I was just introduced to eating wild mushrooms from the local woods. Wild Maitake mushrooms are native to Northeastern Japan and North America.
Here in Connecticut, many refer to this edible mushroom as Hen of the Woods, but I’ve also heard them called Ramshead or Sheepshead mushrooms. The scientific name for this mushroom is Grifola frondosa.
If you find one of these mushrooms, it can be cooked fresh or frozen to use later. We like to boil it first to get rid of any harmful bacteria that may be on it.
If frozen, you can cook it right out of the freezer so it is a good idea to cut it into smaller pieces first. The flavor of the Maitake mushroom is highly regarded among wild mushrooms.
LOW CARB TIPS and TRICKS
Subscribe now to receive your free copy of Low Carb Tips and Tricks which includes 20 easy to prepare recipes. Plus, get access to the weekly newsletter and special offers only for subscribers!
They are an excellent mushroom for beginners to gather from the woods as there are no dangerous mushrooms that look like them. These mushrooms can usually be found in late summer and early fall growing at the base of large oak trees.
They’ve also been found on elm, maple, beech, chestnut and sycamore trees. I’ve probably walked past these mushrooms many times, but I’ve never thought of picking these ugly looking tree growths and cooking them up.
However, after listening to others rave about their taste, I just had to give it a try. The Maitake mushroom is known to have medicinal value and it was found to contain a protein-bound beta-glucan compound.
It has been shown to contain anti-diabetic properties as well as anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. These mushrooms are also helpful in relieving the effects of chemotherapy.
Maitake is rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. In addition, it contains various vitamins such as B2, D2 and niacin as well as fibers and amino acids.
This is a simple stir fry recipe that our friend Joe has been using for a long time to cook up the wild mushrooms he collects from the woods. He likes to serve this with pasta or Italian bread, but I find it to be a nice side for steak.
I may try cutting up the leftovers and putting them in a cream of mushroom soup. Who knows!
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ¼ cup onions, chopped
- 1 pound Maitake mushroom, cut into pieces
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup cooking wine
- shredded cheese, optional
- Cook garlic and onions in hot butter and oil until golden. Add mushroom, beef broth and cooking wine.
- Cook on medium high, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. They will turn nice and brown.
- Serve with grated cheese, if desired.
Carbs per serving: about 4 g