Mushrooms are totally underrated in the kitchen. Now more than ever, people are experimenting with cuisines from all over the world and being more and more conscious of their meat consumption. Mushrooms can make a perfect addition to any dish and really elevate the flavour profile of a meal. With textures that vary from smooth and buttery to tough and meaty, they truly are one of the most versatile “vegetables” on the planet.
Beyond that, they’re packed with fibre, vitamins, and void of cholesterol. It can be easy to stick to what you know in the kitchen, and of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re looking to spark some creativity in your dishes and expand your fungi knowledge, continue below.
White Button Mushroom
Also known as: Able Mushroom, Cultivated Mushroom, Button, Champignon de Paris
90% of the time, if you’re eating a dish that has mushrooms in it, it is likely the white button mushroom. It has a much milder flavour profile compared to some of the more astringent mushrooms and takes on the flavour of what you cook it in.
Also known as: Crimini, Baby Bellas, Golden Italian, Roman, Classic Brown, Brown Mushrooms
The Cremino mushroom is actually the less mature counterpart of the full-bloomed Portobello mushroom. In texture and flavour, it is very similar to the White Button mushroom, however Cremini mushrooms are slightly bolder in flavour. These mushrooms are great on pizzas and in pasta sauces.
Also known as: Portobella, Field Mushroom, Open Cap Mushroom
Due to their firm and robust textures, Portobellos make a great ground beef substitute in dishes like Shepherd’s pie and tacos. You might even try using the large mushroom cap (which can grow to be as large as the palm of your hand) as a replacement for a bun on your next burger. Once again, their texture makes it possible to grill them without losing their shape and holding their form.
Also known as: Black Forest, Black Winter, Brown Oak, Chinese Black, Black Mushroom, Oriental Black, Forest Mushroom, Golden Oak, Donko
Meaning “Oak Fungus” in Japanese, Shiitake mushrooms have gained recent popularity for their uncanny ability to replicate the texture of chicken or pulled pork if prepared and marinated correctly. It’s worth mentioning the stems should be removed before cooking as they are quite tough and can be difficult to chew.
Also known as: Tree Oyster, Angel’s Wings, Pleurotte en Huître, Abalone Mushroom, Shimeji
Common in Asian dishes such as soups and stir-frys, oyster mushrooms have a more delicate texture and a milder flavour profile.
Also known as: Enokitake, Enokidake, Futu, Winter Mushrooms, Winter Fungus
Popular raw due to their small and narrow size, these mushrooms are a great addition to a fresh salad. In the wilderness, they can be found growing on Chinese Hackberry trees, ash trees, mulberry trees, and persimmon trees!
Also known as: Buna Shimeji, Beech Brown Mushroom, Clamshell Mushroom
These fancy fungi are better served cooked. If prepared correctly, they transform from bitter to crunchy, nutty and slightly sweet.
Also known as: Golden, Yellow, Chanterelle, Egg Mushroom, Girolle, Pfifferling
These mushrooms are especially popular primarily because of how difficult to come by they are. Most mushrooms on this list, although found naturally in the wild, can be cultivated and farmed. The Chanterelle on the other hand is infamously known for being very difficult to cultivate and therefore are only found in the wild. They are known to smell slightly of apricot
Also known as: Cèpe, Bolete, King Bolete, Borowik, Polish Mushroom, Steinpilz, Stensopp, Penny Bun
One of the most coveted wild mushrooms, these chubby-stemmed fungi are known for their smooth texture and woodsy flavour profile. In Canada and the United States, fresh porcini are difficult to come by, however, they are very popular dehydrated. They can even be “reconstituted” by soaking them in water.
What mushroom can you not live without? Did we include it on the list? Let us know in the comments!