known as pearl oyster mushrooms or tree oyster mushrooms. These mushrooms grow naturally on and near trees around the world.
These mushrooms are eaten in a variety of cuisines and are especially popular in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cooking. They can be dried and are typically eaten cooked.
Oyster mushrooms have a mild flavor, not as earthy flavored as a lot of other mushrooms. So they are very versatile in cooking styles.
King Oyster Mushrooms
King Oyster Mushrooms are large mushrooms from the oyster mushroom family – it is white, smooth, and have an elongated stem. These shrooms are very firm, some folks even describe it as ‘crunchy’.
There are several ways to prepare king oyster mushrooms for cooking, some dishes call for cutting it side ways, and some length wise. Here’s some delicious Oyster Mushrooms Recipes for you to try:
You can buy king oyster mushrooms in your local Asian super market. Often times you can also find it in organic or natural grocery stores such as Whole Foods.
If all else fails, you can try growing your own! You can find King oyster mushrooms growing kits on Amazon, for example!
King Oyster Mushrooms Recipe
- King Oyster Mushrooms Stir Fry with Basil
- King Oyster Mushroom with Pork Stir Fry
- Oyster mushrooms, garlic, and green onions sauté
- Pan Fried Oyster Mushrooms
- Crispy Mushroom Chips
- Garlic Chili Mushrooms
- Creamy Mushroom Stew
Enoki mushrooms have skinny and long stems and are white. You can tell they are the freshest when they are firm, white, with shiny caps. They are also super popular in Asian cuisine, especially in soups. What do they taste like? The word “Crisp” comes to mind.
Beech Mushrooms / Shimeji Mushrooms
To be honest, I didn’t even know what these mushrooms were called until recently, but I’ve had them forever! Shimeji mushrooms are also known as Beech mushrooms. They taste kind of buttery, and have a firm and ‘crunchy’ texture.
I normally stir fry this type of mushrooms, sometimes I also add it in soup. If you’re hoping to try it out, check out this Butter Garlic Soy Sauce Shimeji Stir Fry!
You may have had Straw Mushrooms in Asian cuisine before, this type of edible mushroom is cultivated in Asian countries and so more common in Asian food. In those regions, they are available fresh, but outside of that region, it is harder to find them fresh so it’s often sold canned or dried. So if you’re thinking about cooking it up, you can try making this Chicken Lo Mein Recipe with Straw Mushrooms or Vegan Jungle Curry (Kaeng Pa)!
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms are called this because of the way they look – large and long mushrooms that look like a lion’s mane! These mushrooms can be eaten raw, cooked, dried, and they can even be used in tea! Lion’s mane mushrooms known to be very healthy, so it has been used for medicinal uses in Asian countries in the past.
If you do happen to stumble upon some Lion’s Mane Mushrooms and would like to try it, you can actually easily make with this Air Fryer Mushrooms recipe!
Wood Ear Mushroom
Wood ear mushroom, aka heimuer, black wood ear, 黑木耳, is a type of fungus that is used in many Asian cuisine.
Linguistically, 黑 is the Chinese character for black, pronounced ‘hei’, 木 is the Chinese character for wood, pronounced ‘mu’, and 耳 is the Chinese character for ear, pronounced ‘er’.
This mushroom is used in many types of dishes include hot and sour soup, and sometimes is also used in Chinese traditional medicine as it is known for nourishing blood and Qi, lungs, and has been used to lower blood pressure.
Wood ear mushrooms actually do not have a lot of flavor by itself – it is somewhat earthy and mild, however, it’s used in various cooking as it can soak up flavors of other things it’s cooked with. The texture can be either crunchy or soft depending on how long you cook it.
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By the way! If you love veggies – I also have this article all about various veggies I use in Chinese cooking! Check it out here: Chinese Vegetables