Many people never see pink oyster mushrooms in their lives, but others are lucky enough to find some and enjoy their delicious flavor and meaty texture in their favorite foods.
Overall, all oyster mushrooms are a wonder of nature that we can bring to the gastronomic world. Any variety you choose will give your dishes a delicious flavor and provide a lot of nutritional value.
Furthermore, oyster mushrooms are perfect for adding more vegetables to our diet or preparing mouth-watering vegan recipes.
Do you want to give them a try? You have come to the right place! Here, you can find a little guide on oyster mushrooms, my favorite variety – pink oyster mushrooms – and some recipes we can prepare at home. Read on!
Short but Comprehensive Guide to Oyster Mushrooms
First, let’s start with my guide to oyster mushrooms, their types (including my favorite) and where/how to store and clean them.
What Are Oyster Mushrooms?
“Oyster mushrooms” is the name for the fungi species “Pleurotus ostreatus,” which grows near trees and logs in the wild.
When you go to the grocery store, the oyster mushrooms you find there have probably been grown in straw or sawdust before being packed in plastic. However, they’re equally delicious!
Oyster mushrooms are available in different types and have become one of the most popular mushrooms in the world thanks to their mild flavor and wonderfully meaty texture.
Moreover, these mushrooms go well with many dishes, including soups, salads, pasta, and more!
Types of Oyster Mushrooms
The most common types of oyster mushrooms we can find in grocery stores are king oyster mushrooms, also known as “trumpet mushrooms,” and tree oyster mushrooms.
King oysters mushrooms are thicker and have more meat, so they are ideal for vegan recipes, such as scallops. Also, their stems are edible!
Instead, tree oysters have tougher stems but can be used to prepare a vegan version of pulled pork or as any other meat substitute. They add flavor and texture to dishes!
Both types of oyster mushrooms are great additions to meat-based recipes, too!
Other Types of Oysters
Besides these two, there are other types of oyster mushrooms we can find and use in our recipes. They’re all delicious and can take our meat or plant-based recipes to another level. These are:
- Pink oyster mushrooms, also known as flamingo oyster mushrooms or Pleurotus djamor
- Blue oyster mushrooms, also known as blue oysters or Pleurotus columbinus
- Pearl oyster mushrooms or Pleurotus ostreatus
- Golden oyster mushroom or Pleurotus citrinopileatus
- Phoenix oyster or Pleurotus pulmonarius
Pink Oyster Mushrooms
Today, we’ll focus on pink oysters, my favorite variety! As their name suggests, these mushrooms have a beautiful and attractive pink color.
Furthermore, this pink variety is similar to other types of oyster mushrooms in terms of shape and structure. Therefore, it has a shelf-like oyster cap.
These beautiful oyster mushrooms get their hue from lycopene, the pigment that gives tomatoes and watermelons their color.
Their caps and stems have attractive shades of pink ranging from very pale to a deep shade of almost purple. The younger these mushrooms are, the brighter and more colorful they will be!
Pink oyster mushrooms typically grow in large clusters and are small to medium in size, with caps ranging from 2 to 5 centimeters.
What do Pink Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like?
This variety of oyster mushrooms has a bitter taste when raw. However, when we cook them, we can remove the bitterness and get a delicious and meaty appetizer!
Once cooked and softened, their flavor becomes much milder compared to other oyster mushrooms. Some people say they taste slightly like shellfish!
However, compared to button mushrooms, this variety has a more intense, rich, and deep flavor.
In addition to their color, pink oyster mushrooms are attractive for another interesting feature: when cooked until golden brown and slightly crispy, they get a bacon-like flavor.
In other words, if we’re looking for a vegetarian substitute for that delicious bacon we usually eat for breakfast, this variety of oyster mushrooms is perfect!
How Is The Texture of a Pink Oyster Mushroom?
The texture of a pink oyster mushroom varies depending on its growing conditions, from delicate and thin to thick and meatier.
However, this variety is usually chewier than other oyster mushrooms. Sometimes the texture is a bit hard or woody, which works well with soups and stir-fries, or when we want vegetables to retain their shape and structure.
How to Store Pink Oyster Mushrooms
Another of the most common questions about pink oyster mushrooms is how to store them. I’ll share some tips about that, too!
First, we must remember that water can become the worst enemy of oyster mushrooms (and all varieties, actually). Therefore, we have to make sure they are clean and dry before storing them.
I recommend doing this in a paper bag away from any heat sources, including direct sunlight, and immediately after harvest, if possible. However, there are other ways to store them.
Storing Oyster Mushrooms in the Fridge
If we plan to store our mushrooms in the fridge, we can use paper bags that absorb moisture and keep them dry for longer. After a couple of days, they’ll still be fresh!
However, it’s essential to keep oyster mushrooms away from other foods. Otherwise, they can absorb their odor, which affects their taste.
Storing Oyster Mushrooms in a Freezer
We can also store our mushrooms in the freezer. In this case, we must place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
After they are frozen (the process can take about two hours or so), we must transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container.
Here’s a tip if you plan to go for this option: label and date the bag where you keep your frozen mushrooms, so you know when you stored them. You can keep them for up to a month without problems!
Storing Dried Oyster Mushrooms
Personally, I believe that the best way to store pink oysters is after drying them in a food dehydrator.
If we don’t have this tool at home, we can also let them dry under sunlight or in the oven at a low temperature.
After they’re dry, we only need to store our mushrooms in an airtight container somewhere cool and dark. This way, they can last several months!
However, we must bear in mind that dried mushrooms have a different flavor and texture than fresh ones. Also, since they have a large amount of water, when we dry them, they lose a lot of volume!
Growing Pink Oyster Mushrooms: How To Do It Yourself
Only a few things are more satisfying than growing our own food, especially mushrooms!
Actually, growing mushrooms is a fun hobby for many. If you want to give it a try, this is what you should do:
First, we must make sure that we have a dark, humid, and draft-free space where mushrooms can grow, such as the windowsill in the bathroom or kitchen. Then, it’s time to find the growing medium. Coconut fiber or vermiculite are good options.
We also need pink oyster spawn or spores, which can be found at local garden stores or online.
After gathering all the supplies, we need to sterilize the growing medium and mix the spawn with the pink oyster mushroom substrate (I recommend using wood chips). This process is known as “inoculation.”
Once we transfer the substrate to the container, we must seal it with aluminum foil or any pressure wrap that creates a protective barrier against the outside world.
It’s crucial to check the mushrooms daily and make sure they remain moist without exceeding the amount of water.
When Can I Harvest Them?
In about 10-14 days, little mushrooms should start to sprout through the substrate. We only have to let them grow to the size we want before harvesting them!
Where to Buy Pink Oysters
Do you want to make recipes with pink oyster mushrooms but aren’t ready to grow them yourself? You can buy them!
Most Asian farmers’ markets and supermarkets offer pink oysters. Since this variety is mainly grown in greenhouses, it’s usually available all year round.
How to Clean Pink Oyster Mushrooms
Cleanliness is another key aspect of getting the most out of oyster mushrooms. If the ones we buy have been commercially grown, they probably haven’t gotten quite dirty, and we don’t have to try too hard to clean them.
What Do I Need to Clean Them?
If we see bits of dirt or substrate, we can use a slightly damp paper towel or cloth to clean them up.
You can also use a specialized mushroom brush if you have one. I bought mine on Amazon for less than $10!
However, we must bear in mind that this variety is particularly fragile, so a brush for oyster mushrooms could damage them. Be careful!
Also, these mushrooms are porous and absorb a lot of water, so it’s the last resort we should use when cleaning them.
As we clean our mushrooms, we should also check them on all sides and cut off any parts that have mold or discoloration.
Health Benefits of Oyster Mushrooms
Finally, we have the health benefits of pink oysters! This delicious variety not only adds flavor and texture to our recipes but is also highly nutritious.
These mushrooms are high in protein, riboflavin or vitamin B2, niacin or vitamin B3, pantothenic acid or vitamin B5, potassium, phosphorus, and copper! Therefore, they’re a great alternative to meat.
Also, pink oysters have antioxidants and can help us reduce cholesterol.
The Best Pink Oyster Mushroom Recipes
Now that we know everything about pink oysters, it’s time to get to work and prepare some delicious dishes to make the most out of this variety.
Here are the best pink mushroom recipes we can try at home!
If you like vegan recipes or want to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, you must try these vegan gyros!
Made with sautéed oyster mushrooms, vegan gyros are a great option for lunch or dinner. Find the recipe below!
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Cinnamon to taste
- Ground cloves to taste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ pound of pink oysters (we can substitute them with king oyster mushrooms)
- 1 sliced cucumber
- 1 sliced tomato
- 4 flatbreads or pita bread
- Vegan Tzatziki Sauce
- Half a red onion or chives, chopped
- French fries (as many as you prefer)
- ½ cup of white wine
- Roasted chickpeas
- Baba ganoush
- Olive oil
- Mix the cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, chili, cinnamon, and ground cloves to make the seasoning
- Add onion to a pan with olive oil and caramelize the onions
- Add the chopped mushrooms, white wine, thyme, and seasoning. Cook until all the ingredients soften
- Roll up in pita bread and fill with the mushroom mixture. You can add tomato, cucumber, Tzatziki sauce, French fries, or any other addition you like!
As you can see, the recipe is so easy to make and delicious! Also, you can make it with the ingredients and additions you prefer to enjoy it much more!
Pan-fried Oyster Mushrooms
Another of the oyster mushroom recipes I love the most is this one, as it’s similar to fried chicken, has a rich flavor, and could be gluten-free with the right flour.
- ¾ cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as rice milk
- Oil for frying (preferably canola oil)
- ½ cup of all-purpose flour or a gluten-free version
- 3 tablespoons of cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- ½ pound of fresh mushrooms (the oyster mushroom variety is the best alternative for this recipe)
- 2½ tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of paprika
- ½ teaspoon of chili powder
- ½ teaspoon of cumin
- Combine the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar in a mixing bowl. Dump the mushrooms into this mix and let sit for a while
- In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, cornmeal, cornstarch, and seasonings
- Once the oil is hot, roll the mushrooms in the flour mixture
- Carefully drop the mushrooms into the oil and fry until golden brown
- After they’re fried, you can add some sauce to give them more flavor!
More Mushroom Recipe Ideas
I want to add mushrooms to my favorite dishes every day, so I really hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do!
Pink Oyster Mushrooms
Pink oyster mushrooms are perfect for adding more vegetables to our diet or preparing mouth-watering vegan recipes.
- 12 oz. pink oyster mushrooms
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 tbsp. salted butter
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
Separate the pink mushrooms into individual petals.
In a skillet heated over medium heat, add four tablespoons of butter until melted.
Lower the heat and add the minced garlic.
Now, stir and add the mushrooms followed by the rest of the butter.
Sauté the mushrooms in the garlic butter until soft. Keep the heat low and add salt and pepper
Serve them and enjoy!
You can also add some parmesan cheese or lemon zest to give this oyster mushroom recipe a different touch!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 380Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 888mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g