Have you heard of the meaty blue oyster mushroom? Yes? Do you want to grow it at your home? Heck Yes?? But do you know how to do it the easy way? No? Well, don’t worry.
We are here to inspire you to get those giant and tasty-looking gray blue oysters right in your comfort place.
We have mentioned its uses, nutritional value, health benefits, and some mouth-watering heavenly recipes as a bonus.
Here you go:
Blue Oyster Mushroom
What is a blue oyster mushroom?
Blue oyster mushrooms or Pleurotus ostreatus native to Germany (Western Europe) are among the most cultivated mushrooms globally.
It is a species of the Pleurotaceae family. The blue color of the shell-like cap matures into gray, making a beautiful contrast with the pale stem.
Why are they called blue oysters? Their cap looks like an oyster in color and shape, thus earning the name blue oyster mushroom.
They were originally cultivated in Germany during world war 1 and can be found commonly in North America and throughout the world.
They grow well in cold temperatures but can also be grown in a moderate environment with proper care and humidity. In fact, a blue oyster is known to be one of the easiest to cultivate edible mushrooms at home.
But isn’t it a fungus? Can you eat blue mushrooms?
Yes, they surely belong to kingdom fungi, but these are not poisonous like yellow mushroom. Moreover, they are used in Asian cuisine and various other dishes that demand a meaty and rich brothy texture.
We’ll get into that later but first, let’s find what it actually tastes like that so many of us want to grow them on our own.
Blue Oyster Mushroom Taste
So, what do blue oyster mushrooms taste like?
They have a flavorful, meaty texture that can add a subtle woody and earthy hint to the dish if cooked properly. They are not overpowering and are perfect for adding richness to stew, soup, steak, or creamy pasta recipes.
The cooked oyster mushroom taste is chewy and nutty, similar to a caraway seed substitute anise.
Uncooked blue oysters, like other mushrooms, might have a slimy texture with a weird seafood odor. However, it is not pungent or foul.
Their taste is often compared with pearl oyster mushrooms. Moreover, both have a similar mild flavor and meat-like texture in cooking.
Blue Oyster Mushrooms Nutrition
These blue mushrooms are often swapped with meat and fish in vegetarian dishes due to their similar taste and smell. The edible fungus also adds a good nutritional value to the recipe.
They are a great source of vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic. You may also benefit from a small amount of thiamin, folate, or B6.
The warm blue oysters are the best mushrooms with a high quantity of vitamins (B, D), amino acids, minerals (potassium and iron), proteins, and antioxidants.
You may consume 38 calories by eating 1 cup (86g) of blue oyster, which is 10 calories more than normal oyster mushrooms (28 calories per 86g).
All of this nutrition has several benefits for the human body:
Blue Oyster Mushroom Health Benefits
The less calorie consumption of blue oysters makes it an ideal food option for better heart health. It has beneficial amounts of polysaccharides and dietary fiber, which can support immunity.
The oyster mushroom may also reduce cholesterol, inflammation, and chances of breast cancer (fewer scientific studies to back up the claim).
Moderate consumption of oyster blue may also control blood pressure.
So, is eating blue oyster mushrooms good for health?
Yes! It is packed with rich nutrients, is gluten-free and has low sodium levels. Eating blue mushrooms may help in protection from chronic diseases.
Uses of Blue Oyster Mushrooms
There are different ways to use a blue oyster mushroom for cooking, snacking, or simply to get a taste of this flavorful vegetable. They are also added as dried or raw. However, the stem is often removed due to its chewy texture.
You can use them in numerous stews, soups, pasta, and other dishes.
How can you use blue oyster mushrooms?
You can eat it individually as an evening snack or use it for garnishing.
Add your favorite spices, herbs, and a bit of oil to a pan filled with sliced blue oysters. Put it in a preheated oven for 20 minutes for delicious mushroom chips.
Utilize its dried form to garnish your rice risotto or make a mushroom toast with it. You can also toss it in your lasagna, pizza, or other recipes.
You can also use it to modify or create unique dishes:
Blue Oyster Mushroom Recipe
The recipes for blue oysters can be as simple as buttering the pan for sauteing the mushrooms or making an entirely new dish with it.
It all depends on your taste, flavor, and preference on how you want to consume them. Here are few ways you can use them in your recipes:
- Sauteed Mushrooms with Green Onion
It is as simple as it sounds but can be modified in so many dishes. First, you need to lightly toast the butter, blue oyster mushrooms (sliced or diced), salt, purple garlic (or green), pepper, and some oil.
Then garnish it with green onions to complete the versatile dish.
Note: You can also make it with any green onion substitute.
To make it meaty, you can use it as a side dish for beef steak or put it in your favorite pasta recipe.
- Blue Oyster Mushroom Pasta
The umami blue oyster mushroom taste can add a rich meaty flavor to any pasta. It is a perfect homemade dish for meat lovers as well as vegetarians.
Toast mushrooms with butter, garlic, onions, salt, milk (2 tbsp), olive oil, black pepper, meat (skip in veg version), and cayenne pepper.
Finally, add boiled pasta and mix with grated cheese. Top it off with green onion and oregano to enhance the taste to the maximum.
Growing Blue Oyster Mushrooms
Blue oyster mushroom cultivation is one of the easiest to do at home. Moreover, the freshness of homegrown blue oysters is really unbeatable.
You get to produce several clusters of blue oysters, which you usually buy in a price range of 6$ to $20. The better the quality, the higher the price.
Naturally, they are found growing on the dead and decaying wood. However, to DIY the cultivation process, some prefer to use a commercial mushroom growing kit while others make their own with:
- Aspen Wood Chips
- Pickling Lime
- Bucket (with holes)
- Plastic Bag
The blue oyster is sensitive to CO2, humidity, light, and air exchange. Whether you are cultivating indoors or outdoors, make sure you provide the right oyster mushroom growing conditions to see them thrive in clusters.
With proper growth, they will fill the bucket with thick mushroom spores. So, how to do it? Let’s find out:
- Take a dark-colored 5 gallon bucket (to reflect light) and drill holes of ¼ at every few inches (blue capped mushrooms will grow out of these holes). Also, make 1/8 holes at the bottom for water drainage
- Soak the hay or aspen chips in hot water (mixed with pickling lime is optional) overnight, then remove the water from it
- Layer the chips and oyster mushroom spawn (5 grain spawn) in the bucket. Repeat the layering and make sure to keep the chips or hay as the top layer
- Leave the prepared kit in a dark space and let the mushrooms colonize. You can also cover it with a black plastic bag to provide enough humidity (more than 70%) or keep a humidifier along with it
- Also, keep the growing temperature maintained between 15°C (59°F) to 21°C (70°F)
Note: If you are using old mushroom spawn, make sure to remove any mold.
Here is a video demonstration for growing blue oyster mushroom:
You may start to notice baby oyster mushrooms growing out of the holes after 2 to 3 weeks. So, how do you know when to harvest oyster mushrooms?
The simple hint is when you notice the blue mushrooms have started to curl up. It means they are about to drop or leave the spores. This is the perfect time for harvesting oyster mushrooms.
But, how to cut oyster mushrooms?
Simply, pick a sharp knife and cut right at the cluster (take the mushrooms as a whole).
After harvesting the blue oyster mushroom, take the inside material from the bucket and lay it on a straw bed to get the second growth out of it.
Now that you have finished harvesting blue oyster mushrooms, here comes the storage. So, how can you store oyster mushrooms?
Well, there are two ways to do it:
- Place the blue oysters in a plastic bag and keep them in the fridge. They will have a fresh taste for 6-7 days
- Keep the blue mushrooms (unwashed) without cutting in a brown bag and seal the top of it. Place this in the refrigerator for the longevity of freshness
Blue Oyster Mushroom Effects
As these are an edible variety of fungus, there are no specific effects of eating blue oyster mushrooms.
However, it is not advised to consume them raw as they may cause digestion problems or some allergic reactions.
Also, eat it an adequate amount, or you might suffer from stomachache. Always wash the mushrooms with clean water before using them and cook them properly to eliminate toxins.
Is blue oyster mushroom psychedelic?
Psychedelic mushrooms are those which contain Psilocybin that transforms into psilocin after digestion. They are among the magic mushrooms that are also called hallucinogenic mushrooms.
As blue oyster is not included in the magic mushroom family, it is hard to say whether it has hallucination properties or not.
Honestly, it really depends on the person consuming it. Some may experience the blue mushroom trip, and others may not.
That’s it from our side, foodies!
There you have it, your complete guide to know everything about the taste, uses, recipes, benefits, growing, and effects of the meaty blue oyster mushroom.
Did we miss anything? Do you have a specific query you want to ask? Let us know in the comments below.
Lastly, before leaving, do check out our other blogs for more such detailed guides.