While you may not be wondering how to cook lion’s mane very often, once you find out all about this mushroom, you will be more than ready to start working with it. Lion’s mane is not a new fungus, as it has been part of Asian cuisine and medicine for centuries.
However, these days it has gained popularity because it is a rich meat-free alternative that can be cooked in various ways. You should also be aware that these mushrooms aren’t as common as you think, so take time to look for the real ones and prepare them freshly.
But what makes lion’s mane more special than other mushrooms?
To start, this type of mushroom is a superfood that contains many naturally-occurring antioxidants that can help fight off free radicals and damage that can lead to disease. These same beta-glucans are the ones that can help reduce cholesterol levels and act as anti-inflammatory agents.
For those that seek to cut out meat, lion’s mane can be a wonderful addition, as it is not only a good texture. Don’t be shy when it comes to this mushroom, because it can be one of your new favorite superfoods.
If you want a meal that is filling, healthy, and full of nutrients, then including lion’s mane can make all the difference.
Let’s get to the 7 tips on how to cook lion’s mane:
Tip #1: Start by cleaning your mushrooms
As with any other mushroom, the first thing to do before you eat or prepare them is to clean them. Make sure to trim any bug damage or bruised spots, and run your fingers through to see if there is any dirt hiding under the skin.
If you need to, you can also use a bit of water to rinse the lion’s mane, but make sure not to keep them in water too long, or they may get too soggy. When you use water, squeeze the mushroom dry with a paper towel and do this until the mushrooms appear dry.
Tip #2: Cut your mushrooms into slices
Once your lion’s mane mushrooms are clean, you should cut them into small and thick slices. The size depends largely on what you want to do, but a good rule is to use slices about 2 cm long.
Tip #3: Fry the mushrooms for easy cooking
Lion’s mane mushrooms act like meat, so frying them is a great way to get the crunch. You don’t even need oil, though you can add it, but after a few minutes on a frying pan, these mushrooms will get dehydrated and bring out their flavors.
Each mushroom slice can be fried for about 3-5 minutes. Make sure to stay nearby and move things around so they don’t burn.
Tip #4: Batter fry them for a vegetarian treat
Some of the most common foods that vegetarians miss are those that are fried in dough. With the lion’s mane, you can make a vegetarian dish that is similar and yet still healthy.
To do this, you will need eggs, flour, seasoning, oil, and the lion’s mane mushroom. You can cover the mushrooms in batter and fry them over medium heat, flipping them often.
When you are done, let the mushroom slices rest on a paper towel that helps soak up excess oil.
Tip #5: Dehydrate these mushrooms for longer keeping
We all know how annoying it can be to let food go to waste, so why not save your lion’s mane for later use? You can use a food dehydrator, or your oven, to dry out the mushrooms for a few hours.
Another key thing is to let these mushrooms cool down, so you can freeze them for a longer period.
Tip #6: Add liquid to your lion’s mane if they are already dry
Don’t worry if your dry mushrooms are looking weird, they can still be usable and delicious. All you have to do is add about ½ cup of water or broth when you start sautéing your mushrooms. Slowly, the mushrooms will absorb the liquid and become soft and flavorful again.
Tip #7: Don’t give up; this mushroom can be cooked in various ways
Aside from these basic cooking methods, you can also enjoy lion’s mane cooked in different ways. You can bake them with fish to create delicious fish cakes for any dinner or appetizer. You can also pan-fry them with garlic, scallions, and oil to create the perfect side dish. If you want to replace meat, cut lion’s mane into cubes and sauté until they get brown.
Now that you know how to cook Lion’s Mane mushroom, how can you not want to cook with them? These mushrooms are easier to cook with than you can imagine, but they are also extremely nutritious. Make sure to add lion’s mane to your cooking repertoire for delicious flavors and health benefits.