Oyster Mushrooms

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 15. Oct. 2020

Oyster mushrooms' are more than their delicious meaty texture and flavor; indeed these savory little morsels are surprisingly nutritious. Read up on all their health benefits below.

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Oyster mushrooms...

  • ...help keep nerves and muscles healthy.
    Oyster mushrooms have by far the highest niacin content of all cultivated mushrooms. Just 100 g of oyster mushrooms covers more than half your daily requirement of these important nutrients, also known as B3, which helps keep your muscles and nervous system functioning properly.
  • ...help protect the body's cells.
    Oysters contain the polysaccharide pleuran, a powerful antioxidant which helps protect the body’s cells against free radical damage.
  • ...may help improve mood.
    Oyster mushrooms contain folic acid, a B group vitamin which helps support healthy sleep and memory retention, and might even help balance mood.
  • ...contain important minerals.
    Oyster mushrooms contain considerable amounts of important minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, copper and phosphorus.
  • ...are good for dieters.
    Oyster mushrooms are the perfect diet food; they’re low in calories, fat free and contain considerable amounts of fiber, which help keep you full for a long time.
  • ...are heart-healthy.
    Oyster mushrooms contain the substance lovastatin, which has been proven to help lower cholesterol levels. Their high potassium content (254 mg per 100 g serving) is also beneficial for blood pressure.
  • ...aren't for everyone.
    Oyster mushrooms can be hard on some sensitive stomachs, especially if served raw. Chewing them particularly well before swallowing might help alleviate some symptoms.

What You Should Know About Oyster Mushrooms

Origins

Oyster mushrooms originally come from Southeast Asia, where they sprout wild on tree trunks and on rotten wood in autumn and winter.

Season

Oyster mushrooms are commonly forged in the spring or fall, although they are usually available year round in most supermarkets.

Flavor

The subtle, fine taste of oyster mushrooms is a bit reminiscent of veal. In appearance, oyster mushrooms have a hat shape that bare a resemblance to chanterelles.

Oyster Mushroom Cookbooks

Find all our recipes with oyster mushroom here.

How Healthy are Oyster Mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms are a good source of various vitamins and minerals, including niacin, which helps keep the nervous system and muscles healthy; pleuran, a powerful polysaccharide which acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body's cells against free radical damage; and folic acid, which helps support healthy sleep and memory retention. Oyster mushrooms also contain the minerals iron, potassium, magnesium, copper and phosphorus.

One of the most powerful components of the oyster mushroom is its high content of lovastatin, a substance which has been proven to help lower cholesterol levels. Oyster mushrooms' potassium content is also beneficial for blood pressure.

Beyond its nutritional qualities, oyster mushrooms are also a great diet food. They contain few calories, no fat and contain considerable amounts of fiber as well as some protein, which help keep you full for a long time.

OYSTER MUSHROOMS NUTRITIONAL INFO (100 g)  
Calories 35
Protein 3.5 g
Fat 0.2 g
Carbohydrates 2.6 g
Fiber 6 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Purchasing

When purchasing oyster mushrooms, look out for their color and texture. Fresh oyster mushrooms are a shade of light gray or brown and have unblemished skin. Dark spots or bruising generally means the mushroom is older and has probably gone bad. Next give the mushroom a slight squeeze. It should have firm skin but a bit of give, with a spongey feel reminiscent of raw meat. If instead the oyster mushroom feels hard, it has gone bad.

Preparation

Preparing oyster mushrooms is a breeze. Simply clean it gently with a wet kitchen towel, making sure to remove all the dirt and grime, then dry and cut off the stems. Depending on the variety, you might have to cut the mushroom tops as well to make sure they're an edible size. 

What to Make With Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are extremely adaptable and versatile: they can be steamed, fried, deep-fried, grilled, roasted, or prepared via really any cooking method. Their unique flavor also goes beautifully in an array of dishes; they taste just as delicious in an Asian-inspired stirfry cooked in a wok as they do in an Italian-inspired ragout or rich French chicken dish. Oyster mushrooms' rich texture and flavor pairs particularly well with meat, poultry, game, although it also tastes delicious in vegetarian dishes such as pasta or rice bowls, especially when combined with other mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms even taste delicious pickled; simply store with some vinegar, garlic and herbs in an airtight jar to yield a delicious and nutritious snack. 

And for vegetarians and vegans, oyster mushrooms' texture makes a great meat substitute. Bread and fry them for a yummy fried chicken or schnitzel alternative. 

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