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Pink oyster mushrooms are small to medium in size with caps averaging 2-5 centimeters in diameter and are attached to short or non-existent stems, growing in layered clusters. The thin caps are smooth, finely lined, and are intensely pink when raw, changing to an orange-brown when cooked. The edges of the cap also begin flat and curl with age, almost curling into a tube shape. There are many soft, short, deep pink gills underneath the cap that connects down into a very short stem. Pink oyster mushrooms are meaty and chewy in texture, despite their thin flesh, and have a pungent, seafood-like aroma. When raw, these mushrooms have a sour taste, but when cooked, they develop a mild, woody flavor that readily takes on the flavors of accompanying ingredients.
Pink oyster mushrooms are best suited for cooked applications such as sauteing, boiling, roasting, or frying. They can be sauteed or stir-fried with other vegetables, added to pasta dishes, sprinkled on top of pizza, added to grain bowls, sauteed with eggs, boiled in soups, chowders, or stews, or cooked into risotto. They can also be sauteed and mixed with cream-based white sauces for added flavor. Due to their meaty texture, these mushrooms require thorough cooking, around twenty minutes, to develop their flavor and an edible consistency. It is also important to remember that the pink color will fade when cooked.
They have an extremely short shelf life, sometimes only lasting for twelve hours once harvested, and should be consumed immediately after purchase.