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There are hundreds of varieties of fungi, some of which are poisonous. Edible fungi are generally known as mushrooms.  The common ones are now cultivated but may be harvested from the wild. 

Mushrooms are versatile food, they and be used raw in salads or cooked in combination with other ingredients in pies, sauces, soups and stuffings, with meat, poultry and fish.  They may also be served as hors d' oeuvre and as a vegetable in their own right. Cultivated mushrooms include shitake, swiss brown, straw, oyster, endokidake and chinese black. 

Common mushrooms available:

  • Button - which are small, tightly closed mushrooms to be used whole in garnishes.
  • Caps - which are medium-sized closed mushrooms suitable for slicing for salads and cutting into halves or quarters for garnishes.
  • Open - which are suitable for stuffing, slicing for garnishes and hopping for duxelles mixture.
  • Wild - mushroom varieties includes cèpes, chanterelle, boletus, morel and matsutake.  These have a stronger flavor than the cultivated varieties and should be eaten cooked. 

To cook mushrooms

  • Preparation:
Unless they are old, cultivated mushrooms do not require peeling.Trim the stem and wash in basin of cold water.Keep the trimmings for stock.  For some recipes,  it is necessary to saute them lightly in butter.  

  • Procedure:
  1. Wash and trim and slice the mushroom and put them in a saucepan.  Add just enough cold water to cover them
  2. Season lightly with salt and add 5g butter and 5ml lemon juice for every 200g mushrooms. 
  3. Bring quickly to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, drain and use as required.  if not required immediately leave in the cooking liquor and cool. 



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