Recipes & Photos by Zach Papaleoni of Spore to Fork
Lion's mane mushrooms are an incredibly potent medicinal mushroom that are as delicious as they are healthy. Lion's mane makes an amazing meat substitute for vegetarian dishes with a flavor and texture similar to crab. In this blog post, our friend Zach from Spore to Fork outlines 5 delicious recipes, with creative ways to prep, cook, and garnish your lion's mane mushrooms.
Of all the mushroom kits offered by North Spore, lion's mane is our absolute favorite. First, lion’s mane is an absolute culinary dream both in texture and flavor. Secondly, its cognitive health benefits are certainly something to celebrate! Our recipes here highlight these incredible mushrooms in 5 unique ways. (Pro tip: Every one of these recipes can be made easily off the first fruiting of a Lion's Mane Spray & Grow Kit!)
1. Crispy Sautéed Lion's Mane Mushrooms w/ Garlic and Herbs
Recipe #1 starts with a basic cooking technique that all growers and foragers should be working to master - the sauté. Although this particular recipe is a bit more involved than simply putting a mushroom in a pan with fat, the additional “sear” step provides a unique crispy exterior which is otherwise impossible to achieve.
6 oz Lion’s Mane mushroom, sliced in 1/2” pieces
1 tsp Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper to taste
Dusting of flour
2 tbsp pure olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme or other herbs of choice (reserve a couple sprigs for garnish)
1. Season both sides of mushrooms with salt, pepper and a light dusting of flour.
2. Place large nonstick skillet over medium/high, add pure olive oil.
3. When faint wisps of smoke appear in pan, tap extra flour off mushrooms and add them to pan. Sauté on one side until golden brown. Flip and sauté other side until golden brown.
4. Lower heat to medium, add butter and garlic directly to pan surface. Sprinkle with herbs.
5. When butter melts, toss contents of pan occasionally and cook until garlic is golden brown. Taste and re-season if desired.
6. Place mushrooms on plate and drizzle pan drippings overtop. Serve immediately.
2. Lion's Mane Mushroom Egg Drop Soup
If you’re in the mood for a quick and easy light soup, this next one is the recipe for you! This standard egg drop soup has the simple addition of our favorite mushroom. It’s entirely flavorful, filling and satisfying.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp scallion whites, thinly sliced; 2 tbsp scallion greens, thinly sliced
1 qt chicken stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 dash white pepper
1 tap sesame oil
6 oz Lion’s Mane mushroom
2 eggs, beaten
1. Heat medium stock pot over low heat. Add oil, scallion whites and ginger and sweat until translucent.
2. Add stock, soy sauce, salt, white pepper and sesame oil. Raise heat to med/high and bring liquid to simmer.
3. Add mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Whisk in eggs slowly in a constant stream.
5. Serve immediately and garnish with scallion greens.
3. “Soft Shell” Lion's Mane Mushroom Sandwich
The next recipe in our series utilizes the thickest “hearts” of the mushroom and virtually transforms them into the flavor, texture and look of soft-shell crab. Here, we utilize that entire beautiful slab of greatness as the main ingredient in an incredibly satisfying sandwich.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (we prefer medium grind)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1.5 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, divided
1 tsp Kosher salt
4 cracks freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
4 large 3/4” center cuts of Lion’s Mane mushrooms 12oz
1 cup vegetable oil
4 brioche rolls, toasted
4 1/4” slices of large beefsteak tomato
1. Mix flour, cornmeal, 1 tbsp Old Bay, 1 tsp Kosher salt and black pepper in medium bowl.
2. Coat mushrooms in dry blend, pat off any excess dry blend, dip in egg then coat one final time in dry blend. Place on flat surface.
3. Heat oil over med/high heat in large skillet and, when oil bubbles with a small addition of dry blend, place mushrooms in skillet. Cook until golden brown on one side, flip and cook until golden brown on
other side. Remove and set aside on cooling rack. Season with 1/2 tbsp Old Bay and additional salt if desired.
4. Smear both sides of toasted roll with mayonnaise, place lettuce and tomato on bottom then add mushroom.
4. She "Crab" Lion's Mane Mushroom Soup
Up next, we travel down South for our mushroomy take on a flavorful and filling classic soup. This luxurious recipe goes heavy on the mushrooms and provides a wonderful taste experience.
5 tbsp unsalted butter
5 tbsp flour
1 medium white onion, small dice
1 stalk celery, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 qts whole milk
2 pts heavy cream
1 cup stock (chicken preferred)
1/2 cup sherry wine
2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 lb Lion’s Mane mushrooms, pulled into bite-sized pieces
3 tbsp Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper to taste
Fresh chives, minced (garnish)
1. Place large stockpot over low/med heat.
2. Add onion, celery and garlic and sweat until soft and translucent.
3. Add butter and flour to make roux. Cook about 3 minutes (until “nutty” aroma begins to appear).
4. Slowly whisk in broth, then milk, heavy cream then sherry. Add Worcestershire sauce, dill and cayenne. Raise heat to med/high and stir often until liquid comes to a simmer.
5. Cover loosely and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often. Ensure the bottom of the pot is scraped while stirring and that the heat is reduced if needed to prevent scorching.
6. Add mushrooms and simmer 5 minutes
7. Place in bowls and garnish with chives.
5. Lion's Mane Mushroom “Crab” Cakes
Our final recipe is perhaps the most well-known Lion’s Mane recipe. Our twist on this classic will literally fool your mouth into thinking you’re tasting real high-quality lump crab meat. Enjoy!
6oz Lion’s Mane mushrooms, pulled into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup yellow onion, minced
2 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper, to taste
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
3 tbsp unsalted butter
6 slider rolls
Lemon wedges (garnish)
Chives, thinly sliced (garnish)
1. Mix first 10 ingredients in bowl and separate into 6 loosely packed “crab” cakes.
2. Heat butter over medium heat in non-stick skillet. As soon as butter ceases to bubble, add “crab” cakes to pan (if butter begins to brown, reduce heat).
3. Cook until golden brown, flip and repeat. Continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 155°.
4. Remove from pan and place on paper towel or cooling rack.
5. Smear rolls with Remoulade, add “crab” cakes and top with chives. Serve with lemon wedge.
Grow your own lion's mane mushrooms to use in these recipes!