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A favourite of chefs for their firm meaty texture, long shelf life and savoury flavour. The stems can be cut into thick coins and cooked like sea scallops in a hot pan. You could also slice them in half, toss them in salt and olive oil, then throw them onto the grill for a beautiful side dish. Pair these with simple but bold flavours, like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, hearty herbs, cream, and parmesan cheese.
The king trumpet, eryngii or king oyster mushroom is the largest of the oyster mushroom genus and, unlike other oyster mushrooms, their stalks aren’t tough and woody to eat. Instead, they're hailed for their meaty texture and umami flavour.
This impressive mushroom averages between 10–15cm in length, has a long shelf life in the fridge (roughly one week) and doesn’t lose its shape when cooked. The texture is sometimes likened to abalone or scallops, which makes them an interesting option for vegetarians and are often billed as ‘mushroom steaks’ or ‘vegan scallops’.
What king oyster mushrooms go with:
The mild taste of king oyster mushrooms means they are great at taking on strong flavours such as soy sauce or garlic. Pan-fry slices of the mushroom with a rich soy sauce gel and a spoonful of umami-packed mushroom and Parmesan orzo. Or serves them with adventurous flavours of truffle, blue cheese crumble and a sharp cherry vinegar gel.
If you want to celebrate the umami flavour of the mushroom itself, simply cook some in foaming butter and finish with chopped soft herbs, a squeeze of lemon and a generous sprinkle of crunchy sea salt. Serve with eggs for a luxurious veggie fry-up.
Japanese cooks are particularly fond of king oyster mushrooms – you’ll find them fried in crispy tempura batter served with dipping salts and sauces, or skewered whole and grilled and glazed yakitori-style across the country.
The mushroom's robust shape and texture also makes them fun to experiment with like a popular vegan dish in which the stems are thickly sliced into ‘scallops’ and pan-fried in good quality oil until cooked through. Sprinkle with seaweed powder for an extra taste of the sea.