Hen of the Woods Mushrooms (+Recipes)

The hen of the woods mushroom deliver a savory, earthy flavor that’s absolutely like nothing else you’ve tasted. This mushroom is absolutely fantastic in so many dishes or just by itself when it’s roasted or sautéed.

Take a Look ↓↓↓

Taking a deeper look at what makes this fantastic mushroom so unique, we can see that it doesn’t look like your classic mushroom. Hen of the woods grows in feathery clusters that resemble a hen with fluffed-up feathers. It’s also called the maitake mushroom.

The Hen of the Woods Mushroom

The hen mushroom, also known as maitake hen of the woods, are edible mushrooms you may have come across in forests. Their scientific name is “grifola frondosa,” and unlike many varieties, hen mushrooms commonly grow at the base of trees.

The Hen of the woods is native to China, Europe, and North America. It’s been a favorite in Japan and China for centuries. In fact, the word “maitake” is a Japanese word that means “dancing mushroom.”

Where to find Hen of the Woods Mushrooms?

You may have luck finding hen mushrooms at your local grocery store. Many specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods or Sprouts may have some in stock. However, from my experience, your best bet is either finding them online or through your local farmer’s markets. You can also forage for them yourself. However, it’s best to consult expert guidance if you choose to go foraging for mushrooms. There are a lot of hen of the woods look-alike mushrooms that can be very dangerous if consumed.

What are some health benefits to eating Hen of the Woods Mushrooms?

A few studies show grifola frondosa may do a better job than other types of fungi when it comes to helping prevent or treat cancer. This mushroom also is a rich source of vitamin b and C, antioxidants, and fiber, along with other important nutrients.

What does Maitake Musroooms taste like?

While many mushrooms require strong seasoning, hen mushrooms have a naturally earthy, savory flavor that delivers a peppery finish. Wild maitake mushrooms are best served cooked, and there are tons of exciting hen of the woods mushroom recipes out there!

How to Store and Clean Hen of the Woods Mushrooms

Here are some tips on cleaning and storing wild maitake mushrooms.

Storing

If you buy hen mushrooms at the store are farmer’s market, you can always leave them in their original packaging. However, the best way to store them is in a paper bag. Unlike plastic, paper bags allow your wild maitake mushrooms to breathe. Another tip is to avoid putting them in the produce drawer of your refrigerator. Put them in an open area. That way, they get better airflow.

Cleaning

Most of the woods mushrooms (grifola frondosa) usually don’t have much dirt since they mostly grow on trees. However, it’s best to give your mushrooms a quick rinse for good measure. But, don’t soak them, or else they may become soggy.

Maitake Mushroom Recipe: Roasted Hen of the Woods Mushrooms

Hen of the woods mushrooms has a delicious peppery, earthy flavor that really comes out when cooked. This mushroom tastes amazing when roasted as the edges get nice and crispy, making them positively irresistible.

To prepare this dish, we decided to use Mediterranean flavors. Now, if you wish to use Japanese flavors, you can try this recipe for Sauteed Maitake Mushrooms. Here are the basic steps.

  • First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Next, using your fingers, pull your maitake mushrooms into 3-inch slices. Discard the stem, but don’t throw it away. You can always use them for making delicious mushroom stock. Also, there’s no need to slice. Pulling your mushrooms apart helps preserve their shape.
  • Now, mix your mushrooms with salt, oil, and seasonings. The recipe below will tell you the exact quantities.
  • Finally, roast your hen of the woods mushrooms for about 20 minutes until they are tender with slightly crispy edges.

Hen of the Woods Mushrooms: Other Ways to Serve

Pasta: Add then to your favorite pasta dish like Creamy White Pasta.

Side dish: Eat them by themselves or with a savory pesto aioli dipping sauce

Ramen: Try them in a big bowl of steaming mushroom ramen.

Pizza: Add them as toppings to your favorite mushroom pizza.

This Maitake Mushroom Recipe is…

Vegan, Vegetarian, dairy-free, plant-based, and gluten-free.

Roasted Hen of the Woods Recipe

Here’s everything you need to know for making savory roasted hen of the woods mushrooms!

Ingredients

  • Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
  • Hen of the woods mushrooms – 1 Pound
  • Garlic powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dried thyme – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dried oregano – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Kosher salt – 1 teaspoon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. If you see dirt, rinse your mushrooms and use paper towels to pat them dry. Then pull them apart using your fingers into 3-inch pieces. Discard the bottom stems.
  3. Toss your maitake mushrooms in a bowl with garlic powder, olive oil, thyme, oregano, and salt. Then place the mushrooms on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake your mushrooms for 20-25 minutes until they are brown and crispy. Serve them fresh from the oven as a stand-alone dish or with a dipping sauce such as pesto aioli.

Below is a video that shows you how to find and clean hen of the woods mushrooms and how to cook hen of the woods mushrooms.

Hen of the Woods Mushrooms (+Recipes)

These recipes are sure to please. So, gather your family and friends and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts!
5 from 6 votes

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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