Do Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like Oysters? 

Do Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like Oysters?

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When you first hear the name of these large and extravagant looking mushrooms, you can’t help but think of seafood, but do oyster mushrooms taste like oysters? And if they don’t, how else would they have gotten the name? 

Why don’t we take a closer look and get you some answers?

Do Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like Oysters?

Most oyster mushrooms do not taste like oysters. 

But, there are exceptions to the rule. (As always!)

Almost all types of oyster mushrooms have a woody, earthy, forest’y-like smell and taste. Some are a little sweeter. Others give off the tiniest whiff of anise. But, overall, oyster mushrooms are known for being fairly bland and neutral in flavour. 

That’s why you usually cook these in something – butter, spices, garlic, sauces, etc. They soak up the flavours. On their own, they don’t really have much of a flavour at all. 

One particular type of oyster mushroom does have a slightly oyster-like or seafood-like taste, however, and that’s the delightfully colourful pink oyster mushroom. Because of the subtle seafood smell and taste, pink oyster mushrooms are usually recommended for dishes that contain seafood, or as a substitute for seafood in a recipe. 

Oyster mushrooms actually get their name because they look a little bit like oysters. That’s the super simple reason!

Merryhill Mushrooms Pink Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit
Merryhill Mushrooms Pink Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit

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What Do Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like?

To be honest, without any other ingredients or seasonings, oyster mushrooms taste quite neutral on their own. Some might even go as far as to call them bland. They do offer an earthy and woody flavour in their raw state, but it is incredibly mild. 

Some oyster mushroom types might even have a subtle whiff of seafood taste and smell, too; while others have slightly sweeter notes. 

Oyster mushrooms are usually inserted into a recipe to absorb flavours around them, not to add flavour to a dish. Mushrooms, generally, don’t have a lot in the way of strong flavour to offer.  

What Do Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like?

Image by Ngoc Huy Nguyen from Pixabay

Do Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like Chicken?

Oyster mushrooms do not taste like chicken. 

A lot of people have said that oyster mushrooms have a texture similar to that of chicken when cooked, though. You can quite easily make your oyster mushrooms taste like chicken too, with the help of chicken stock and a few other ingredients. 

As previously mentioned, oyster mushrooms – and mushrooms in general – are really good at absorbing flavours. They are somewhat bland naturally, but they absorb the flavours of juices and other ingredients around them during the cooking process. You can therefore ‘inject’ oyster mushrooms with a wide variety of flavours.

If you aren’t already aware, oyster mushrooms are commonly used as an alternative to meat. When you cook oyster mushrooms, they develop a texture that is very close to that of cooked meats. 

Do Oyster Mushrooms Smell?

Oyster mushrooms don’t really have much of a powerful scent, although certain types are known to smell a little more than the rest. 

As well as a woody, earthy smell (because that’s where oyster mushrooms grow), they can have a smell that is akin to anise, although it is definitely not a strong or pungent one.  

The pink oyster mushroom can smell a little bit like oysters or seafood. 

Image by Aritha from Pixabay

Do Oyster Mushrooms Smell Fishy?

Most oysters do not smell fishy. 

One particular type of oyster mushroom does have a mild fishy or oyster/seafood-like smell and taste, and that is the pink oyster mushroom. 

Which Oyster Mushroom is Tastiest? 

Taste, as we all know, is subjective. What tastes great to me, won’t necessarily taste great to you. My tastiest oyster mushroom might not the be the same as yours. 

Mushrooms absorb the flavours around them, so they will quickly adopt the taste of whatever sauce or similar you’re cooking them in. If you have a curry-based sauce, for example, it won’t take long before your mushrooms take on that same taste (and lose the mushroom-ness). 

Oyster mushrooms offer a taste that is earthy and woody, but very mild and subtle. Most mushrooms are essentially flavourless. 

If you’re on the hunt for an oyster mushroom that packs more of an aromatic, complicated punch than most, however, you should look at golden oyster mushrooms. The proper name for golden oysters is Pleurotus citrinopileatus

Pearl oyster mushrooms are one of the most common types eaten around the world, and especially in the UK, US and Canada. The proper name for pearl oysters is Pleurotus ostreatus, and the variety offers a classic woody taste but is a little sweeter than other types. 

For the most part (although most definitely not always), oyster mushrooms are added to a dish because of their texture rather than flavour.

Do oyster mushrooms taste like oysters?

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By Buzzy Kitchen

Lovers of food, owners of opinions, pleased to share!