If you’ve been hanging out on my blog for some time you may have started to notice my new obsession with lion’s mane mushroom. I first discovered it in a restaurant in HCMC, Vietnam, on top of a delicious vegan mushroom salad.
It is almost chicken-like, but some say it resembles crab meat. Either way, it is a bloomin’ delicious ingredient in its own right. It doesn’t need to be like anything, other than itself. It’s doing a pretty awesome job of just that.
If you’ve managed to get your hands on some fresh lion’s mane then you’ll want to know the best way to cook with it.
In this article, I am going to share my favourite lion’s mane mushroom recipe with you. Do make sure to stick around afterwards, because I’ve also provided some serving suggestions and cooking tips below the recipe!
Lion’s mane mushroom recipe
- Clean off any dirt from your mushrooms using a mushroom brush (or a damp piece of kitchen roll). This shouldn't be too tricky as most lion's mane mushroom is grown in controlled environments.
- Cut the large thick stems from under the mushrooms. If they are hard to cut off then slice each mushroom in half first and then you should be able to cut out the stems on each half using a v-shaped cut.
- Finely slice the mushroom about 3-4ml in depth.
- Peel two cloves of garlic and crush them hard under your knife.
- Put your frying pan onto a medium-high heat and start melting your butter. If you are using oil, heat it up in the pan.
- Drop the 2 crushed garlic cloves into the melted butter and fry for 1 minute, allowing the garlic juices to infuse.
- Add your slices of lion's mane into the pan and fry on one side for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. If the pan drys out then add in a teaspoon of extra vegan butter.
- Turn over the mushroom slices and repeat on the other side.
- Once the mushroom slices are golden brown all over, remove them onto a plate and discard of the garlic cloves.
- Season them with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Alternatively, you can coat them in a tamari and maple syrup mix to add a balanced salty-sweetness to them.
- Serve them with your favourite dish (see my serving suggestions below) or eat them on their own with some sauce.
What does Lion’s Mane pair well with?
Lion’s mane is such a versatile ingredient that is delicious on its own straight out of the pan. But there are many other exciting and tasty ways to eat this awesome mushroom. I recommend pairing it with Asian dishes or with a dish that calls for chicken or crab-meat.
Here are my favourite dishes to pair Lion’s Mane with:
- As a topping for vegan phở
- As a filling for vegan bánh xèo
- As a chicken alternative in creamy pasta
- As a topping for vegan Thai green curry
- As a fried vegan chicken nugget
- As spicy mushroom skewers
You can get really inventive with lion’s mane mushrooms to create all sorts of chicken and crab meat alternatives. There’s a vegan restaurant in Hanoi using them to make a KFC-style ‘chicken’ burger and nuggets. They are delicious.
What are the best ways to eat Lion’s Mane?
There are many different ways in which you can eat lion’s mane. In my lion’s mane recipe I have provided one really delicious way of cooking and eating this mushroom, by frying it with vegan butter and garlic. But you can also choose these other fantastic ways to eat lion’s mane mushrooms:
- Grilled: Lion’s Mane can be grilled like a steak or burger patty. Brush with olive oil, season, and grill until it’s slightly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Roasted: Roasting Lion’s Mane mushrooms whole brings out their rich, nutty flavour. Toss them with olive oil, garlic, and your favourite seasonings, then roast them in the oven until they become golden and crispy.
- Pickled: Pickling Lion’s Mane mushrooms can be a tasty way to enjoy them. The pickling process adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavour to the mushrooms.
- Dehydrated: Dehydrating Lion’s Mane mushrooms is an excellent way to preserve their shelf life and intensify their flavour. Thinly slice them and put them into your dehydrator or a low-temperature oven.
How do you prepare a lion’s mane to eat?
When you first look at a lion’s mane mushroom you may find the process of preparing it very daunting. Especially because of its rather inedible looking shaggy exterior.
Thankfully, it is incredibly simple to prepare a lion’s mane mushroom to eat. Simpy brush away any dirt on the outside using a mushroom brush (or a damp piece of kitchen roll). DON’T under any circumstances wash these under water or dunk them into a bowl of water. Unless you like eating soggy mushrooms.
There is no need to cut off the shaggy exterior but you will want to cut out the stems from underneath since these are quite tough.
What you do next will depend on how you plan on eating them. If you want to fry them off to make crispy slices then you can cut the mushroom into thin strips. You can also break the mushroom apart into large chunks to create nuggets. Or you can simply leave the mushrooms whole to roast them.
You will want to make sure you cook them though. But more on that below.
Can you eat Lion’s Mane every day?
There really aren’t any well known side effects to eating fresh lion’s mane mushroom on a daily basis.
However, there are some potential side effects to taking lion’s mane supplements, since these tend to contain a higher more concentrated dose of the mushroom. One study has shown that it is possible to take well over 1000mg of a lion’s mane supplement every day without any nasty side effects.
Therefore, eating 60-100g of fresh lion’s mane mushroom every day shouldn’t have any negative effects.
Is Lion’s Mane OK to eat raw?
Whilst cooking lion’s mane mushrooms can remove a few of the important nutrients housed inside this funghi, you should still cook them to get rid of any Chitin, a fibruous substance that our bodies can’t break down.
All mushrooms contain this substance, which is why it is important to cook all mushrooms. You may well still find recipes for raw lion’s mane, but the issue with Chitin isn’t widely known!
So, do yourself and your gut a favour, and get cooking those mushrooms!