PAIRED: From Maitake to Shiitake – everything you need to know about Mushrooms


LOS ANGELES, July 4, 2014  – Even when you think you know everything there are lots of little factoids that will surprise even you. For instance, did you know that both the Portobello and the button mushroom are carcinogenic when eaten raw.

You might want to check your salad twice before you eat it because those two mushrooms are found in salads all across the country.

Facts and tips on golden oyster mushroom, lion’s mane and maitake mushrooms:


  • A rich, buttery and earthy flavored mushroom.
  • Has medicinal properties.
  • Chop sauté and add to cream sauces. The flavor permeates the sauce.
  • Pick out a Maitake dark brown in color.
  • Petals should be firm to the touch.
  • Appearance of light pockmarks or indentations (releasing spores) perfect time to harvest.
  • When you cook it, the mushroom stays sturdy in texture.
  • If the petals are less developed the farmer gets less money but the flavor is exactly the same as a mature mushroom.
  • Not pleasant eaten raw.
  • Edible for one week.

Lions Main-

  • Woody nutty flavor.
  • Resembles polar bear hair.
  • Thready and shreds easily.
  • Great in pizzas. Best if shredded and placed under the cheese to prevent burning.
  • Sauté and cook in stir-fry. Fry high heat till golden brown.
  • Over mature hairs are elongated. Less elongated is a perfect time to harvest and buy.
  • Environmental stress turns them pink, but they are still edible.
  • Edible for one week.


  • Earthy flavor and spongy texture.
  • Some shiitakes are a sister strain but are not the real shiitakes. The sister strain looks similar but they aren’t the same. The sister strain is flatter and isn’t as meaty, but tastes like shiitake.
  • A real shiitake looks like a cinnamon bun. Nice light white dusting on the cap.
  • Scientific names are similar so they can call both Shiitakes.
  • Always remove the stem at the base of the cap before eating.
  • Save stems and place in the freezer and use in soups when you need them.
  • Shitakes are fantastic in soups, salads and protein dishes.
  • They are delicious when cooked in 3 parts olive oil and 1 part butter with shallots.
  • Real Shiitakes have a more intense flavor than the sister strain.
  • Real Shiitakes have tougher meat so they are best sliced thin when eaten raw or cooked..
  • Edible for two to three weeks but at three weeks they don’t look as nice..

Golden and Gray Oyster Mushroom-

  • Oyster mushrooms look like open roses.
  • Seafood like flavor and tastes earthy.
  • Both are Asian oyster mushrooms.
  • They don’t grow wild.
  • Golden Oyster mushrooms are bright yellow and Common Oysters are gray.
  • Buy Oysters that are vibrant in color.
  • Both are great raw in salads with balsamic vinegar.
  • Buy in a cluster or break them apart.
  • Over mature Oyster mushrooms smell really fishy.
  • Edible for five days, but should be eaten as close to the purchase date as possible to ensure the best flavor.

Cleaning Dirty Mushrooms-

  • Brush them with your fingers or a dry towel.
  • Keep mushrooms away from water.

Storage of Mushrooms-

  • Store in a brown paper bag or in a plastic container, but be sure to crack it open so that air can circulate.

For more information about Donald and Mushroom Adventures please go to and don’t forget this September you can buy your very own mushroom log and grow your own at home.

Special thanks to Steve’s Mushrooms

Listen to Paired Mushroom Adventures Live July 5, 1:30pm EDT – and in archives:

Screen shot 2014-07-04 at 11.29.54 PM–discussing-savory-mushrooms-and-wines

Paired with Chef Mary and Duane | a CommDigiNews Hour and Blog Talk Radio production

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Twitter: @chefmarymoran.

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The information provided is general information about healthy eating. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician or other health care provider. Always consult a physician before starting any new diet or regimen.

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Upon graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts in 2002, Chef Mary Payne Moran began her professional career shelling crabs at the world-renowned restaurant, Michael's in Santa Monica. Simultaneously, she launched her own company, Hail Mary’s, founded upon the belief that good food nurtures the soul, and began catering weddings, parties and large corporate events. In the fall of 2008, Mary began teaching her culinary skills to others. Currently she can be found at Hollywood School House teaching her after school cooking class, and teaching her popular "Vegetables or Not Here I Come" assembly. Most recently, Mary has launched another division in her company as well as a chef she is now also a Certified Nutritionist for high profile clients. She helps her clients discover their healthy way of eating. Mary has recently been published in the Los Angeles Magazine, & The New Jersey Star Ledger. Daily she addresses cooking aficionados through her blog - Cooking with Chef Mary as well as her how-to webisodes on You Tube.
  • j.s. miller

    It would have been nice if you would have added how studies have shown that the button mushroom is beneficial in inhibiting prostate and breast cancers, even after being cooked?