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Blue Oyster Mushroom – What It Is And How To Cook It

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Mushrooms are one of the most versatile kitchen ingredients. You can use them in almost unlimited ways, and they add a ton of flavor and texture to whatever dish you’re making.

However, it might get a little boring using the same old button, cremini, or portabello mushrooms every day.

That’s where the blue oyster mushroom comes in! This unique mushroom is a subspecies of the Oyster mushroom family and is so named because of its blue color and subtle oyster flavor.

It has a delicious tender, meaty texture with the perfect amount of chew. 

Adding blue oyster mushrooms to your kitchen repertoire is a great way to jazz up your standard meals- they make a delicious side dish and are super easy to prepare.

Just clean and separate your blue oyster mushrooms and pan fry or roast them for the perfect crispy treat. 

So how do you use blue oyster mushrooms? You can pan-fry them, roast them, use them in sauces, add them to soups or stews, throw them in omelets or frittatas, throw them in your favorite pasta dishes, add them to quinoa bowls, or enjoy them with roasted potatoes.

Keep reading to discover what blue oyster mushrooms are, what they taste like, how to use them in the kitchen, their nutritional profile, and some simple recipes so you can start using them today. 

What Are Blue Oyster Mushrooms? 

Blue Oyster Mushrooms are a sub-species of the common Oyster Mushroom and their shape and size can vary depending on the conditions in which they are grown.

They are actually super easy to grow at home, so many folks have fun experimenting with growing their own Blue Oysters. 

The scientific name of these tasty little fungi is Pleurotus ostreatus var. columbinus.

The stem of the blue oyster mushrooms grows sideways, and they have a cute little cap that many people think resembles an oyster shell, hence their name

They grow in little clusters and have a beautiful deep blue hue that fades to gray as they age. The gills are white, which makes them look absolutely stunning.

These mushrooms grow incredibly quickly; their pins can double in size in as little as a day! 

This rapid growth is one reason these mushrooms are so popular amongst home mushroom growers- they are super fun to watch and you can get so many mushrooms in a short amount of time. 

You can find these mushrooms growing in the wild in subtropical and temperate forests, though they aren’t found in the Pacific Northwest.

They grow on dead or dying hardwood trees like deciduous and beech trees, since they are a fungus whose primary role is to aid in decomposition.

With that being said, Blue Oyster Mushrooms do not cause the death of the trees, they show up afterwards to break down the wood and return it to the circle of life. 

What Do Blue Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like? 

Mushrooms are a wonderful addition to any meal since they provide a deep umami flavor and meaty texture to any main or side dish.

Blue oyster mushrooms are no exception since they have a unique flavor and an interesting texture that makes them a little more interesting than your standard mushroom.

When it comes to the flavor of blue oyster mushrooms, some folks think that they actually have a subtle oyster or seafood flavor to them. Others think they have a slight anise (or licorice) undertone, though it is very mild. 

The flavor tends more towards the savory side and tastes best when they are cooked. These mushrooms aren’t a great choice for raw preparations, but once cooked they are truly magical. 

If you caramelize them when roasting or pan-frying them, they get crispy and the richness of flavor is enhanced and can be a nice balance of savory and sweet

The texture of blue oyster mushrooms is delicate, a little meaty, and ever so slightly chewy in a really good way.

When cooked, they crisp up really well and the middle stays soft and chewy. They can add a great layer of texture and flavor to any dish. 

So, blue oyster mushrooms have a subtle oyster/seafood flavor, with undertones of licorice or anise.

They are richly umami and have a soft, meaty texture that is ever so slightly chewy in the best way. If you haven’t tried blue oyster mushrooms, you are in for a real treat. 

What Is The Nutritional Information Of Blue Oyster Mushrooms? 

Blue oyster mushrooms make a great addition to your meal plan because they are loaded with fiber, to help you feel full, plus they are low in carbohydrates, which is great for people who are looking to watch their carb intake. 

Per one cup (or 85 grams) of blue oyster mushrooms, you will get about:

  • 30 calories
  • 5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of fiber 
  • 3 grams of protein
  • less than 1 gram of fat 

In addition to the macronutrient breakdown of blue oyster mushrooms, they are also a good source of B vitamins such as Niacin, Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and folate.

They contain some selenium and minerals including:

  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus 

Like many other types of mushrooms, blue oysters are also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your body against cellular damage and inflammation. 

How Do You Store Blue Oyster Mushrooms?

In order to keep your blue oyster mushrooms as fresh as possible, you will want to make sure you store them properly.

Often they are sold in plastic containers with plastic wrap on top. When you get home, transfer them to a paper bag and use them within a week. 

Storing them in the paper bag will allow them to breathe and prevent them from becoming all slimy and gross.

You want to make sure you store them in the main part of your fridge, not the produce drawer, so they get a good amount of airflow

If they start to dry out and look a little sad, you can still use them in soups and other preparations where they will soak up some liquid, like in a sauce or sauteed with a good amount of butter.

If they get slimy and start to smell super fishy, you will want to throw them away. 

How Do You Clean Blue Oyster Mushrooms?

Since blue oyster mushrooms grow on wood, they don’t get nearly as muddy or dirty as other types of mushrooms such as cremini or portabellos.

To preserve the flavor, I give the mushrooms a quick wipe with a paper towel and then trim off the ends of the stems

You can then pull them apart into individual mushrooms or even-sized pieces. I don’t recommend rinsing them with water since that can impact the flavor and texture of the mushroom.

I use a paper towel to clean all types of mushrooms to keep their delicate flavor intact. 

How Do You Use Blue Oyster Mushrooms?

The ways to use blue oyster mushrooms in the kitchen are virtually limitless. You can basically use them any way you’d use other mushrooms. Try them in preparations such as: 

  • Pan-fried with butter, herbs, and salt 
  • Roasted with your favorite herbs and spices 
  • Added to soups and stews 
  • Added to stir-fries
  • Cook them and add them to pasta dishes or grain dishes, such as farro or quinoa 
  • Add them to your sauces and gravies for an extra rich hit of umami flavor
  • Chop them up and add them to omelets, scrambled eggs, and frittatas 
  • Put them on skewers and grill them on the barbecue for an awesome side dish 
  • Add them to your roasts to cook in the juices for a perfect side
  • Flavor and dehydrate them to make crispy mushroom chips 
  • Poach them in butter, herbs, and cream for a delicious sauce or side 
  • Roast them with your potatoes 
  • Try pickling them with rice vinegar and peppercorns

As you can see, there is no shortage of ways to use your blue oyster mushrooms in the kitchen. The flavor pairs well with lots of Asian ingredients such as soy sauce, sesame, rice vinegar, and fish sauce. 

Don’t be afraid to get creative and try new flavor combinations! You might be surprised at what sorts of things you can come up with and how you enjoy eating them. 

Pan-Fried Blue Oyster Mushroom Recipe

If you want to make a pan-friend blue oyster mushroom side dish it can be super simple and mouth-wateringly delicious. The recipe below uses a couple of Asian ingredients to complement the umami flavor of the mushroom. 

Ingredients

  • 200 grams (give or take) blue oyster mushroom, cleaned and separated
  • 1 tablespoon of salted butter 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari 
  • splash of rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Heat your skillet or frying pan over medium heat for a few minutes until your mushroom squeaks when you rub it across the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add your blue oyster mushrooms to the skillet and let them toast on one side for about 2 minutes, until they start to brown.
  3. Stir the mushrooms and let them toast another minute or two. 
  4. Add the butter, garlic, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, stirring to combine.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and let them caramelize together until they become dark brown and a little crispy. Stir them every so often to prevent any burning. 
  6. Once cooked, remove from heat and stir in the toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds. 
  7. Serve and enjoy! 

Notes: If you use a low sodium soy sauce, you may need to add a pinch of salt to season them to your taste. 

Oven-Baked Blue Oyster Mushroom Recipe 

Another great way to prepare blue oyster mushrooms is to roast them in the oven. The slow, even heat gives them a rich flavor and a delightfully crispy texture.

You can get creative with the herbs and spices that you use depending on your taste buds and preferences, but this is a good starting point.

Ingredients 

  • 200-230 grams of blue oyster mushrooms, cleaned and separated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
  • a few cranks of black pepper 
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried rosemary 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a bowl combine the blue oyster mushrooms with the olive oil making sure each mushroom has a nice coating of oil.
  3. Add in the salt, pepper, herbs, and spices and mix together until evenly coated.
  4. Spread your blue oyster mushrooms out in a single layer on the parchment paper. Try to leave a little space between them, so they get crispy and don’t steam. 
  5. Place the mushrooms in the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes. 
  6. Remove them from the oven and flip them over and bake them for another 8 minutes or so. You want them to be slightly crispy on the edges and soft in the center. 
  7. Once cooked, take them out of the oven and serve immediately. 

Air Fryer Blue Oyster Mushroom Recipe

Air fryers are a super popular kitchen gadget because they can help you create crispy, delicious dishes that taste deep-fried, without all the oil and in a short amount of time.

Putting your blue oyster mushrooms in an air fryer is a great way to get a crispy, delicious mushroom snack. 

This basic recipe can be adapted to include any of your favorite spices and herbs. Get creative to find your perfect combination. 

Ingredients

  • 200 to 230 grams of blue oyster mushrooms, cleaned and separated
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of olive oil (the more oil the crispier they’ll get)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
  • a few cranks of black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

Directions

  1. Depending on your model, you may need to preheat your air fryer. If so, set it to 380°F and let it preheat while you prep your mushrooms. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the mushrooms and oil until fully coated. 
  3. Next add the salt, pepper, and smoked paprika (if using) stirring the mix until the mushrooms are coated. 
  4. Add your mushrooms to your fryer basket or lay them onto the air fryer tray (depending on your model). 
  5. Place in the basket back in your air fryer and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the mushrooms are fully browned. You will want to remove the basket after about 4 minutes to shake the mushrooms up for even cooking. 
    • If you are using the tray, you can flip the mushrooms after about 4 minutes. 
  6. Once your mushrooms are cooked and crispy, remove from the air fryer and serve immediately. 

Blue Oyster Mushroom Cream Sauce Recipe

You can use this blue oyster mushroom recipe as a sauce for pasta or just eat it plain as a side dish. Its rich and creamy and packed with flavor and mushroom goodness.

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly diced 
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 2 cups of blue oyster mushrooms, cleaned and separated 
  • 1.5 cups heavy or whipping cream 
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary 
  • 4 tablespoons of butter 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
  • a few twists of black pepper
  • 1.5 cups grated Parmesan cheese (you can use goat cheese, Gruyere, or another favorite if you prefer).

Directions

  1. Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Once warmed add your olive oil and let it heat up for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Once your olive oil is heated add your shallots and garlic and stir them around. Let them saute for 2 minutes or until aromatic and softened. 
  3. Add your blue oyster mushrooms and saute with the shallots and garlic for about 3 minutes, until softened. 
  4. Add the cream, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper and bring to a very gentle boil, until bubbles just start to travel up and pop on the surface, then reduce the heat. 
  5. Let the mixture simmer gently for about 15 minutes or so. It should start to reduce and thicken. 
  6. Stir in the butter and continue to let the sauce simmer and reduce until it reaches about 1/2 its original volume.
  7. Just before you’re ready to serve, turn off the heat, stir in your cheese until melted, and enjoy. 

Blue Oyster Mushroom Jerky Recipe

Another great way to enjoy your blue oyster mushrooms if they are starting to dry out, or you need to use them up quickly, is to turn them into jerky.

By marinating and dehydrating your blue oyster mushrooms you can create a flavorful snack that is low in calories and high in pleasure. 

Instructions

  • 200 grams of blue oyster mushrooms, cleaned and separated 
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (use less if you don’t love it)
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce or tamari 
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, honey, or sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke or 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder 
  • a few cranks of black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes

Directions

  1. Make sure your blue oyster mushrooms are cleaned and separated into individual mushroom stalks and caps. Set them aside. 
  2. In a mixing bowl combine all other ingredients, whisking together until fully incorporated. 
  3. Place the blue oyster mushrooms in the mixture and stir them until every mushroom is fully coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in the fridge overnight to marinate. 
  4. The next day, lay your blue oyster mushrooms out on your dehydrator trays or air fryer trays in a single layer. Try not to have any pieces touching since that can prevent them from drying fully. You may want to spray the trays with a little oil spray.
  5. Place them in the dehydrator or air fryer at 180°F. 
  6. After an hour and a half, remove the trays from the dehydrator and flip the blue oyster mushrooms. Put them back into the dehydrator/air fryer and let them cook for another 30-60 minutes, or until they are done to your liking. 
  7. Once cooked, remove the trays and mushrooms from the dehydrator and let them sit for 2-3 minutes before enjoying. 
  8. Store in an air-tight container once cooled. 

Final Thoughts

There are so many ways to enjoy blue oyster mushrooms that your imagination is pretty much the only limit. The only way you don’t want to eat them is if they are uncooked- they don’t have the best texture and flavor until they are prepared. 

The simplest way to prepare your blue oyster mushrooms is to roast them in the oven with your favorite herbs and spices to create a crispy, flavorful side dish.

You can also pan-fry them in lots of butter and spices to deepen their flavor and enhance their texture

If you want to get more creative with your blue oyster mushrooms, you can try dehydrating them or making a delicious creamy sauce or side dish that’s packed with herbs and cheese.

No matter how you decide to enjoy these mushrooms, they will make a great addition to any meal!

Pan-Fried Blue Oyster Mushroom Recipe

Pan-Fried Blue Oyster Mushroom Recipe

Yield: 4
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

These pan-fried blue oyster mushrooms are a great way to prepare these mushrooms for a robust, delicious dinner!

Ingredients

  • 200 grams blue oyster mushroom, cleaned and separated
  • 1 tablespoon of salted butter 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari 
  • Splash of rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Heat your skillet or frying pan over medium heat for a few minutes until your mushroom squeaks when you rub it across the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add your blue oyster mushrooms to the skillet and let them toast on one side for about 2 minutes, until they start to brown.
  3. Stir the mushrooms and let them toast another minute or two. 
  4. Add the butter, garlic, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, stirring to combine.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and let them caramelize together until they become dark brown and a little crispy. Stir them every so often to prevent any burning. 
  6. Once cooked, remove from heat and stir in the toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds. 
  7. Serve and enjoy! 

Notes

If you use a low sodium soy sauce, you may need to add a pinch of salt to season them to your taste. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 39Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 24mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

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