This spectacular Asian-inspired Cauliflower Mushroom Recipe perfectly blends Asian flavors with this meaty and unique mushroom! This post has the best tips, tricks, and recipe on how to clean and how to cook cauliflower mushroom.
Foraging for wild mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest is hard to beat and a great way to enjoy the great outdoors as the weather gets more gray and the rain picks up. We found this sparassis mushroom while adventuring with our family on our property. It was in great shape and easily identified it as an edible variety because of it's distinct color and shape.
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ABOUT CAULIFLOWER MUSHROOM | SPARASSIS MUSHROOM
Sparassis, or better known as the Cauliflower mushroom, has a distinct and unique look that's hard to mistake for another variety. They're white, or off-white in color and they get their name because their ruffles (aka fungus) resemble a cauliflower head. They are hard to find and one of the only mushroom that looks like cauliflower. Not only are they interesting looking, but they're also extremely delicious and nutritious - offering anti-fungal and antibiotic properties.
What does it taste like?
Think, egg noodles! The texture and mild flavors that a cauliflower mushroom has is similar to egg noodles, making it perfect for taking on other flavors well while holding it's shape and texture well on it's own.
We sauteed it with our trusted homemade Asian-style sauce, which was the best match since it absorbed the flavors well, while providing the "meatiness" we were after. Cauliflower mushrooms are renowned for their "meaty" quality, just like the beloved morels!
- Cauliflower mushroom
- Soy sauce (shoyu)
- Sesame oil
- Seasoned rice vinegar
- Asian red pepper or cayenne
- Furikake seasoning
- Flavorless oil, such as avocado, canola, or vegetable
- Cooked rice, to serve
- You'll need a dash or two of rice vinegar and soy sauce for the rice.
PREPARING AND CLEANING THE MUSHROOM
- Inspect the mushroom: Before cleaning, carefully examine the cauliflower mushrooms for any dirt, debris, or insects. This is also a good time to remove any damaged or discolored parts. We removed any part that was darker in color.
- Gently brush off dirt: Use a soft brush or a damp paper towel to gently brush off any dirt or debris. Be gentle, since they're delicate and can easily be damaged.
- Rinse it: If the mushrooms are particularly dirty, you can give them a quick rinse under cold running water. I like to stay clear from soaking them in water since they're porous and can absorb extra moisture. Rinsing them briefly is best.
- Pat dry: After rinsing, gently pat the mushrooms dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Removing excess moisture helps with better browning and texture during cooking.
Sparassis mushrooms are mild in flavor, and because of that I like to feature their distinct texture in recipes. They can handle a delicious Asian marinade extremely well. After preparing the marinade from the ingredients list above, add the mushrooms and let the flavors develop for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour.
HOW TO MAKE THIS CAULIFLOWER MUSHROOM RECIPE
After cleaning, washing, drying and marinading them, it's time to cook them up!
It's best to sauté this mushroom in order to get the best flavor and use out of it.
Place a large skillet on medium heat. Add the flavorless oil to coat the entire pan.
Add the mushrooms and sauté for about a minute until they start to shrink in size. Turn off the stove and remove the pan from the heat.
Sauteed cauliflower mushrooms pairs best with a bed of white or brown rice. Add in other fresh or roasted veggies to the side for added color, texture and flavor. Avoid adding this mushroom to noodles since it resembles that texture and it can feel a little lost in those dishes.
RECIPE VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Low-sodium: Use low-sodium soy sauce if you prefer.
- Want it plain? Instead of this Asian marinade, get creative and make your own or avoid a marinade altogether and sauté the mushroom with avocado oil and add in salt once cooked. This gives you a true taste of this mild mushroom.
- No rice vinegar? Use wine vinegar and a sprinkle of sugar if you're truly in a pinch, but I promise seasoned rice vinegar makes all the difference. It's a kitchen staple in our house!
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Be gentle while cleaning! Because of the shape and the many ruffles on this mushroom, it's hard to clean all the dirt, but tread lightly so you can keep as much of it as possible and have little go to waste.
- Be careful not to overcook. It will shrink a little too much! One to 2 minutes is best.
- Eat it as fresh as possible. Though mushrooms can store for a few days to a couple weeks in the fridge, it's best to enjoy them as soon as possible to get the most out of them.
The Sparassis mushroom has a distinct shape and color that's hard to mistake for another mushroom. It has a mild flavor and unique texture that resembles egg noodles. It's absolutely delicious sauteed with an Asian sauce and served over rice.
Foraging is one of the most popular fall outdoor activities in the Pacific Northwest. We enjoy it with our family, and bring all the kids along! Finding this cauliflower mushroom (sparassis mushroom) was a huge highlight and a memory us and our kids will cherish. It's the largest edible mushroom we have found so far.
Asian-inspired Cauliflower Mushroom Recipe
- 12-16 oz Cauliflower mushroom (sparassis)
- ¼ cup sake
- ⅓ cup soy sauce (shoyu)
- 1.5 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- sprinkle Asian red pepper or ground cayenne
- 2 tablespoon flavorless oil, such as avocado, canola, vegetable
- 4 cups cooked rice sushi rice, white rice, or brown
- seasoned rice vinegar to serve on rice
- soy sauce to serve on rice
- furikake seasoning to serve on rice
Cleaning The Mushroom
- Remove any damaged or discolored part.
- Cut into smaller pieces for better cleaning.
- Under cold running water, remove any debris, dirt, or bugs. Avoid soaking in water.
- Pat dry with a clean towel or paper towel.
Marinading The Mushroom
- In a medium bowl, mix the sake, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and red pepper.
- Add the mushrooms and gently fold them into the marinade until they’re completely covered.
- Place in the fridge to marinade for at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour.
- Place a large skillet on medium heat. Add the flavorless oil to coat the entire pan.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté for about a minute until they start to shrink in size. Turn off the stove and remove the pan from the heat.
- In a bowl, add white or brown rice. Top with a dash or two of rice vinegar and soy sauce. Add a helping of the sauteed mushrooms and serve warm.
If you have more questions, feel free to leave a comment below. I respond asap!