So, your latest trip to the woods has yielded a bumper crop of lobster mushrooms. What are you supposed to do with all of them? In this article, we’ll talk about how to cook a lobster mushroom and include some tips and recipes you may want to try. Ready to get started?
What You'll Learn Today
How Do You Prepare Lobster Mushrooms?
Lobsters are an interesting type of mushroom. They actually start out as a white mushroom, usually a russala or a lactarius mushroom, that becomes parasitized by a red fungus known as Hypomyces lactifluorum.
What’s most interesting is that the fungus actually improves the taste and texture of the original mushroom. It gives them a dense reddish “skin,” somewhat like a lobster shell, and a mild crustacean flavor that tastes much like lobster meat.
So, what do you do with these delicious wonders of nature? How do you prepare and eat them?
The good news is, you can prepare lobsters in much the same way as you would prepare any other type of edible mushroom.
The first step, of course, is to clean and wash them thoroughly to remove the dirt, gravel, and any insects hiding in their many folds and creases. You can clean them as you would clean other mushrooms–using only a dry brush, rinsing them quickly under running water, or dunking them in a bowl of water for a better clean.
You may have to break the mushrooms into pieces to get them thoroughly cleaned. If you wash them with water, allow them to drain dry on towels before cooking with them.
Once the mushrooms have been cleaned, you can do all sorts of different things with them. You can saute or roast them, as we’ll discuss below; they can also be pickled, dried and added to a variety of recipes, mixed with other mushrooms, and even frozen for later use.
The flavor of lobster mushrooms is very mild, so it can be easily lost in the cooking process or overwhelmed by stronger flavors. For this reason, simple recipes with few ingredients are best.
How to Roast Lobster Mushrooms?
A combination of heat and fat works best to bring out the flavor of lobster mushrooms. You can achieve this combination best either through oven roasting or sauteing them.
Let’s start by taking a look at how to roast lobster mushrooms:
- First, cut your mushrooms into pieces that are roughly the same size and thickness. You want your pieces to be as uniform as possible so that they cook evenly.
- Coat the mushroom pieces in vegetable oil or melted butter, making sure each piece is entirely covered. Place the mushroom chunks in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle seasonings of your choice over the mushroom pieces. Mild seasonings such as garlic and onion powder are best, and a generous amount of salt will help to enhance the natural flavor of the mushrooms.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every five minutes. You want the outside of each piece to get crispy, but the inside should become nice and soft.
- Be patient during this process, as it may take some time, and you may want to taste-test as you go. When the mushrooms have reached your desired texture, remove them from the oven and serve immediately.
How to Saute Lobster Mushrooms?
Sauteing lobster mushrooms is one of the most popular ways to take advantage of their delicious flavor. The process is a bit quicker than roasting, and it allows you to monitor their progress a little more easily.
To saute lobster mushrooms:
- Over medium-high heat, generously coat the bottom of a saucepan with butter or oil. The mushrooms will soak up more of the fat than you expect them to.
- Toss uniform pieces of the mushrooms into the pan, add desired seasonings, and stir to evenly coat the mushrooms. Don’t try to cook too many at once; they should be roughly in a single layer on the bottom of the pan.
- You can cover the pan for a few minutes at a time to help the cooking process, or you can leave the pan uncovered; either way, stir the mushrooms every few minutes. The mushrooms will take on a yellow-brown hue as they cook.
- As with roasting, you want the outsides to become somewhat crispy and the insides to become soft. Saute them, stirring regularly, for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’ve reached your desired texture.
- Remove the pan from heat and serve the mushrooms immediately.
Check out the following video in which a similar process of slow-braising lobster mushrooms is demonstrated:
Other Ways to Cook Lobster Mushrooms
Of course, roasting and sauteing are not the only things you can do with your lobster mushrooms. As noted above, you can do just about anything with lobsters as you would with other types of mushrooms.
In fact, lobster mushrooms are some of the best for drying and powdering. Lobster mushroom powder is good for up to a year, and you can add it as a flavoring to soups, stews, sauces, and many other recipes.
The lobster mushroom flavor is stronger after the mushrooms have been dried. That said, be careful not to use too much of the powder in your recipes, as it can make your food bitter.
If you’re wondering what to do with the fresh mushrooms, you can add them to mixed mushroom dishes. Be careful not to overdo it on seasonings or use too many stronger-tasting mushrooms, as these will drown out the milder lobster mushroom taste.
You can also deep fry fresh lobsters. Deep frying will enhance the mushroom’s natural flavor as long as you don’t use overly strong seasonings in the batter.
Again, you can use lobsters as you would any other mushroom, but keep in mind that they have a short shelf life. Fresh mushrooms should be cooked and used within a couple of days, and even cooked leftovers will need to be used up quickly.
Mushrooms that have a purplish color, feel lightweight like styrofoam, or have a strong fishy odor should not be eaten. Lobster mushrooms that are past their prime can cause food poisoning.
Lobster Mushroom Recipes
For some great recipes on specific things you can make with lobster mushrooms, check out the links below:
- Lobster Mushroom Cakes
- Stuffed Lobster Mushrooms
- Lobster Mushroom Pasta
- Lobster Mushroom Roll
- Lobster Mushroom Bisque
Lobster mushrooms are a delicious, mildly crustacean-flavored mushroom that goes well in a variety of dishes. You can roast, saute, fry, dry, pickle, and even freeze these mushrooms, as well as substitute them for other types of mushrooms in your favorite recipes.