Maitake is an extremely versatile mushroom
in the kitchen. A friend from Thailand uses it (cooked) in literally everything from soups
to salads. An Italian chef I know uses it in breads, pressed into focaccia, on pizza and
in main dishes as a sauce flavoring and in lasagna. I've ground it in a food
processor and made delicious mushroom pesto that can be served on crusty bread or spooned over pasta
with butter. It
deep fries well, breaded with Italian seasonings or in tempura. To sum it up it has worked
well in every dish I've ever seen it used in, its firm texture and woodsy flavor holding
up to any style of cooking without ever becoming an overpowering flavor. What's nice about
it is if you find enough -- like the thirty or so pound Maitake I'm holding in this
picture -- you'll have plenty to try in your favorite mushroom recipe. Here's a list of cooking ideas and a few recipes:
Maitake Mushroom Pesto
Chop Maitake in a food processor, saute on medium-low heat (without oil) until the water in
the mushrooms releases. Stir in olive oil, garlic, fresh parsley and
salt an pepper to taste.
Uses For Maitake Mushroom Pesto
Serve on buttered pasta with grated cheese, on
toasted bread or garlic bread as an appetizer, sprinkled on pizza, rolled up in a pizza
dough with grated mozzarella to make a mushroom roll (cook about 25 minutes at 350*).
Also: Try adding chunks of Maitake to soups or sauces.
Add to soups, I.E.: cook sliced and seeded Bitter Melon in chicken broth
with Maitake, finish with shrimp or chicken. Add chili paste or Thai soup base to several
cups of water and cook with mushrooms. Add fine scallion rings, cilantro, soy sauce to
taste. whisk a little milk and salt with an egg and make a very thin omelet. Transfer the
omelet to a cutting board and slice it into long thin "egg noodles." Add them to
the soup and serve.
Mushroom Salad: Souphet (Thai
Also: Add to curry dishes or slice finely and add to Tod Mon Goon (Thai
Here are some other ideas:
Try substituting Maitake for Morels in this recipe:
Homemade Pasta With Morel Mushroom Cream Sauce
Make a Bechamel sauce and add sauteed Maitake, serve over pasta.
Here's a more American style "salad" recipe - Hen of the Woods Salad
ENJOY! - Roy Reehil
Maitake Main Page | More Maitake Pictures and Info
Cooking and Storing Hen of the Woods