Oh man, I was born ready for this! Ever since I fell in love with lion’s mane a while back and, per recommendation, made awesome pseudo-crab cakes out of them, I couldn’t wait to start cultivating some of these on my own.
After a month of waiting, and quite honestly doing every part of the cultivation wrong, yesterday I decided to harvest what I’ve jokingly called the “space alien”; check out the photos I took beforehand.
You might be asking what I mean by “doing everything wrong.” According to my friends at Humble Fungus, I was supposed to wrap the bag, let out the air, and slice the side of the block open as I’d done with my oyster mushrooms. However, two days after I brought the kit home, I realized that the lion’s mane were already pinning in the bag before I’d even opened it!
So I thought, well… let’s just see what happens?
It, in short, went nuts.
By the time I harvested, nearly a month later, the lion’s mane became as you saw in the images — a tightly clumped mass of white deliciousness that smelled faintly of fresh seafood when the bag finally came open.
Although some of the bottom layer needed to be discarded, I ended up with about 1.5 lbs of mushrooms for my first flush.
Fresh as they were, I wanted a quick recipe that could put them to tasty use, and then I found that you can actually treat these guys like steaks. Cut them up, sauté in oil until browned, add some choice seasonings and boom! Instant side dish for the spaghetti squash I’d just steamed in the Instant Pot.
The best part of making mushroom steaks? Much as I wanted not-crab cakes, that particular recipe can be really time consuming, so I save it for a non-work night. But, despite their simplicity and relative speed to prep (less than ten minutes), these mushrooms still had beautiful texture and a complex flavor.
Check out some cooking photos:
As for the fruiting block, I resealed the bag and prepped it for a second flush, which I pray happens sooner rather than later, because I’m already craving more mushrooms!
How else can I cook lion’s mane, I wonder? 🤔 If you have suggestions, let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading, and happy Wednesday, all!
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