October 19, 2023

Lion's mane mushrooms

Lion's Mane mushrooms

Lion’s mane mushrooms are native to North America, Europe, and Asia and there are several species of edible Hericium that grow in the wild or under cultivation. They have several common names that come from their shaggy appearance which can range from dangling icicles to hedgehog spikes to a lion’s mane. 

Asian cultures have been using lion's mane—called “hou tou gu” in Chinese and “yamabushitake” in Japanese— for its health benefits as both a medicinal mushroom and a culinary mushroom for thousands of years.

Lion's Mane mushrooms
Lion’s mane is thought to have a number of health benefits, including brain-protective effects provided by compounds in the mushrooms that may aid in cognitive function, stimulate the growth of new brain cells, and protect existing nerve cells. Like other mushrooms, lion's mane contains antioxidants and other compounds that make them anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting, as well. Beta-glucans in lion’s mane are a prebiotic soluble fiber which has been shown to promote gut health and thus reduce the risk of heart disease.
Lion's Mane mushrooms

Lion's mane mushrooms offer a mildly sweet flavor and a tender texture that mimics shellfish such as scallops, crab, or lobster. This makes them a frequent accompaniment or alternative to seafood. They are milder than shiitake mushrooms, but more deep and earthy flavored than a white button mushroom. Lion's mane mushrooms are great sautéed on the stovetop and either eaten right out of the pan or used in recipes such as California rolls, “crab” sandwiches, soups or stir fries. These mushrooms are very absorbent and really take on the flavors of spices, marinades and sauces.

Lion's Mane mushrooms

Sautéed Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

6-8 ounces lion's mane mushroom
2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean the mushrooms, cut off the bottoms and any dry or yellowing parts, and slice them to desired thickness or shred with your fingers.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the lion's mane mushroom pieces in the pan, dry, without oil, to draw out some of the excess moisture from the mushrooms. Allow the mushrooms to brown at the edges, 2-4 minutes.
Drizzle tamari or soy sauce, oil, and garlic powder, if using, over the mushrooms in the pan. Stir fry until fragrant and the mushrooms have developed a rich golden brown color. Remove mushrooms from heat, salt and pepper to taste and serve as a side dish, in a sandwich or add to a stir fry.

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