What You Should Know
Pleurotus eryngii is an edible mushroom characterized by a thick, meaty stem, small, tan to brown cap, white to light brown gills that run down the stem and attach to it, and it's typically found growing on dead or dying hardwood trees and in cultivation on sawdust and straw substrates. It has the longest shelf-life and it is the third most popular mushroom in the world in terms of production.
Its natural range extends from the Atlantic Ocean through the Mediterranean Basin and Central Europe into Western Asia and India. Unlike other species of Pleurotus, which are primarily wood-decay fungi, the P. eryngii complex are also weak parasites on the roots of herbaceous plants, although they may also be cultured on organic wastes.
If grown indoors with minimal fresh air and low light levels, the mushroom will grow a fat tall stem and a tiny cap, while lots of fresh air and light will produce a mushroom with a small stem and large dark cap.
When harvested, the mushroom should be firm, with no signs of sliminess or discoloration. This mushroom is highly prized in many cuisines, particularly Italian, where it is often used in risottos, pastas, and other dishes.
Other names: King Trumpet Mushroom, French Horn Mushroom, King Oyster Mushroom, King Brown Mushroom, Boletus Of The Steppes, Trumpet Royale, Ali'i Oyster, Brauner Kräuter-Seitling (German), Koningsoesterzwam (Netherlands), Pleurote de panicaut (France).
Pleurotus eryngii Mushroom Identification
Is characterized by its thick, meaty stem and small, tan to a brown cap. The cap can range in shape from convex to bell-shaped and is usually 1-8 cm in diameter.
White to light brown and run down the stem, attaching to the stem rather than the cap.
White to light brown and can grow up to 10 cm long and 2-3 cm wide. It is usually thicker and meatier than the stems of other Pleurotus species.
- Flesh and Taste
The flesh has a meaty texture and nutty flavor.
Grows in clusters on dead or dying hardwood trees, as well as on sawdust and straw substrates in cultivation. It typically fruits in the late summer to early fall. In the wild, they typically grow with a small stem and a large, dark cap.
Pleurotus eryngii Health Benefits
Pleurotus eryngii contains anti-inflammatory protein PEP and polyphenol-rich extract which have been shown to reduce the proliferation of colon cancer cells without damaging normal cells in studies on human tissue cultures and living mice. It has potential in the treatment of colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The effects are dose-dependent, with higher doses having a stronger effect.
Pleurotus eryngii extracts have shown promise in the treatment of multiple cancers in cell cultures and animal models, including liver, lung and breast cancer. However, it should be noted that the mushroom as a whole has not been tested as a cancer treatment and more research is needed.
Pleurotus eryngii has potential as an antiviral agent, as it was found to attack certain strains of influenza and herpes viruses in a study that used mycelium.
A whole-tissue extract of P. eryngii was tested against multiple types of bacteria and yeast that had been grown in Petri dishes; the extract killed some of the microorganisms but not others, showing limited, but real, potential as an antimicrobial agent.
Immune system support
Pleurotus eryngii contains β-glucans, polysaccharides that have anti-tumor and immune-supportive properties. Studies have shown that it is a good source of β-glucans when cooked and eaten and that it shows changes in cultured cells consistent with greater immune and anti-tumor activity.
It is touted as a testosterone booster. Studies have shown that it improves markers of health and increases testosterone levels in elk. Also, compounds from P. eryngii have been found to inhibit the action of aromatase, an enzyme that converts androgens into estrogens, potentially resulting in increased testosterone levels. However, these studies were conducted on chemical samples and not human subjects.
The reduction of fats, such as cholesterol, in the blood
Rats bred to have high cholesterol were given powdered P. eryngii in their diet to test the mushroom as a possible treatment for high cholesterol and obesity. The rats receiving the mushroom showed significant decreases in cholesterol and an improvement in the ratio of "good" to "bad" cholesterol, as well as a reduction in total body weight. Apart from being killed by researchers at the end of the study, the animals were healthy. Other studies, both in rats and in cultured cells, showed similar results.
High-cholesterol rats were also used in a study of P. eryngii as a possible treatment for diabetes. Diabetes was artificially induced in the test subjects. While the mushroom-fed animals did not show a significant decrease in total cholesterol, their ratios of "good" to "bad" cholesterol improved, their body weight dropped, and, more to the point, their blood glucose levels dropped significantly. The mushroom did not cure the rats, but does show promise as a way to help control diabetes in concert with other treatments.
Prevention of food poisoning
Not all health benefits involve taking medicine. A serious problem in agriculture is the contamination of corn and, to a lesser extent, other crops, with fungus that produces aflatoxin B1, a dangerous poison. The contaminated corn must usually be discarded, a great waste. However, one study shows that P. eryngii can not only grow in the contaminated corn, it can also break down the toxin. The resulting mushrooms are entirely safe to eat, and after one month of growth, the corn-based growth medium also no longer contains toxins and could be safely used for something else.
Pleurotus eryngii Side Effects
King trumpet mushroom, is considered safe to eat and is commonly used in culinary dishes. However, there may be some potential risks. It is possible that concentrated extracts may have side effects, and they also have an effect on androgen/estrogen ratios. It's also important to note that it hasn't been widely tested for its medicinal value in humans. While studies on animals and in-vitro suggest potential benefits, more research is needed. It's always best to consult with a healthcare practitioner before taking it as a supplement.
Pleurotus eryngii Cultivation Tips
Unlike other oyster varieties, the King Oyster doesn’t usually produce a shelf-like formation but instead produces a mushroom with a round cap and a defined stem. The cap usually unrolls with age, becoming flat and eventually uncurled. If grown indoors with minimal fresh air and low light levels, the mushroom will grow a fat tall stem and a tiny cap, while lots of fresh air and light will produce a mushroom with a small stem and large dark cap. King Oysters can be quite large, sometimes producing single fruits weighing well over one pound.
These mushrooms grow on many substrates such as coffee grounds, straw, and even cardboard. They are one of the most basic saprophytic mushrooms to grow. The simplest method to grow this mushroom is to add grain spawn to fresh sawdust that has been soaked in water with hydrated lime. Add up to 40% bran to the sawdust mix, then pressure cooking (or steaming) the substrate, prior to inoculating, increases the yields significantly.
Tips for proper Pleurotus eryngii growing:
King Oyster mycelium grows vigorously on Malt Yeast Agar. Growth is somewhat slower than other Oyster species. Mycelium appears thick and fluffy. Sometimes rhizomorphic.
Grains, especially Rye. It can also use millet, or wild bird seed. Hardwood sawdust is also an effective spawn medium.
King oyster grows best on supplemented hardwood sawdust in autoclavable grow bags. Supplement with wheat bran at 10-15%. King Oysters will also grow well on straw, however, unlike other Oyster species, the yield will be reduced. Cultivators also report that King Oyster will have a longer shelf life and a better texture if grown on hardwood sawdust rather than straw.
Large gusseted autoclavable grow bags with a filter patch will produce the best results. For straw, logs use poly tubing. It can also be grown with success outdoors in garden beds.
Unlike other Oyster mushrooms, King Oyster will benefit from a casing layer. Use 50/50 peat moss and vermiculite with 1% hydrated lime to prevent casing contamination.
Typically, 1 lb can be grown from a 5 lb supplemented sawdust block on the first flush. Multiple flushes can be achieved. Some cultivators get 2 lbs from a block on a single flush.
When to harvest the King Oyster depends on cultivator's preference. Smaller younger mushrooms will generally have a better texture and flavor, but less yield will be achieved. King Oysters are unique among oysters in that the stem is highly desired for culinary uses, so allowing the stem to grow large may be desired. Harvest by removing the mushrooms at the base of the stem, being careful not to damage the top of the block if subsequent flushes are desired.
King Oysters are generally resilient against contamination but can be susceptible to blotch. Blotch is a bacterial infection generally caused by excessive humidity. It is shown by dark spots on the mushroom fruitbody. Remedy by reducing the humidity and ensuring water droplets do not remain on fruitbody for too long. Increase air exchanges.
Pleurotus eryngii Varietes
Pleurotus eryngii var. eryngii (DC.) Quél 1872 – associated with Eryngium ssp.
Pleurotus eryngii var. ferulae (Lanzi) Sacc. 1887 – associated with Ferula communis
Pleurotus eryngii var. tingitanus Lewinsohn 2002 – associated with Ferula tingitana
Pleurotus eryngii var. elaeoselini Venturella, Zervakis & La Rocca 2000 – associated with Elaeoselinum asclepium
Pleurotus eryngii var. thapsiae Venturella, Zervakis & Saitta 2002 – associated with Thapsia garganica
Pleurotus eryngii How To Cook
King Oyster taste exactly like the freshest scallops. These can be sliced throughout its length, breadth, or even diagonally. The mushrooms should not be eaten raw. They can be cooked, grilled, or stir-fried. If you keep them refrigerated, they will stay fresh for 5-7 days. Store bulk mushrooms in a paper bag. And remember, if you feel an ammonia-like smell, it's a sign that the king oyster mushroom has gone bad.
Pleurotus eryngii Nutrition Facts
Recipe: Roasted King Oyster Mushrooms
1/2 pounds king oyster mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 425°.
Arrange the mushroom slices on a large rimmed baking sheet in a slightly overlapping layer.
Dot the mushrooms with the butter and drizzle with the chicken stock and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Roast the mushrooms in the center of the oven for about 50 minutes, turning occasionally, until the stock has evaporated and the mushrooms are tender and lightly browned in spots.
Blot with paper towels and transfer to a plate.
Sprinkle the mushrooms with the parsley and serve.
Recipe: Eryngii Mushroom Stir-Fry
200 g of eryngii mushroom, clean under running water and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
Generous amount of white pepper powder
2 tbsp of oil
Heat oil in the wok. Saute garlic till fragrant.
Stir in eryngii mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes.
Add oyster sauce and white pepper powder to mix well.
Stir-fry till you observe liquid released from the mushroom.
Dish out and serve hot with rice.
Recipe: King Oyster Mushroom Scallops
4 large King Oyster Mushrooms tops removed (save those for later) & sliced into about 1" pieces
1 tbsp Vegan Margarine
For the maple glaze:
2 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
3-4 tbsp Maple Syrup (use less or more, to taste)
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Red Pepper Flakes OPTIONAL, to taste
Hot Sauce or Sriracha OPTIONAL, to taste
Wild and Brown Rice Blend
Red Pepper Flakes
Prepare rice and broccoli first.
Wipe clean if necessary and take off just enough under the top where you see gills. You want just the white stems.
Slice into 1" rounds (they will shrink slightly when cooking).
Add 1 tbsp of vegan margarine to a non-stick skillet and allow each side of the mushroom to cook for a few minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve the mushroom scallops over rice and with a generous helping of broccoli florets. Garnish with lemon wedges, red pepper flakes and chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy!
To prepare the glaze:
Whisk together the glaze ingredients and add to the pan once the mushrooms have browned. Allow to reduce and thicken.
Recipe: Pleurotus eryngii Vegetables Stir-Fry Noodles
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Some extra virgin olive oil for stir-frying
4 king oyster mushrooms (145g/5oz), washed and thinly sliced lengthwise
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms (170g/6oz), washed and thinly sliced
75g (2.6oz) brown beech mushrooms, washed and separated
300g (10.6oz) enoki mushrooms, washed and trimmed 1cm at the ends
3 garlic cloves minced
5cm ginger, peeled and finely grated
500g (17.6oz/1.1Ib) gluten-free Pad Thai rice noodles (Chang’s) or any gluten-free rice noodles
1 bunch choy sum, washed and cut into 8cm in length
1 red capsicum, halved, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow capsicum, halved deseeded and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons pale or medium-dry sherry
1 tablespoon salt or to taste
For the Sauce:
4 tablespoons blackstrap molasses (Blue Label)
4 tablespoons gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (Spring Gully Foods)
3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
3 tablespoons pale or medium-dry sherry
¼ teaspoon of ground white pepper
Prepare and mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Heat up the wok with some extra virgin olive oil, stir-fry all the mushrooms on medium to high heat for 3 minutes or until just cooked. Remove mushrooms including juice and set aside. Clean wok with kitchen paper towel.
Heat up the wok again with some extra virgin olive oil, stir-fry the capsicums and choy sum for 2 minutes or until they are just cooked on medium to high heat. Remove and set aside. Clean wok with kitchen paper towel.
Fill a pot half full of water, bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and the rice noodles into the wok for 2 minutes or until the rice noodles are just soft. Separate the noodles, drain the water, remove and set aside.
For stir-frying and combining the dish, heat up the wok with 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, add garlic and ginger and stir-fry until lightly golden on low heat. Return the rice noodles to the wok. Then add the sauce, toss and mix well.
Add in all the cooked mushrooms, capsicums, and choy sum and stir and mix well for another 5 minutes on medium to high heat or until heated through.
Recipe: Fried Pleurotus eryngii with Lemongrass Dressing
300 g Pleurotus eryngii mushrooms/king oyster mushrooms (slice)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tbsp basil power
1 cup roasted cashew nuts (coarsely grind)
½ tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp wheat flour
3 tbsp rice flour
Mix Pleurotus eryngii mushrooms with nutritional yeast flakes, salt, wheat flour, and black pepper powder.
Then, combine ground cashew nuts, rice flour and basil powder as a second layer crispy coating.
Heat oil over medium heat.
Coat Pleurotus eryngii mushrooms with the cashew nut crispy coating above and fry until they are crisp and golden brown.
Remove, drain and lay them on a plate.
2 stalks lemongrass (slice the bulbs and dice)
½ lemon (squeeze the juice)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
3 tbsp maltose syrup
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ cup water
Heat olive oil and lightly fry the lemongrass.
Add lemon juice, nutritional yeast flakes, maltose syrup, sugar, corn starch, and water.
Bring to a boil, remove, ladle the dressing over the fried Pleurotus eryngii mushrooms and serve.
Recipe: Teriyaki King Oyster Mushroom
2 (400 grams) large king oyster mushrooms
2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
2 tablespoons Japanese sake
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
2 servings steamed white rice to serve with
Halve king oyster mushroom lengthwise, then slice into 4mm (slightly more than 1/8 in, double the thickness of a 1-dollar coin) thick slices. Transfer to a big plate.
Combine light soy sauce, Japanese sake, and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well.
Use a dining spoon to distribute the sauce over the mushrooms. Mix with chopsticks until the mushrooms are evenly covered with the sauce. Marinate for 15 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to a nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat until warm. Add 2 teaspoons green onion and stir a few times.
Cook mushrooms in batches. Spread them across the skillet without overlapping them. Save the marinating liquid for later use.
Let mushrooms grill without stirring them. When the skillet gets hot, turn to medium heat (or low heat if the skillet starts to smoke). When the bottom side turns golden, flip with chopsticks (or tongs) to grill the other side. Keep grilling and flipping, until both sides turn golden brown, with slightly charred edges. The process took me 8 minutes, but your cooking time will vary depending on the type of stove you’re using. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 teaspoons of green onion. Continue to cook the remainder of the mushrooms. The cooking process will be shorter this time, since the skillet is quite hot already.
Adjust heat between low and medium to cook the mushrooms slowly, with the skillet remaining hot. The mushrooms should be slightly charred and dehydrated without getting burnt. (I cooked two batches with a 24 inch skillet. You might need to cook more (or fewer) batches depending on the amount of mushrooms and the size of your skillet. Be sure to adjust the amount of oil accordingly.
When the last batch of mushrooms is cooked, add the previous batch(es) back into the skillet.
Pour the marinade over the mushrooms. Keep cooking over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.
Place the mushrooms onto the steamed rice. Garnish with the remaining 2 teaspoons of green onion and the sesame seeds. Serve warm.
Recipe: Pleurotus eryngii With Garlic & Green Onions Saute (Paleo, Gluten-Free)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound oyster mushrooms
4 garlic cloves minced
4 green onions finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat until hot but not smoking. Immediately add mushrooms and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes, regularly stirring with spatula. After 2-3 minutes of sauteing, reduce the heat a bit and sprinkle the mushrooms with a little bit of salt, stir to mix, cover with the lid and continue to cook the mushrooms for another 5-7 minutes, occasionally stirring, until they soften and release some juices. Having the lid on will allow mushrooms to generate some moisture and not get burned. Mushrooms should be cooked for a total of 7-10 minutes.
If there is too much liquid in the pan, cook for 1-2 more minutes uncovered, on medium heat, to let extra moisture evaporate.
When mushrooms are completely cooked, add half of the chopped green onions to the mushrooms, mix and season the mushrooms with salt and pepper.
When serving, top each serving with the remaining chopped green onions.
Recipe: Crispy Eryngii Mushrooms With Chilli Mango Sauce
3 pieces fresh eryngii mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 egg white, slightly beaten
Adequate plain flour for tossing
80 g plain flour
50 g rice flour
1 tbsp custard powder
1 tbsp cornflour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp pepper
1 tbsp corn oil
200 ml water
Dipping sauce – mixed
3 bird’s eye chilies, finely chopped and seeds removed
1 ripe mango flesh blended into a paste
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp chili sauce
2-2½ tbsp soft brown sugar or to taste
1½ tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp thick coconut milk
Combine all batter ingredients (except water and oil) well in a mixing bowl. Pour in water and stir well with a hand whisk then mix in oil.
Coat mushroom pieces with egg white then with some plain flour. Lastly, put mushrooms into the batter.
Remove each piece of mushroom from the batter and deep-fry in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Drain on several pieces of kitchen paper.
Combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low simmering boil. To serve sprinkle some toasted black sesame seeds over the crispy mushrooms. Serve with the dipping sauce.
Recipe: Salted Egg Yolk With Eryngii Mushrooms
3 salted egg yolks
200 g eryngii
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 stalks curry leaves
3 bird’s eye chilies, chopped
Batter (A) – combined:
70 g potato starch
30 g cornflour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp pepper
1-2 tbsp castor sugar
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp chicken stock powder
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Steam salted egg yolks over medium heat for 10-15 minutes till cooked. Remove and mash with a fork into a fine paste.
Cut mushrooms into medium-sized chunks. Coat the mushroom pieces in the beaten egg, then dip each piece in the combined batter ingredients and deep-fry in hot oil over medium-high heat till crispy and golden.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter and sesame oil in a clean wok. Add bird’s eye chilies and curry leaves. Fry till fragrant then stir in mashed salted egg yolks. Keep stirring till bubbles appear.
Add pre-fried mushrooms followed by seasoning to mix. Toss and fry briskly to combine. Once done, dish out and sprinkle with some chopped red chili.
Recipe: Stir-Fried Eryngii Mushrooms With Crispy Garlic
4 pieces eryngii
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped sweet mustard (sweet choy poe)
1 tsp ginger slices
1 tbsp diced red capsicum
1 tbsp diced green capsicum
1 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp pepper
½ tsp chicken stock powder
3 tbsp water
Wash eryngii mushrooms well. Cut into slices on the slant.
Heat adequate oil in a wok and deep-fry garlic till golden and crispy. Dish out and set aside. Add the choy poe to the remaining hot oil and deep-fry till crispy. Dish out and set aside.
Heat a saucepan till hot; add 1 tablespoon oil. Add mushrooms; stir-fry over high heat till just done. Add ginger, both capsicums and stir in seasoning to mix.
Toss and fry briskly, then add the pre-fried garlic and choy poe. Mix till well combined. Dish out and serve immediately.
Recipe: Eryngii Mushroom in Marmite Sauce
200 g Eringyii mushroom
1 bell pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 bulb garlic, chopped finely
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp Marmite
4 tbsp date syrup
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp arrowroot flour
1/3 cup water
Mix all sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
Warm up cooking oil in a wok and fry garlic and onion for 7-8 mins or until they start to brown.
Add mushrooms, diced vegetables, and salt. Stir-fry for 2-3 mins, until the mushrooms start to soften and give out moisture.
Pour in sauce mix and continue to stir-fry for about a minute until the sauce thickens.
Serve immediately with rice.
Pleurotus eryngii Video
Photo 1 - Author: Holger Krisp (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 4 - Author: Ferit BAYCUMAN (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 5 - Author: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
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