By: Susan Oi-kwan Wong, D.Ac
King oyster mushrooms, also known as king trumpet mushrooms (Latin name Pleurotus eryngii) are distinguished by their thick stems and tan-colored caps. There’s nothing dainty about these mushrooms—they are meaty in texture and retain their appealingly chewy bite during cooking. King oyster mushrooms have a subtle flavor that’s both earthy and very slightly sweet. They work well in many cuisines—Mediterranean, French, and Asian among them—and hold up well to lots of different cooking methods (try grilling, sautéing, and roasting them). When cooked over high heat, the mushrooms brown beautifully, blending crisp edges with firm flesh. King oyster mushrooms are now cultivated, but in the wild they sprout on the roots of hardwood trees. Their range is broad: they are native to the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.
King oyster mushrooms are big—they are usually brought to market when the stems are about three inches long, but they can be as long as six to eight inches. The flesh may darken slightly with age and depending on storage conditions, but that’s OK; the mushrooms are still safe to eat.
If you want to get creative with king oyster mushrooms, broiling, grilling, braising, stewing, and sautéing are all good options. You can add the mushrooms to sauces, stews, soups, pasta, meat dishes, seafood, and vegetable dishes. Allow for longer cooking times if you prepare this mushroom whole. To store, place the mushrooms in a paper bag and refrigerate them, then use them within 10 days.
Like all mushrooms, the king oyster is low in calories but packs in a fair amount of protein. On a dry-weight basis, fresh mushrooms contain between 3 percent and 21 percent carbohydrates and between 3 percent and 35 percent dietary fiber. Mushrooms also contain essential minerals, including potassium, phosphorus, iron, and calcium and are excellent sources of riboflavin, thiamin, biotin, ascorbic acid, and niacin. King oyster mushrooms also contain antioxidants and other compounds that could lower your chances of high blood cholesterol and cancer while strengthening your immune system.
How to Choose
Select mushrooms with firm caps and a fresh, earthy smell. Do not use slimy or bruised mushrooms. The caps should be dark brown and their stems white.
How to Use
Just before cooking, rinse slightly (do not store after rinsing). Slice according to your preference.
10 oz celery
2 king oyster mushrooms
A few slices of carrot
A few slices of ginger
½ tbsp. white wine
7 tbsp. water
2 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. salt
½ tbsp. light soy sauce
½ tsp. sugar
¼ can chicken broth (optional)
Dash sesame oil
Pinch of pepper
- Mix up sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Cut celery into 1-inch strips. Stir fry with oil and salt until done. Dispose of pan liquids and transfer celery to a dish.
- Use a towel to wipe dry mushrooms. Slice.
- Sautee king oyster mushrooms with 3 tbsp. oil. Add ginger and carrot; stir fry thoroughly.
Sprinkle with wine. Add celery and continue to fry. Add sauce and bring to boil. Serve.
Susan Oi-kwan Wong, D.Ac, is a certified acupuncturist and member of the Canadian Association of Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine. She has been working at The Pacific Wellness Institute as a clinical assistant since 2010.