Shiitake To Chaga, 12 Edible Mushrooms From Across The Globe

MUSHROOMS are a versatile ingredient that adds depth and flavour to a wide range of dishes. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various mushroom varieties, their distinct flavours, textures, and popular culinary uses. From the popular Dhingri and Shiitake to the exquisite Chanterelle and Chaga, let's delve into the captivating world of mushrooms.

1. Button Mushroom 

Button mushrooms (agaricus bisporus) are a popular choice for curries and stir-fries. They boast a mild, classic umami flavour and a delightfully chewy texture. This mushroom adds depth and richness to dishes while retaining its unique taste, making it a versatile option for a variety of Indian and Asian recipes.

2. Shiitake Mushroom 

Originally from East Asia, Shiitake mushrooms (lentinula edodes) have found their way into culinary traditions worldwide, including India. These mushrooms have a strong, earthy flavour and a meaty texture. They are highly sought after for their umami-rich taste and are commonly used in soups, stews, and stir-fries, lending a robust and distinct flavour to the dish.

3. Chaga Mushroom 

The dark and woody Chaga mushroom (inonotus obliquus) has gained popularity for its robust and earthy flavour. It is commonly used in teas and tinctures, where its rich taste is extracted and enjoyed. Chaga mushrooms are also recognised for their potential health benefits, making them a valuable addition to wellness-focused recipes.

4. Oyster Mushroom 

True to its name, the Oyster mushroom (pleurotus ostreatus) features a fan-shaped cap and offers a mild, oyster-like flavour with a chewy texture. This variety is highly versatile and can be used in a multitude of dishes, including stir-fries, soups, and stews. Oyster mushrooms impart a delicate and unique taste, elevating the overall flavour profile of the dish.

5. Chanterelle Mushroom 

Chanterelle mushrooms (cantharellus cibarius) are renowned for their vibrant orange colour and fruity, slightly peppery flavour. These mushrooms are a gourmet delicacy and are often used in culinary creations such as soups, stews, and sauces. The distinct taste of Chanterelles adds complexity and a touch of elegance to various dishes.

6. Morel Mushroom 

With its distinctive honeycomb-like appearance and nutty, earthy flavour, Morel mushrooms (morchella esculenta) are highly prized by chefs and mushroom enthusiasts. These mushrooms lend themselves well to soups, stews, and sauces, where their unique taste shines. Morels bring a delightful depth of flavour and texture to culinary creations.

7. Truffles

Truffles are the epitome of culinary luxury, prized for their intense aroma and exquisite flavour. These subterranean fungi are highly sought after and come in various varieties such as Black Truffles (tuber melanosporum) and White Truffles (tuber magnatum). Known as the "diamonds of the kitchen," truffles have a distinct earthy, musky flavour that adds a touch of indulgence to any dish.

8. Lion's Mane Mushroom 

Lion's Mane mushrooms (hericium erinaceus) have a distinctive appearance with long, white "beard-like" tendrils. They possess a mild, nutty flavour and a tender texture. Lion's Mane mushrooms are often utilised in soups, stews, and even smoothies, where they contribute a unique taste and texture while offering potential health benefits.

9. Maitake Mushroom 

Maitake mushrooms (grifola frondosa) feature a fan-shaped cap and boast a nutty, meaty flavour profile. These mushrooms are particularly popular in Asian cuisine, finding their way into stir-fries, soups, and stews. Maitake mushrooms add a robust taste and a hearty texture to dishes, making them a delightful addition to savoury recipes.

10. Enokitake Mushroom 

Enokitake mushrooms (flammulina velutipes) are characterised by their long, thin stalks and mild, delicate flavour. They are often used in stir-fries, salads, and soups, where their subtle taste and unique texture enhance the overall dish. Enokitake mushrooms bring a touch of elegance and visual appeal to culinary creations.

11. Shimeji Mushroom 

Shimeji mushrooms (hypsizygus tessellatus) possess a honeycomb-like appearance and a mild, nutty flavour. They are commonly enjoyed in stir-fries, salads, and soups, where their delicate taste adds depth and complexity. Shimeji mushrooms are valued for their versatility and ability to complement a wide range of ingredients.

12. King Oyster Mushroom

The King Oyster mushroom (pleurotus eryngii), also known as Kabul Dhingri, with its elongated stem and small cap, boasts a firm texture and a rich, savoury flavour. Its meaty texture and mild taste make it a fantastic substitute for meat in vegetarian and vegan dishes. Slice the King Oyster mushroom into thick rounds and grill or roast them to create a delicious plant-based alternative to seafood or use them in stir-fries and stews to add depth and heartiness to your meals.

From the rich and meaty Shiitake to the dark and woody Chaga mushrooms, each variety brings its own distinct flavours and textures to the table. Most of the are not indigenous to India and might be a bit of a pocket pinch. We encourage you to experiment with these flavourful fungi and have a taste of luxury on your plate.