Maitake mushrooms are common fungi in northeastern Japan and China. They are a favorable food in the culinary world of Asia for hundreds of years.
Maitake Mushrooms features
Maitake mushrooms are also named Grifola Frondosa. They have a feather type of appearance and an earthy, peppery taste. Other names for this mushroom are: hen of the woods, ram’s head, sheep’s head, dancing mushroom. Maitake are a functional ingredient included in many dishes in China and Japan. The fact that maitake can spread long and reach weight of 22-23 kilograms leads to another title – king of mushrooms.
The texture of maitake is chewy and the taste is earthy and woody, like many other fungi. King of the woods is rich in antioxidants, vitamin D, beta-glucan, and potassium. Grifola Frondosa has been a key element of traditional medicine for hundreds of years. Maitake mushroom has been confused with chicken of the woods mushroom, which is also edible and famous with its bright yellow color and meaty flavor. Actually, the confusion is not based on many common features between the two mushrooms.
Where are Maitake mushrooms most common
Maitake come from Japan and China, but they might be found in Europe and in some areas of North America, and more specifically – in the northeastern area, especially in Canada. Foragers search for maitake in the wild. They grow along the base of trees – oak tree, elm tree, and maples.
Maitake Mushrooms and Cooking
The so called King of the woods has a structure defined as semi-firm. This is the reason why maitake holds up well to almost every cooking method. The soft, juicy flavor stays the same despite the type of cooking – sautée, braise, sear, roast in oven.
The first cooking method is sautée: two cups of mushrooms scorch in a large frying pan over high heat with olive oil or melted butter. Two tablespoons of minced garlic should be added to the frying pan and also three springs of thyme. Cooking should be until the mushrooms have become soft, their edges become crisp and reach golden brown color. Kosher salt is a good addition to their taste. This meal could be eaten as a side dish or it could be combined with a fried egg over the top.
The second cooking method is pan-fry or stir-fry. The caps of maitake mushrooms are typically flat. This makes them perfect for flat pan-frying and stir-frying. Combine week-night tempura with a light rice flour batter. Mushrooms should be fried over medium-high heat. They should be served with a soy dipping sauce.
The third type of cooking maitake mushrooms is as a salad and grain bowl. After being cooked king of mushrooms is an ideal addition to salads and grain bowls. Big whole grain products like farro, barley or wheat berries should be used to empower the meatiness of the mushrooms. Chunk fresh herbs, chopped nuts, and a garlicky red wine vinaigrette. This is how to make a grain bowl.
Another type of cooking maitake mushrooms is grill. A good combination is a smoky char from a grill to the earthy umami of the king of mushrooms. Olive oil might be added either by brush or drizzle over big parts of the mushroom, actually the bigger, the better. Finally, add some salt and pepper. After the heavy-duty grilling is done, place on the grates over either indirect or low heat. Finish the cooking until the mushroom become deeply golden and crispy. Larger pieces should be sliced at the table and served with a garlicky salsa verde sauce.
The final type of cooking maitake mushrooms is infuse. The appetizing, meaty features of maitake mushrooms are even more distinctive when infusing olive oil for a mushroom conserva, cream for a pasta that fits with it or serve with polenta.
Maitake mushroom uses are common not only in the Asian traditional medicine, but also in the culinary world. The mentioned various types of cooking and recipes are a proof of that uses.
Maitake might be used not only as a food, but also a natural supplement.
It is available in the form of capsules as an extract. Maitake mushroom uses as an extract: immune system support, heart health, weight management. Maitake extract capsules store important nutrients and beta-glucans. The health advantages are focused on the immune system, general heart health and weight balancing. There are 120 capsules which are enough for either 4 months or 2 months depending on the daily use. The recommendation is for one or two capsules two times per day with water during the meal. Maitake mushroom extract capsules are one hundred percent natural, bio and organic. They are suitable for vegans. There are no GMO ingredients. For purchasing click here: