a basket of Farmer's market orange/red lobster mushrooms
Food - Drink
What Are Lobster Mushrooms And Do They Taste Like Seafood?
Lobster Mushrooms?
Lobster mushrooms have little to no stem or gills, a bright orange coating, sponge-like flesh, and a nutty, slightly crustacean flavor. They are not a type of mushroom but rather the byproduct of a parasitic fungus called Hypomyces which infects its host mushrooms and alters their appearance, taste, and texture.
Red vs. White
Because lobster mushrooms are a byproduct of a parasitic fungus, they grow exclusively in the wild, and while most of these mushrooms are red, some are white. White lobster mushrooms are called ghost mushrooms and they’re a rare anomaly, with a more tender texture and different flavor than their red counterparts.
Cooking Them
Before you cook your lobster mushrooms, first clean them by trimming the ends and brushing them off, shaking out any debris, and cutting out the middle and any soft spots. Once clean, use a large pan with some olive oil or butter to sauté them until the liquid evaporates and they are nicely golden in color.
Where to Buy Them
Because lobster mushrooms aren't grown commercially, you're most likely to find them at a farmers' market or specialty grocer while they’re in season from mid-summer to September. Otherwise, you may want to take up mushroom foraging since lobster mushrooms are one of the easiest mushrooms for beginners to identify.
Nutritional Information
Lobster mushrooms have dense nutritional profiles with fiber, copper, and supplements like vitamins B, D, and K. However, lobster mushrooms must be eaten within a week of foraging to avoid “mushroom poisoning,” and people with shellfish allergies should be wary because they can trigger sensitivities.