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recipes for hen of the woods?

  • c

Hey all you wild mushroom lovers, I have a wonderful predicament. I just found a 10 lb. hen of the woods mushroom (Grifola frondosa) and wonder what are some good ways to prepare this besides sauteing in a little butter.

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  1. Cut in half.

    Pack half in box.

    Seal with tape.

    Ship to me ;-)

    My wife's favorite shroom.

    It would be great in a beef stew.

    Sauteed with onion in omlets.

    Sauteed in a cream sauce with chicken breasts or over broiled swordfish.

    In a Risotto.

    Yum I am so jealous!

    2 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy

      I just found about 20 lbs. of the most perfect Grifola frondosa clusters I've ever seen anywhere. I can't believe my luck. They're as clean as they could possibly be and at the perfect stage of ripeness. They were in plain sight of the road, so I'm amazed that no one else grabbed them. I'll have enough in the freezer to last for at least a year.

      1. re: StriperGuy

        Donna, you are hilarious. I read your response to my husband, who came home with a 30 pounder today, and he laughed his butt off.

      2. 10 lbs!
        jesus! take a didgital pic and show us!
        that is crazy great!
        I would sauteee it with some a little bit of butter and garlic and then a splash of brandy or marsala at the end and sprinkle then scarf it down with some cheese and bread and a good wine.
        and then i would do it again, becuase hot damn! i have 10 lbs of it!
        oh my god.

        1. Sauteed in butter and shallot, sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper and add a splash of white wine or sherry toward the end. If you really want decadent, stir in a spoon of creme fraiche to finish (off the heat). Serve over grilled slabs of white bread -- brioche or just a good french pullman. And repeat.

          1. Deep fry in a light batter! I had it that way over salad green's at Jack McDavid's firehouse about 10 years ago. Scrumptious. Perhaps a light blue cheese dressing (not too pungent).

            1. s
              Stanley Stephan

              Once you finish it you should be really, really healthy.

              There are studies that show these mushrooms shrink tumors (lots of cancer research going on), lower blood pressure and are helpful in controling diabetes. It is also said to boost the immune systen.

              Anyway, the following mushroom site says it has a number of aliases. It is really a very nice mushroom site.


              hen-of-the-woods mushroom = maitake mushroom = ram's head mushroom = sheep's head mushroom = kumotake mushroom

              Here's a recipe for Wild Vegetable Mushroom Soup


              One restuarant had the following on it's menu:

              Roasted Hen of the Woods Mushroom Salad
              With caramelized fennel, heirloom tomatoes, garlic and fresh herbs. Served with assorted chickories drizzled with aged ruby port vinaigrette and topped with shaved Grana Padano cheese.

              Thomas keller had a recipe for foie gras and hen of the woods mushrooms, but as I am boycotting foie gras, if this interests you, it is out on the internet.

              The site below has 5 maitake mushroom recipes.
              - Stir Fry Maitake Mushroom & Beef with Oyster Sauce
              - Maitake Mushroom and Spinach Salad
              - Stir Fried Steamed Rice
              - Pasta with Maitake Mushroom and Camembert Cheese
              - Bordeaux Wine Stew with Maitake Mushroom and Beef

              The nushroom link says if you don't have miatake mushrooms, you can subsitute oyster mushrooms. So visa versa seems reasonable. If you do an advanced search in Google, you can get over 2000 hits using the following criteria.

              with all of the words: recipe
              with the exact phrase: oyster mushrooms

              There was a recipe for beer battered oyster mushrooms I thought was interesting.

              Link: http://www.yukigunimaitake.com/recipe...

              Image: http://www.yukigunimaitake.com/images...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Stanley Stephan

                Wow! Thank you Stanley, and everyone else, for the excellent suggestions. I will check out these links. The only thing I would disagree with is the assertion that oyster mushrooms are a suitable substitute. IMHO they're too pale a flavor to substitute. Shiitake or portabello are more in the same league as a hen.

                Off to cook and freeze mushrooms, hey ho.

              2. I have a very similar predicament but i have 4 separate mushrooms (we call them ram's heads here in pennsylvania) and each one is around the 10 lb mark!!! My grandmother used to make a soup with them but I cannot find a recipe for a wild mushroom soup anywhere!
                PS. I know of another one as well that makes the 4 i have look small. She's well hidden and i'm biding my time until i go back for her!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Crematia

                  epicurious has one, as does Ina garten.

                2. Hen of the Woods is a very popular mushroom in Japan, where it is known as mai-take.

                  1. Here's a fun one: chop up some onion, shallot, garlic, and some o that sexy mushroom. Saute in butter. clean up a 6oz chicken breast and slit from the keel bone side, deep and perfectly even; the goal is the leave about 3/4 in of tissue connecting all the way around the inside and make a giant pocket. Take your sauteed mushroom mix (duxelle), put inside the chx breast, maybe with some bread crumbs, thyme, mozzarella, whatever. Dredge your stuffed chicken breast in flour. Beat an egg and a splash of water; dip your stuffed breast in the egg wash. Now roll in some seasoned panko or cornmeal or dry tempura or whatever. Heat your oven to about 400 degrees, and get an oven safe small saute pan Hot. Give it a splash of oil Immediately before adding you chicken. Sear on each side for about 1-1.5 minutes, then toss in to oven to cook through. Should be about 8-10 min. Serve with watercress granny smith salad with strawberry balsamic vinaigrette and maybe some bearnaise? Or whatever.


                    1. Sorry if I'm kicking an old post but thought I'd share how I like them. I learned this from my neighbor when I found him searching my yard. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was looking for mushrooms. He's Italian and called them signorina mushrooms.

                      Clean the mushroom by hand to remove any dirt, bugs, leaves
                      Boil 3-4 quarts of water with 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of white vinegar
                      Add mushrooms to boiling water and boil for 20 minutes
                      Remove, rinse and cool
                      Cut into 2 inch slices
                      Dredge in seasoned flour
                      Fry in olive oil until golden

                      If you slice them thin they come out like the most tasty chip you've ever had.

                      If you slice them a bit thicker, the mushroom stays meaty with a crispy outside.

                      I'm sure some of you are cringing at boiling these first, but I find the mushroom very astringent and I may even have a slight allergy to it. Raw it can make my mouth tingle a little (although I never ate a lot raw). I find that boiling the mushroom removes the astringency but retains much of the flavor.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: erikzen

                        VERY fascinating! I never thought of boiling first and then frying. One thing I'd try is using rice flour instead of wheat. It creates an extremely crisp coating. Hopefully, I'll live until next summer so I can try your suggestion. At the moment it looks iffy at best.

                        1. re: stukin

                          That doesn't sound good. I certainly hope you make it for many more harvests to come.

                          You say you'll wait until next summer but I always get my mushrooms in the fall. I've read that they bloom (fruit? flower?) after a frost followed by a warm day. Generally they come out after the first frost if the following day isn't too cold. I suppose these conditions could happen in the spring but I've never seen them then. Where do you live?

                        2. re: erikzen

                          Are you sure you're talking about "Hen of the Woods" & not "Chicken of the Woods"?

                          Because I can't imagine loose & frilly "Hen of the Woods" would withstand boiling, slicing, dredging, & frying (it's delicate & falls apart easily), wherein "Chicken of the Woods" (a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT funghi) is perfect for that sort of preparation.

                          1. re: Bacardi1

                            I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure. This is what my "hen of the woods" look like:


                            I have no problem taking a whole mushroom (or cutting in half if extra big) and putting it in a pot of boiling water. I get my hen of the woods from my own yard and have been doing this for a number of years now.

                            This is what chicken of the woods looks like:

                            I'm not sure I have ever even seen this mushroom in the wild and have certainly not tried to cook it.

                            1. re: Bacardi1

                              They withstand it and really actually are much better tasting when done like this. My grandfather and my father sold these to Italian Restaurants here in RI already prepped. You boil them for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, cut off any hard pieces near stem and then put them in ice water, they are ready to use or to freeze in bags. We used to also make marinated mushrooms from these, I love the meaty texture. Also we sauteed in butter and garlic, crispy on outside and meaty, we had them with steak usually or even just a hamburger. Also good dredged in flour and deep fried till crisp. But the normal dish that was made with these was Italian Sausage with peppers, onions, garlic, tomato sauce and mushrooms. We called them, sinyadeens pronounced "Sin Ya Deens"...can't find the word online but it must be Italian as my Dad and grandfather came from Panni , Italy, Italy's vegetable growing region, known as Italy's bread basket. When we made the Sausage peppers and mushrooms we also added Brown Oaks and YELLOW OAK to the Hen of Woods, that made the dish even better.

                          2. What I do with all wild mushrooms I'm not going to dry and store in mason jars: I never add butter to the mushrooms at first. In a warm saute pan I first sweat them first. They will then give up any moisture they have. I pour this liquid gold off and save/freeze in ice cube trays if I'm not using it in a soup/sauce/stew. When the mushrooms are now empty of moisture I then add a bit of butter and a very small pinch of nutmeg. I saute them till golden and serve them on toast sometimes. Other wise they go into virtually any savory dish I'm preparing. The reason I sweat the mushroom first is I want the mushrooms to absorb all the butter. They will stay nice and firm and go a nice golden color. Otherwise the result can tend to be 'mushy' tasting/looking. Oil and water don't mix. LOL I don't add any strong spices or herbs bc they will just mask the delicious flavor of the mushrooms.

                            1. Since this old thread has been revived: Ming Tsai did a show on these shrooms. http://www.ming.com/simply-ming/episo...

                              1. Around here you can buy these mushrooms ("Hen of the Woods") at quite a few supermarkets. Sure takes a lot of the prep out of it, & they're still just as delicious.

                                I like to chop them roughly & add them to stirfries.

                                1. Slice an onion toss with mushrooms and add a couple cloves minced garlic. Sauté in butter. Yummy side dish to steak

                                  1. We collected a lot of these this year, and just tried deep frying the last one. It was DELICIOUS!! Get some frying magic, add some garlic & herb fine breadcrumbs (like Progresso brand, a little less than the amount of frying magic) and enough soda water (club soda) until it's a thin pancake batter consistency. Dip the mushroom slices in that and fry. It is SO GOOD!

                                    1. I was raking leaves this morning and was pleasantly surprised to see a few mushrooms growing around my oak trees. I didn't have any at all last year.