Tag Archives: cooking

Mushrooms – The Non-Vegetable

Don’t these look delicious? The white ones are eringi (also known as the king oyster mushroom) and the brown ones are maitake (also known as hen-of-the-woods). I prefer the maitake, and they’re one of my favourite mushrooms. I ate them tonight.

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But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I often see people refer to mushrooms as vegetables. Vegetables are plants. Mushrooms are not plants, so therefore, cannot be classified as vegetables. Mushrooms are a fungus. They’re totally different than plants. I’ve seen somewhere that mushrooms have more in common with animals than with plants. So, why are they always called vegetables?

What would you classify them as?

Delicious Mushrooms Countdown

That’s right, a post about mushrooms. Why? I had mushrooms for dinner. And I love mushrooms. At least I like most of the ones I’ve eaten.

These are the mushrooms I’ve eaten regularly in my life: common mushroom (also known as button mushroom, both brown and white), shiitake, enoki, eringi, maitake, and straw mushroom. So, here they are in reverse order of how much I like them.

6. Straw mushroom – Also known as the paddy straw mushroom, I’ve had these in Chinese food, as well as canned from the supermarket. They’re different than all the others because they’re kind of like a sac filled with water. They’re just okay. Nothing great, I don’t think.

5. Enoki – These long, skinny white mushrooms are common in Japan, and have a kind of chewy texture. I’ve eaten them often, but they’re my least favourite of the ones I eat regularly.

4. King trumpet mushroom – These large mushrooms are very good. I enjoy cooking them like steak or grilling them in a yakiniku restaurant. They taste great. But they don’t make my top three. It’s also known as eringi in Japan, after the scientific name, Pleurotus eryngii. It’s not native to Asia, though.

3. Shiitake – I love the flavour of these mushrooms. Strong umami flavour. While it may have my favourite flavour of any mushroom, I ranked it only third because it’s less versatile than my top two. These mushrooms are native to Japan and east Asia.

2. Common mushroom – These are the regular, simple mushrooms that you get in a can or fresh from a supermarket. They’re also known as button mushrooms, and come in both white and brown varieties. When mature, they are known as portobello. It’s great both cooked and raw. Extremely versatile. They’re native to North America and Europe.

1. Maitake – These are also known as hen-of-the-woods, and are native to northern Japan and North America. These mushrooms can grow to an enormous size, and the many stalks have a leafy or curly-spoon shape. They are delicious! I’ve only recently started eating them, though, so this is probably why I have them ranked first. I can’t get enough of them!

So, do you like mushrooms? What’s your favourite?

Cooking Taught Me a New Word

Here’s my dinner.

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It’s beef with bean sprouts, onions, a spicy sauce, and garlic stems. Or so I called them. Turns out that the correct term for garlic stems is garlic scapes. I had no idea. Even my iPhone thinks it isn’t a word. It’s underlined.

So, you never know when you’ll learn a new word. What have you learned recently? Any interesting words?