king oyster mushrooms
When you crave French Fried Potatos but you’ve given up carbs and starch, this is my go to recipe.
These mushrooms are not readily available in most of the places that I shop so I would imagine you might have to hunt them down as well. They are worth the hunt, believe me. They are not like other mushrooms. You know how mushrooms are often described as “earthy?” These don’t seem earthy to me at all. They are very plain and almost a bit nutty. It's their texture that I like. They have a tendency to be a bit rubbery so if you’re not a rubbery food kind of person I would pass on these although I do at times slice them and grill them which makes them wonderfully crispy on the outside and less chewy on the inside. I have heard some vegans slice them real thin and make fake bacon out of them. They will crisp nicely.
Okay, I have to admit to being a little disappointed. Well, actually, more than a little.... I had really hoped to be able to spiralize these mushrooms. At about the same size as a kirby cucumber, they certainly had good dimensions for spiralizing, but alas their consistency just would not cooperate with the spiralizer. I even tried freezing them first to make them firmer but when I attempted to spiralize I ended up with little bits resembling rabbit food. I was able to cook them, but there was no spirally joy. So, for this recipe you can put the spiralizer back on the shelf and use a good old fashioned knife.
Here’s what I do.... I take about 20 of these (you can make more or you can make less but just remember, these are mushrooms so after cooking you will have about a quarter of the quantity you started with.... the water cooks right out)
I cut off the crown and slice it into 1/4 or 1/3 inch slivers. Then I take the body of the mushroom and slice it the long way much the way you would a potato when making french fries. The key difference is that the potato slices will stay pretty much the same size after cooking but the mushroom slices will shrink significantly. So typically I slice my mushrooms into 1/4 to 1/3 in sticks, the full length of the body (usually 3 to 6 inches). I leave the length as is.
Now you have a choice... you can either put these in a baking dish and toss generous with your favorite oil (I use olive oil even though I know I should probably use vegetable oil) add a little bit of you favorite salt and grind on some black pepper. Put all this in a 425 oven. Depending on my mood, I might cook this for up to 2 hours. Seriously. The sticks get nice and crisp on the outside and still have some chewiness to them. At about the first 30 minutes I check for liquid and drain as much as I can out of the pan. Then I stir things up, add a bit more olive oil if needed and put back in the oven. I check every half hour or so. if more liquid accumulates I drain it again. I taste at every checkpoint and remove them from the oven when I like the consistency. Its just that simple.
Your other option is to put the olive oiled, salted and peppered mushrooms into a vegetable basket for the grill and cook over a nice flame for a while. The beauty of this method is that you don’t have to keep draining the mushrooms because all their water will just drip out the bottom of the pan. So, just keep tasting and stirring until you are satisfied. An hour? More?
With either of these methods just try not to let them burn to black unless you like a charred flavor (some people do)
Once small caveat.... I've found that some men do not like the consistency of these mushrooms. I have my hunches about why but I can't be certain.
The king oyster mushroom also goes by the name king trumpet.