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Hen of the Wood Mushrooms Delivery or Pickup

The Instacart guide to Hen of the Wood mushrooms


About Hen of the Wood mushrooms

Hen of the Wood Mushrooms have many names. They're also known as Maitake mushrooms, sheep's head, ram's head, and Kumotake. These mushrooms have been well-known in Asia for years, but in North America, they're just now gaining popularity. They differ from other mushrooms because they don't have gills on the bottoms of their caps. Instead, they have pores through which they release their spores to reproduce. They're known as a "bracket fungus," which means they typically grow near trees.

Their shape inspired the name "Hen of the Wood," and they grow in clusters at the bottoms of hardwood trees. Their brown caps are flat with white edges and somewhat resemble the ruffled feathers of a sitting hen. Their uses in cooking are versatile, and they provide an earthy aroma and unique texture to your dishes. 

Hen of the Wood Mushrooms Near Me

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FAQs About Hen of the Wood Mushrooms

Most chefs will tell you that a simple sauteed mushroom is the way to go, but the culinary universe has taken this mushroom's versatility to a whole new level. Slicing hefty but still young and tender Hen of the Woods mushrooms and grilling or roasting them as "mushroom steaks" makes a great vegetable-based entrée. 

For a fun twist on comfort food, you can use the mushrooms to make a gravy and slather it on slices of toast. These mushrooms also add body to broth-based soups. They're an enticing pizza topping, and they're wonderful stuffed into a chicken breast with prosciutto or in an omelet with plenty of cheese.

Mushrooms are a tasty alternative to meat, but they do not act as a protein substitute. That said, they're still a good addition to bean burgers to give them a beefy texture. You can also use them in pot pies in place of chicken, in tacos instead of ground beef, and in cabbage rolls instead of sausage. And while mushrooms don't add any significant protein to your diet, Hen of the Wood Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, vitamin B, potassium, minerals, and fiber. 

Compared to other mushrooms, Hen of the Wood mushrooms are easy to clean. First, separate the mushroom into leaves or clusters. These mushrooms grow over and around anything nearby, so it's important that you break them up and inspect them thoroughly. Mushroom hunters share stories about the acorns or pebbles they've found in the mushrooms they've foraged. Though cultivated mushrooms are much less likely to have this problem than wild ones, diligence is best. 

As with any mushroom, you don't want to rinse them underwater. The Hen of the Wood is missing gills, which are the primary culprits for water retention. However, the goal of cooking any mushroom is forcing it to release its moisture. This becomes nearly impossible if you have rinsed them. It leads to longer cook times and chewier mushrooms. Instead, gently wipe them with a damp paper towel if you need to remove dirt. 

Adding adventurous ingredients like Hen of the Wood mushrooms to your cooking can take your dishes to the next level!
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