The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat oyster mushrooms. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest.

how to serve and eat oyster mushrooms

What oyster mushrooms etiquette is

Oyster mushroom etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat oyster mushrooms. Such rules help avoid behaviors that disrespect your hosts or guests or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve oyster mushrooms to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat oyster mushrooms at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts.

What you should know about oyster mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are a family of edible mushrooms. Many varieties exist. Their color ranges from white and light gray to yellow and even pink. Oyster mushrooms have an oyster-shaped cap and almost no stem. They are smooth in texture and delicate in flavor.

Etiquette rules to serve and eat oyster mushrooms

1) How to store oyster mushrooms

It is best to eat fresh oyster mushrooms on the same day you buy them or within a few days.

Store oyster mushrooms in the fridge. Humidity risks spoiling their flavor and texture. Thus, it is best to keep the mushrooms in a plastic bag or container and wrapped in paper towels, which help absorb the humidity. In the fridge, oyster mushrooms can last up to a week.

It is possible to freeze fresh oyster mushrooms. It is best to freeze them cooked. Boil them for 3 to 5 minutes before freezing them. In the freezer, oyster mushrooms usually last up to 4 months.

Store dry oyster mushrooms at room temperature. Place them in a cool and dry place, far from sources of heat and direct light. Ideally, keep them in a glass jar or container. Consume them by the expiration date on the packaging.

2) How to clean oyster mushrooms

To clean oyster mushrooms, wash them in cold running water for about one minute. Gently remove any dirt. Finally, place them on a towel or on kitchen paper to dry.

Do not soak oyster mushrooms, as water risks spoiling the flavor and making the texture spongy. Do not peel the mushrooms before or after washing.

3) How to cook oyster mushrooms

It is possible to eat oyster mushrooms raw or cooked. However, raw mushrooms may have a metallic flavor and a rather unpleasant texture. Thus, it is best to consume them cooked.

Before cooking raw oyster mushrooms, slice the caps or cut them into chunks. Before cooking dry oyster mushrooms, reconstitute them by soaking them in hot water for about 20 minutes. You can subsequently use the water for cooking.

You can cook oyster mushrooms in various methods. Boil, grill, sautée, fry or deep-fry, or roast in the oven. They are ideal for soups and risotto recipes. You can cook them in stews, bake them in flans or quiches, or add them to salads.

Mushrooms are among the most disliked foods. Thus, before cooking and serving oyster mushrooms to your guests, it is considerate to ask whether some guests cannot eat them.

4) How to serve & present oyster mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are appropriate for formal and informal meals. You can serve oyster mushrooms as a side dish or complement. Serve them warm or at room temperature. Present them in chunks or slices, in a serving shallow bowl. Provide a serving spoon.

5) Food and wine to pair oyster mushrooms with

Oyster mushrooms go well with olive oil, butter, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. They are perfect for soup, risotto, and polenta.

You can match oyster mushrooms with eggs or meat, such as beef, pork, chicken, or poultry. They go well with other mushrooms, such as chanterelle. It is not common to pair oyster mushrooms with fish or seafood. The best vegetables to combine them with are potatoes, onions, leeks, beans, and spinach. In general, oyster mushrooms do not combine well with cheese and dairy.

The oyster mushroom pairs best with medium or full-bodied red wine. Suggestions include Merlot, Shiraz, Zinfandel, or Cabernet Sauvignon. The best white wine is an oaked Chardonnay or a medium-bodied Riesling.

6) How to eat oyster mushrooms

Eat oyster mushrooms with a fork and knife. When they are served in chunks or slices, avoid using the knife if possible.

Every part of the mushroom is edible. Thus, it is not polite to discard them. Even if you dislike them, try to make an effort and eat some of them. Discarding all the mushrooms risks embarrassing your host.

Oyster mushroom etiquette: the worst mistakes

Avoid the worst oyster mushroom etiquette mistakes. 

  • 9/10. Serving spoiled oyster mushrooms.
  • 5/10. Pairing oyster mushrooms with the wrong flavors.

Additional information for properly serving oyster mushrooms

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and plan a menu correctly.

Oyster mushrooms are mostly made of water. They contain about 35 calories per 100 grams (3.5 oz). One oyster mushroom weighs about 15 grams and contains 5 calories.

How to buy the best oyster mushrooms

A crucial factor in oyster mushroom etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.

Season and availability 

The seasons for fresh oyster mushrooms are fall and early spring. Cultivated mushrooms are available all year round.

Choose the best

Good fresh oyster mushrooms must have an elastic texture and vivid color. Discard mushrooms that have dark spots or are soft, musky, or sticky.

Alternatives to oyster mushrooms

As a substitute for oyster mushrooms, try other mushrooms such as portobello.

Resources

  • Growth and yield performance of Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq. Fr.) Kumm (oyster mushroom) on different substrates: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov