These are very curious looking fungi. Ranging from medium to large in size, their stems come short or with no stem at all. The caps resemble fans and their color can range from soft brown to grey-yet they are even some that are yellow or pink-and both their gills and flesh are white. As they mature, their edges curl. The texture is described as firm, meaty, and slightly chewy and the aroma is bittersweet with hints of anise. When cooked, they have a mild nutty flavor that some say is similar to that of, as you may have guessed, an oyster.
Chose smooth mushrooms that are free of blemishes. There is no need to wash these, but make sure to trim any roots from the stem that may have remained there. Cooking oyster mushrooms is the safest bet because there are some people that are allergic to them in their raw form. Try frying, braising, or sautéing and tossing them into soups, sauces, stir fries, and pasta dishes. Pizza night can get repetitive with the same pie over and over again. Try this homemade pizza out.
Oyster mushrooms grow year-round and peak during later summer and into fall. They’re native to Asia, Europe, and North America. China is the largest exporter and here in the US, they grow all over and are found growing in Canada as well.
They are highly perishable. If you purchase in bulk, store the rest in a paper bag in the fridge for up to five days. If yours are in a container wrapped in shrink wrap, leave them in the container, but remove the wrap. Replace the wrap with a loose-fitting paper towel and put the container in the fridge and you will get about five days of use from them.