Meet the Mushrooms: Hen of the Woods

Hen of the Woods, so called because the mushroom looks like a ruffled, roosting hen, is a wild mushroom sought after by foragers. Growing at the base of trees, this tasty member of the mushroom kingdom is a chef favorite and is found in Japanese cuisine. We offer cultivated maitake mushrooms in a generous 3-lb pack and include it in our chef’s mix.  These mushrooms are sure to find their way into many of your cooking adventures.

Hen of the Woods AKA MaitakeHen of the Woods

Maitake is the Japanese name for Grifola frondosa, which is known in English as the Hen of the Woods, Ram’s or Sheep’s Head, or Dancing Mushroom. We use the names “maitake” and “hen of the woods” interchangeably.

Around the world, this is a forager’s favorite, and you may spot the distinctive maitake cluster growing in the woods while on a hike.

Our certified-organic maitake mushrooms are cultivated; that is, grown in pristine conditions at a mushroom farm. Cultivated mushrooms are reliable, available year-round, very clean, and full of flavor.

Cooking Maitake Mushrooms

Cut away the connecting stem at the base and cook this mushroom simply – some butter or duck fat in a sauté pan is all you need. Use plenty, because mushrooms soak up fat like sponges. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste after cooking for a sublime umami flavor … if you salt during cooking, water is released and thus moisture content and texture can be affected.

Maitake pairs well with roasted meats, chicken, cheese, greens, and grains.

Try maitake roasted whole as we did here.whole roasted maitakeMaitake can be roasted, grilled, or sautéed. Add them to your favorite mushroom recipes.

Try some of our recipes, or invent new ones to showcase these extraordinary mushrooms.

Fun Fungi Fact: There is evidence that maitake mushrooms have immune-boosting properties, and they are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Not only delicious but healthy too!

Cooking with D’Artagnan mushrooms? Share photos with us on social media! Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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