MUCH
EASIER

Mushrooom tips, tricks,
varieties and facts

MUCH
EASIER

Mushrooom tips, tricks,
varieties and facts

Tips and tricks

SELECTION, STORAGE AND PREPARATION

Selection

Fresh mushrooms are firm to the touch,
have uniform colour and have a slightly shiny surface.

Storage

When stored in a brown paper bag on the bottom shelf of the fridge, mushrooms will last at least a week. So when you’re shopping, fill the bag full of fresh mushrooms so you can add them to various meals throughout the week.

 

Preparation

  • No waste and no fuss make mushrooms one of the easiest ingredients to prepare.
  • There is no need to peel mushrooms, apart from being time consuming a lot of goodness and flavour is in the skin.
  • Wipe mushrooms gently with a damp cloth. If necessary, simply use a soft brush to remove any dirt from the skin surface and trim the stem end.
  • If there is some residual compost still on the mushroom when you buy them, just brush it off. Do not soak mushrooms in water, as the mushrooms will absorb water. You can quickly wash whole mushrooms just before preparing a dish to remove the ‘dirt’. Dry them quickly soon after, before cooking or putting in a salad. Don’t wash sliced mushrooms because they will quickly absorb water through the exposed inner flesh. 
  • Caps and stems can be used in recipes.

Tips and tricks

SELECTION, STORAGE AND PREPARATION

Selection

Fresh mushrooms are firm to the touch, have uniform colour and have a slightly shiny surface.

Storage

When stored in a brown paper bag on the bottom shelf of the fridge, mushrooms will last at least a week. So when you’re shopping, fill the bag full of fresh mushrooms so you can add them to various meals throughout the week.

 

Preparation

  • No waste and no fuss make mushrooms one of the easiest ingredients to prepare.
  • There is no need to peel mushrooms, apart from being time consuming a lot of goodness and flavour is in the skin.
  • Wipe mushrooms gently with a damp cloth. If necessary, simply use a soft brush to remove any dirt from the skin surface and trim the stem end.
  • If there is some residual compost still on the mushroom when you buy them, just brush it off. Do not soak mushrooms in water, as the mushrooms will absorb water. You can quickly wash whole mushrooms just before preparing a dish to remove the ‘dirt’. Dry them quickly soon after, before cooking or putting in a salad. Don’t wash sliced mushrooms because they will quickly absorb water through the exposed inner flesh. 
  • Caps and stems can be used in recipes.

Mushroom varieties

KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS

WHITE AGARICUS MUSHROOMS

BUTTONS

Common name: Champignons

Botanical name: Agaricus bisporus

Buttons are the youngest and generally (but not always) the smallest. The name refers to their shape and stage of growth, not the size. The cap of the button mushroom is always tightly closed around the stem. They have a firm, delicate texture and mild flavour that intensifies when cooked.

Perfect for:


CUPS

Common name: Pezizaceae

Botanical name: Agaricus bisporus

Cups present the next stage of growth. As the veils or caps begin to open around the stems, the mushrooms change from being buttons to cups. The texture is firm but their flavour and colour is more intense than button mushrooms.
A versatile mushroom, highly rated in soups and sauces.

Perfect for:


Flats

Common name: Field, Breakfast, Barbecue, Jumbo Flats

Botanical name: Agaricus bisporus

The cap has opened out flat, exposing the rich, dark gills. Flats are a meal in themselves and make an ideal meat substitute.  Flats have an intense, robust, almost ‘meaty’ flavour, with a dense, spongy texture slightly softer than cups and buttons.

Perfect for:


Portabella

Common name: Portobello, Giant Cremini

Botanical name: Agaricus bisporus

Essentially a Swiss Brown left longer to grow so it opens out flat, exposing dark, fragrant gills Dense, firm, meaty texture. Deep, rich flavour. Portabella make tasty burger or toasted sandwich filling. Filled with a savoury filling or simply grilled, roasted or barbecued.

Perfect for:


swiss brown

Common name: Cremini, Brown, Roman, Italian

Botanical name: Agaricus bisporus

Swiss Brown mushrooms are closely related to white agaricus. Similar in shape and size. Tan to dark brown colour. A firmer texture than button mushrooms, with less moisture content, so they hold their shape well when cooked. Flavour is deeper and earthier than white mushrooms.

Perfect for:

 


SPECIALTY MUSHROOMS

WOODEAR

Common name: Black Fungus, Cloud Ear, Tree Ear

Botanical name: Auricularia polytricha

Available fresh in Australia, although generally used in a dried form that requires reconstituting. Gray-brown in colour and considered an essential ingredient in all Asian cooking. Firm, gelatinous texture. Very little flavour.

Perfect for:


White Jelly

Common name: White Fungus,Snow Fungus

Botanical name: Tremella fuciformis

Generally used in Chinese cuisine it has a white jelly like flesh with a rubbery firm texture.

 

Perfect for:


Shimeji

Common name: Pioppini, Beech, Hon-Shimeji

Botanical name: Lypohylium or Pleurotus species

A Japanese variety that grows naturally on fallen oak, beech and elm trees. Only one variety is cultivated and available fresh in Australia. Stems are almost white, with small brown-grey caps that become paler as the mushroom matures. Delicate, mildly sweet, nutty flavour.

Perfect for:


Shitake

Common name: Oak, Oak Brown, Golden Oak, Chinese Black, Black Winter, Oriental Black, Black Forest, Forest, Danko, Shiang Ku

Botanical name: Lentinus edodes

First cultivated in China before being introduced to Japan where they were cultivated on the shii tree from which their name is derived. Fresh shiitake mushrooms are now grown fresh in Australia. Broad, tan to dark brown umbrella-shaped cap with tan gills and slender stems. Soft spongy, texture with leathery stem with a distinctive aroma. Meaty flavour and texture when cooked.

Perfect for:


Oyster

Common name: Pleurotus, Pleurote, Tree Oyster, Abalone

Botanical name: Pleurotus osreatus

Fluted, oyster-shell shape. Numerous species/varieties ranging from pearly-white to yellow, pink, grey-brown and purplish-brown are available in Australia. Oyster mushrooms have a soft texture, with a succulent flesh. Can be eaten raw or cooked. Delicate, subtle flavour and velvety texture which rapidly absorbs other flavours during cooking.

Perfect for:


nameko

Common name: Butter scotch Mushroom, Namerako

Botanical name: Pholliota nameko

Nameko is now being cultivated in Australia. The name refers to a sticky substance on the cap of the mushroom which contributes to the unique flavour of this mushroom. Nameko grows in clumps of small mushrooms with a white stem and bright orange to yellow cap.

Perfect for:


King Brown

Common name: King Oyster, King Trumpet, Royal Trumpet, Eryngii

Botanical name: Pleurotus eryngii

Part of the oyster mushroom family, this is a new species cultivated in Australia. It has a ‘regal’ stout form, with short gills and thick tender stem. Tender yet dense texture. Rich, robust flavour. Remains firm and chewy when cooked.

Perfect for:


enoki

Common name: Enok, Enokitake, Enokidake, Golden Needle, Golden, Snow Puff, Velvet Foot, Velvet Stem, Winter Mushrooms

Botanical name: Flammulina velutipes

Japanese origin, now grown in Australia. Beige to creamy white in colour, with long, thread-like, edible stems topped with a tiny button cap. Firm, crisp texture. Mild, fruity flavour. Can be eaten raw or cooked.

Perfect for:


Chestnut Mushrooms

Common name: Cinnamon Cap and Brick Top

Botanical name: Agrocybe aergerita

One of the oldest species in the world, first cultivated by the Ancient Greeks. Light brown cap that sits open on the end of a slender, long, creamy-coloured stalk. Firm texture and strong, nutty flavour.

Perfect for:


blewitt

Common name: Blewit, Blu

Botanical name: Lepista nuda

Blewitts traditionally grow in leaf litter in cool-climate forests. Small quantities of commercially grown Blewitts are grown in Australia. Blue, purplish-blue streaked stem, topped with a smooth, light brown to lilac cap. Releases a pleasant aroma when the white flesh is cut. Dense, meaty texture. Powerful, earthy flavour.

Perfect for:


WILD MUSHROOMS

PINE MUSHROOMS

Common name: Saffron Milk Caps, Orange Fly Caps, Red Pine Mushroom

Botanical name: Lactarius deliciosus

Commonly grow under pine trees during late summer to autumn, after warm sunny days and good rain. Often known as milky saffron, as they exude a milky orange sap when cut. Vibrant saffron-coloured cap, gills and stem. Firm texture. Full, roasted nut flavour.

Perfect for:


Slippery Jacks

Common name: Pine Bolete, sticky Bun

Botanical name: Suillus luteus

Wild variety gathered in forests and found only under pine trees late summer to autumn. Sticky, honey-like substance on the top gives the dark brown cap its ‘slippery’ appearance, with a honeycomb-looking underside. Moist Spongy texture and mild flavour.

Perfect for:


DRIED MUSHROOMS

Black fungus & white fungus

Common name: Cloud, Wood, Tree, Silver Ear

Primarily used to add a special texture to Asian dishes.

Reconstitute: Soak for 15–30 minutes in warm water. Drain well and pat dry with paper towel.
Characteristic: Cook quickly over high heat for a crisp texture.

Perfect for:


CEPE

Common name: Cep, Bolete, King Bolete, Borowik, Steinpilze, Stensopp, Polish, Porcini

Botanical name: Boletus edulis

This is an entire family of wild mushrooms, gathered in the forests of Europe during the northern autumn, then dried and imported into Australia.

Reconstitute: Soak for 15 minutes in warm water. Add to casseroles or stews at the start of the cooking process.
Characteristic: Porcini is one of the most popular of the cepes.

Perfect for:


Chanterelles

Common name: Egg, Girole, Girolle, Pfifferling

Botanical name: Canthaerellus cibarius

Popular edible wild mushrooms from Europe and North America.

Reconstitute: Soak for 15–20 minutes in warm water.
Characteristic: trumpet-shaped and have a strong apricot smell

Perfect for:


Morels

Common name: Hickory Chicken, Sponge Mushrooms

Botanical name: Morchella elata

European wild mushrooms with a hollow, honeycomb-like capsand a spongy texture.

Reconstitute: Rinse or wipe dried morels before soaking for 15–20 minutes.
Characteristic: Rich, earthy flavour. Best used in sauces and slow-cooked dishes.

Perfect for:


porcini

Common name: Cep, Penny Bun

Botanical name: Boletus edulis

One of the most popular of the Cep mushrooms

Reconstitute: Soak for 15 minutes in warm water. Add to ragouts, stews and risottos at the start of the cooking process.
Characteristic: Rich, meaty flavour.

Perfect for:


shitake

Common name: Black Chinese Mushrooms, Oak, Oak Brown, Golden Oak, Chinese Black, Black Winter, Oriental Black, Black Forest, Forest, Danko, Shiang Ku

Botanical name: Lentinus edodes

Ideal for Asian dishes.

Reconstitute: Soak in warm water for up to 30 minutes. Strain the soaking water and add to the dish to intensify flavour.
Characteristic: Intensely flavoured.

Perfect for:


TRUFFLES

TRUFFLES

Botanical name: Tuber aestivum (black) and Tuber magnatum (white)

Edible fungus which is not technically a mushroom. Grows at the roots of specially inoculated oak trees, 5cm–30cm below the ground. Most truffles are imported from the forests of Europe, although black truffle plantations have been established around Australia.

Characteristic: Canned or fresh, truffles are expensive. Highly perishable; use fresh truffles within 1–2 days of purchase.

Perfect for:


Mushroom facts

DID YOU KNOW?

Mushroom history

AUSTRALIA'S MUSHROOM INDUSTRY