Do you forage for wild mushrooms? The easy to identify hen of the woods 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, China, 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.
Cooking Sheepshead Mushroom
Maitake mushrooms can be cooked fresh or be frozen to use later. Some boil it first to get rid of any harmful bacteria that may be on it. However, there’s no need to boil as the cooking process will kill any bacteria.
You can use frozen sheepshead mushroom pieces in a recipe without thawing first. Therefore, it’s a good idea to cut it into smaller pieces before freezing.
The flavor of the Maitake mushroom is highly regarded among wild mushrooms. After listening to others rave about their taste, I just had to give it a try.
I’ll admit I was a bit nervous to try one of these mushroom. But after frying one up, I’m ready to look for more because it was so delicious.
Ingredients For Maitake Mushroom Stir Fry
My recipe for a stir fried wild mushrooms may seem more complex that others, but the additional ingredients really enhance the flavor.
Hen Of The Woods
You’ll need about a pound of cut Maitake mushroom. As mentioned previously, this wild mushroom is also called Hen Of The Woods, Sheep’s Head, or Ram’s Head mushroom.
Garlic And Onion
Nearly all basic stir fry recipes call for garlic and onion. They add flavor and provide a wonderful aroma. Feel free to adjust the amounts to suit your own taste.
Butter And Olive Oil
I like to fry my mushrooms in a blend of olive oil and melted butter. They add fat and give a richer flavor.
White Cooking Wine
I use a dry white cooking wine to add flavor that complements the broth. If you don’t have any on hand, you could try using a little lemon juice or vinegar.
Note: You’ll find the full list of ingredients to make this low-carb dish with amounts used in the recipe card at the bottom.
How To Make The Recipe
This easy Maitake mushroom recipe whips up in less than 30 minutes. You’ll find the full instructions in the recipe card. Here you’ll find a step-by-step look at the process.
Sauté Onion And Garlic
Begin by placing your chopped onions in the butter over medium heat, sautéing for around 5 to 10 minutes, until garlic is golden and onion is translucent.
Add in the mushroom pieces, beef broth, and cooking wine. Reduce heat to medium.
Cook Off Liquid
Cook for 15 to 20 minute, stirring frequently, until the liquid has boiled off. Because it’s cooked for an extended period in liquid, there’s no reason to boil the mushroom before.
Brown The Mushroom
After the liquid is gone, allow the sides of the mushroom pieces brown up in the pan. Be careful to brown and not burn the mushroom.
Where To Find Sheepshead 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.
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.
The Maitake mushroom is also known to have medicinal value. It contains a beneficial protein-bound beta-glucan compound too.
Sheepshead 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.
How To Serve Stir Fried Hen Of The Woods Mushroom
This simple Maitake mushroom recipe was given to me by my husband’s friend Joe. He has been making it for decades.
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.
More Mushroom Recipes
If you like to forage for wild mushrooms, you may want to try them in other recipes. Here’s a few of my favorite mushroom recipes.
- Cauliflower Rice Risotto
- Keto Stuffed Mushrooms
- Crustless Spinach Mushroom Quiche
- Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Portobello
- Sautéed Green Beans And Mushrooms
Stir Fried Sheepshead Maitake Mushrooms
- 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
- ¼ 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.
Array ( [calories] => 154 [carbohydrates] => 6 [protein] => 3 [fat] => 12 [saturated_fat] => 4 [polyunsaturated_fat] => 1 [monounsaturated_fat] => 5 [trans_fat] => 15 [cholesterol] => 15 [sodium] => 351 [potassium] => 432 [fiber] => 1 [sugar] => 2 [vitamin_a] => 200 [vitamin_c] => 0.8 [calcium] => 0 [iron] => 0.5 [serving_unit] => g )
Note on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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First published on October 24, 2010. Post updated on October 15, 2021, with new photos, video, and recipe information.