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Oyster mushrooms are one of the most common types of cultivated mushrooms in the world. They're also known as pearl oyster mushrooms or tree oyster mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms are eaten in a variety of cuisines and are especially popular in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cooking. They can be dried and are typically eaten cooked. Oyster mushrooms tend to have a subtle, savory anise flavor. Because their flavor is mild, without the strong earthiness of some mushroom varieties, they work well in a range of different dishes. Oyster mushrooms also take on a tender, pleasing texture when cooked. Cooking methods like frying, roasting and grilling can retain more texture in the mushrooms while braising makes them softer.
Like all mushrooms, oyster mushrooms act almost like sponges, soaking up any water they come into contact with. Don't leave them sitting in water, even for the sake of cleaning them. Cultivated oyster mushrooms usually do not need much cleaning simply wipe off any bits here or there with a dry paper towel. A damp paper towel can be used on extra dirty mushrooms. Cleaned mushrooms can be eaten fried, braised, roasted, fried, or grilled. Use the mushrooms whole, sliced, or simply torn into appropriately sized pieces. While you can eat oyster mushrooms raw and they can be quite pretty added to salads, they tend to have a slightly metallic flavor when uncooked. Cooking brings out their delicate flavor, turning their spongy texture into something uniquely velvety. We recommend using oyster mushrooms for cooked dishes and using button mushrooms for salads and other raw dishes. Dried oyster mushrooms don't need to be soaked to be rehydrated the way other dried mushrooms do. just add them to the dish, and they will soak up liquid right away.
Store oyster mushrooms in a loosely closed plastic bag in the fridge, where they should stay fresh for 5 to 7 days.