The easy to identify edible wild Maitake mushrooms are not difficult to find. If you spot one, try it in them in this stir-fry sheepshead mushroom recipe.
I was just introduced to eating wild mushrooms from the local woods. My husband has a friend who likes to go out and look for easy to identify native mushrooms.
One of the easiest mushrooms to identify in the wild are Maitake mushrooms. They 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 these wild mushrooms referred to as Ramshead or Sheepshead mushrooms. The scientific name for this mushroom is Grifola frondosa.
If you want to use it in a Maitake mushroom recipe, 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.
Maitake mushrooms are an excellent wild mushroom for beginners to gather from the woods. That’s because 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 hundreds of 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 also known to have medicinal value. And, it was found to contain a protein-bound beta-glucan compound.
These wild mushrooms have been shown to contain anti-diabetic properties as well as anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. They have also been found to be helpful in relieving the effects of chemotherapy.
Maitake mushrooms are rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. In addition, they contain various vitamins such as B2, D2 and niacin as well as fibers and amino acids.
I bet you’re interested in trying these amazing mushrooms now that you know more about them. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous to try one. But, the one given to us was so delicious fried up, I’m ready to look for more.
This is a simple Maitake mushroom recipe that our friend Joe has been using for a long time. He’s the guy who introduced us to these wild treats. He’s been cooking up the wild mushrooms he collects from the woods this way for years.
Joe told us he likes to serve the stir fried mushrooms with pasta or Italian bread. But I find the dish to be a nice side for steak.
I had a lot of leftovers. So, I may try cutting them up and putting them in a low carb cream of mushroom soup.
Stir Fried Sheepshead Maitake Mushrooms Recipe
Stir Fried Sheepshead Maitake Mushrooms
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/4 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.
Makes 4 servings
Carbs per serving: about 4 g