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14 Types Of Mushrooms And How To Cook With Them

A fung-guide to mushrooms.

types of mushrooms

If someone says they don't like mushrooms, they probably just haven't found the type for them yet. After all, there are over 2,000 varieties of edible mushrooms in the world. There's a shroom out there for everyone.

But when faced with all the mushroom varieties at the grocery store, it can be overwhelming. Which type do you buy? Button? Shiitake? Cremini? How do you cook them? How do you season them?

We chatted with mushroom expert Jenny Linford, who wrote a cookbook all about fungi called Mushrooms. She likes to cook her mushrooms a few different ways. "Quickly searing mushrooms in a hot, dry pan intensifies their flavor and gives them a tougher texture," she said. "Gently frying mushrooms in a little butter or oil brings out their flavor while keeping their juiciness."

What's important to note is that mushrooms are full of water, so the more you cook them, the more they'll shrink. But they will always add something great to your dishes. "Mushrooms are often used in the kitchen to add texture as well as flavor," Linford said. "Try raw mushroom salads or quickly pickled mushrooms." She also said not to overlook dried mushrooms. They last in the pantry a long time, and their flavor is more intense than fresh. Just don't forget to soak them in hot water before cooking.

Here are all the most common mushroom types and how to use them in the kitchen.

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Beech mushrooms grow on beech trees, have thin stems, small tops, and come in clumps. Once cooked, they tend to hold their crunch well, adding a nice, nutty texture to salads or side dishes.

Black Trumpet
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Black trumpet mushrooms are the darker, nuttier version of chanterelles (which we will get to). They have a rich, smoky flavor that plays well with simple dishes.

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You definitely recognize these from the grocery store. Also called white mushrooms, button mushrooms are what you see most often as a side dish at steakhouses. The outside is a creamy white and the inside has dark brown lines.

They don't have much flavor on their own, but "use [them] whole in dishes where you want their shape and texture," Linford recommends. Or make a garlick-y side with them, like these garlic butter mushrooms.

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These orange, flower-like mushrooms are one of the most popular wild edible mushrooms. Their flavor is a little fruity, and they are "highly prized for their fragrance and beautiful appearance," Linford said. "Briefly fry these in oil or butter before adding as a garnish to meat, poultry, or fish dishes."

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Cremini mushrooms have brown tops, white stems, and a tan interior. They're similar in flavor to button mushrooms, but typically costs a little more.

"Slice and fry in butter, add a splash of cream, touch of grain mustard, and sprinkle of chopped parsley for the most delicious mushrooms on toast," Linford said. "[These are] also good on pizzas."

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Enoki mushrooms look like little sea plants. They have long stems, tiny caps, and a mild flavor.

"Fry these slender-stalked mushrooms in butter with garlic or soy sauce or add at the last minute of cooking to soup ramen or hot pots."

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The hedgehog mushroom has a stem that varies in size, a flat wide top with a tooth-y underside, and a fruity aroma. The flavor is sweet and nutty, best enjoyed sautéed in butter.

King Trumpet
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Trumpet mushrooms have a thick stalk and thin caps. "Also known as king oyster mushrooms, these large mushrooms have a great, scallop-like texture," Linford said. "Excellent fried or added to sauces or stews." Try replacing the scallops in this recipe with a one-inch slice of the stem.

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Maitake mushrooms are also called hen of the woods for their meaty texture and flavor. They are a wild variety, "best simply sautéed and eaten on its own so as to enjoy its distinctive flavor," Linford said.


Morels have short stems and oblong tops with a veiny, honeycomb-like texture. Because of that, they are great in sauces with meat or pasta. Try them in this coq au vin recipe.

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The oyster mushroom gets its name from the cap's color and shape, which looks similar to an oyster. Their flavor also evokes that of seafood.

"These have a very delicate flavor and texture, so use in stir-fries," Linford said. "Try pairing with chicken or vegetables or add to soups." Enjoy it in this chicken-fried mushrooms dish.

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Porcini mushrooms have a fat stem that's a little thicker on the bottom and a thin umbrella-shaped top and creamy-white interior. Their rich and earthy flavor is more intense than most mushrooms'.

"A classic Italian way to enjoy fresh porcini is sautéed in olive oil with garlic and parsley," Linford said. You'll also commonly see porcini in dried form, which is a great way to add flavor to soups, stews, or sauces.

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These big beauties are a few inches in diameter and have a meaty texture, making them great in vegetarian dishes. "Their open shape and texture means these are excellent for stuffing or using for mushroom burgers," Linford said. Try this stuffed portabello mushroom recipe with breadcrumbs

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These brown topped, white under-sided mushrooms have a buttery and meaty flavor. "Fresh shiitake are great in stir-fries or added to miso soup," Linford said. "Dried shiitake, sometimes simply called Chinese mushrooms, are great in Chinese braised dishes, bringing a meaty texture and flavor." Try these sautéed mushroom dish made with shiitake.

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