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Pheasant Back Mushroom

Pheasant back-woods mushrooms are huge speckled brown mushrooms with a surface pattern of fragile brown scales mimicking the designs on a pheasant’s back.

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Pheasant back mushroom recipe

If you’re looking for a unique and delicious way to enjoy wild mushrooms, look no further than a delightful pheasant back mushroom recipe! The mushrooms are cooked in a way making them a meal to remember.

Preparing for all pheasant back mushroom recipes is simple and only requires a few essential ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a delicious side dish or an entrée that will impress, the pheasant back mushroom recipe is sure to be a hit!

In this article, you’ll learn about the pheasant back mushroom, where to find it, how to harvest it, and a mouth-watering recipe.

What Is a Pheasant Back Mushroom?

These mushrooms, often known as dryad’s saddles, are not ordinary, and many people mistakenly think they are not edible. Though these mushrooms, on the other hand, are edible, albeit rough, and have a slightly chewy texture in comparison to a beech mushroom.

To begin, search for mushrooms that seem dark in color but only if they’re pale and old. It should be simple to cut, and the pores beneath it should be uncomplicated to extract with a knife.

Since back-sauteed pheasant mushrooms typically grow between April to November, the optimal time to use them in recipes should be in May.

Mushrooms on table

How Do I Cook These Mushrooms?

It’s not difficult to cook medium-sized pheasant back mushrooms, but frying and battering them is often the best approach, mainly because it makes them less challenging.

First, look for any bruising or dirt that you should remove. Slice the mushrooms, then set aside any woody portions before cooking. All that remains is to dip the mushrooms into the batter and cook them one at a time.

If you want a healthy alternative, try using an air fryer, but keep an eye on the pheasant back mushrooms regularly. Additionally, you can serve this luxurious meal as an appetizer, including some dip or sour and sweet sauce, or as part of the main dish.

Flour on spoon

Identifying Pheasant Back Mushrooms That Smell like Watermelon Rind

Characteristic pheasant decoration: Once you’ve determined that you’ve discovered a dryad’s saddle, identifying it is relatively simple. To begin, check for the typical pheasant decoration on the top. That’s what drew people to the mushroom.

One point of attachment to the log: Ensure it has one end of attachment to the log, usually a thick, spherical single stem that grows from the wood.

Honeycomb-shaped pores: When you turn the mushroom over, you’ll see honeycomb-shaped pores. Additionally, the pores become fairly deep and conspicuous when the mushrooms mature.

That’s when you can see their structure, which isn’t precisely like a beehive’s regulated honeycomb. It’s a little more free-form, with random honeycomb shapes – still, it has a honeycomb-like appearance.

Younger mushroom pheasant: It’s a little more challenging to see on younger pheasant backs. It nearly appears like uneven pinpricks, but the holes aren’t spherical if you look closely.

The pore surface is only beginning to form, and the honeycomb seems relatively tiny and shallow. At this time, they will be less than 1mm deep. Furthermore, the mushroom will increase to 2- 3 mm deep as it grows.

Odor: The scent is a big clue. Most mushrooms smell like mushrooms, but these have a vibrant, almost citrusy cucumber aroma. Some say it smells like freshly sliced watermelon rinds – not the fruit but the rind’s crisp, aromatic green scent.

I know it’s hard to believe, and in older specimens or entire mushrooms that have not been chopped, the smell isn’t always so strong. However, cutting one will allow you to smell the cucumber.

Lightly beaten egg


Pheasant back-woods mushrooms are huge speckled brown mushrooms with a surface pattern mimicking the designs on a pheasant’s back. The speckles are fragile brown scales that can be carefully separated from the cap.

Furthermore, the secret is that the tastiest pheasant back mushrooms are small and delicate. Mature mushrooms are harsh and uncomfortable to eat once grown to the size of a saddle. Additionally, they create fantastic mushroom broth at that point, but if you intend to taste the mushrooms, you must obtain little ones.

As luck would have it, there are frequently several young pheasants back mushrooms growing behind adult saddle-sized ones, so flip them over, and you could get lucky. They should be no more than 2 to 3 inches across when harvested.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Harvest Pheasant Back Mushrooms?

Reach in and carefully remove the mushroom from the deadwood to harvest. A mushroom hunter shouldn’t require a knife or other harvesting equipment, but they can use one.

Because of its hardness, the mushroom powder is rarely eaten and is only used in stocks and in mushroom soup, even in young pheasant backs. Feel free to chop it off while in the field and bring it home for the use you would like.

Are There Other Back Mushrooms Pheasant Recipes I Can Try?

Aside from a basic sauté, tempura fried pheasant back mushrooms, or soup with the bigger ones, we’ve found a few dishes that use dryad’s saddle if you’ve been feeling adventurous:

  • Pheasant Back Mushroom Burgers
  • Pickled mushrooms from Dryad’s Saddle with jalapeno and dill
  • Palak Paneer with Pheasant Back and Stinging Nettle

Apart from these recipes, other recipes require olive oil, soy sauce, and white wine, and recipes where you can even add egg and whisk in soda water or use them in stir fries.

We’re not aware of any commercially available pheasant back sauteed mushrooms. You might be lucky and locate them at the local farmer’s market. They frequently arrive locally towards the short end of the Morel season.

Yield: 3 servings

Tempura Fried Pheasant Back Mushroom

Pheasant Back Mushroom

Pheasant Back mushrooms are huge speckled brown mushrooms with a surface pattern of fragile brown scales mimicking the designs on a pheasant's back. 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes


  • 8 oz. Pheasant Back mushrooms (clean and thickly sliced, avoid taking woody parts)
  • ¾ c. cornstarch
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. of soda water


  1. Combine all the dry ingredients for the tempura batter except for the mushrooms. Next, add the egg and gradually begin mixing the mixture while gently adding the soda water.
  2. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Slice mushrooms and immerse them in the batter before dropping them into the hot oil in batches. Cook pheasant mushrooms for 3–4 minutes or until they're crispy and golden brown on both sides.
  3. Remove and set them on a clean paper towel-covered plate to absorb any extra oil.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 367Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 615mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 28g

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