How Do I Clean Maitake Mushrooms?

by Eric

We found them on our property for the first time this year, and are wondering what is the best way to clean them?

Comments for How Do I Clean Maitake Mushrooms?

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the proper way to clean Hens.
by: Walt

Cut them as cleanly from the ground as you can, a filet knife is preferable.

Sometimes you'l find one that's just FULL of leaves, twigs, and dirt/whatnot, and what you do with that mushroom is up to you. Cleaning it can be extensive.

Other times they are pretty much clean. Depending of course on the side of the tree it's found up/down wind, etc.

The trick......pull the mushroom apart from the "gills" downwards through the stem. It will look like string-cheese if you're doing it correctly. Only AFTER you've "torn" it apart will you see the parts you need to clean. Sometimes, no cleaning is necessary.

Running water and a fingernail btw, nothing fancy.

Only GOD knows and maybe 2 others
by: BT IL

Shouldn't urination discolor the mushroom after a certain amount of time? Should change the smell. I guess even coyote and other animals could mark it too. Soak them in chlorine laced tap water and dry well or go old school. Who knows the combination of the two might give you super powers ! For a bit.

Anyone ever tried...
by: Anonymous

Freezing them just barely cleaned but in desired portions and cleaning them more fully as they are defrosted and used?

Thank you.

by: Anonymous

Tear the DRY mushroom into small strands and brush lightly with a stiff-bristled toothbrush.

If there is embedded debris pinch or cut out with fingernails or small knife.

Wipe off and clean your hands, toothbrush & knife
often. I've cleaned hundreds of pounds of these things and have found this to be the best method.

Clean them with a knife
by: Foragist

First, pick any leaves or debris away, and pull or cut your hen at the base. A small part of the stem is tough, but most is edible. Lift your hen on it's side, and slice off the dirty parts of the underside. Cut off any tough stem; leaving any clean, white stem. Carefull "field dressing" will prevent much hassle later. At home, break into pieces, and SCRAPE off the specks of dirt. Rinsing, brushing, and wiping can rub dirt into the pores, making matters worse. Use a small paring knife, and lightly slice, scrape, and pick off the dirt. Wipe the knife clean often on a damp rag. Shaking & tapping can loosen some debris too. Rinse only if needed. I used to eat gritty Maitake, but not any more.

by: Anonymous

Thank you, Amy and all others for asking and answering the question about cleaning Maitakes.

Cleaning your Maitaki part 2
by: John

The sand is so imbedded on the surface of my mushrooms that water followed by brushing with a natural bristle brush does not release the debris.

I guess I am going to have to find something more aggressive. Perhaps the towel is the trick.

Cleaning Maitake
by: Amy

Hi Eric,

So sorry it's taken me so long to get to your question. I've fallen woefully behind with this site and I'm spending today trying to catch up! By now you've probably already cleaned your mushrooms, but I thought I'd post this for any future curiosities.

Your question is a good one, as maitake are found at the base of trees and often contain a lot of dirt and bugs. The first question you have to ask yourself when picking wild mushrooms is whether or not you want to wash them.

Most mushroom, maitake included, are quite porous. Thus they become soggy very quickly when dunked in water. For this reason many people, including myself, prefer to use very little water when cleaning them.

I like to clean maitake mushrooms by just wiping them down with a damp cloth. First I turn them upside down and give them a good shake, and then tear them into smaller pieces. This makes it easier to wipe them down, and you don't miss stuff stuck in every little nook and cranny.

Some people, however, can't stomach the thought of eating a mushroom on which a dog may have marked its territory! A legitimate concern, and if you want to wash them you can do so by filling a large bowl with water and dunking them in for a few minutes. Then remove them and run them under the tap to remove any lingering dirt. You'll have to dry them really well after this so they're not mushy.

I'm usually fine with just wiping them down. If anyone has a conflicting opinion, feel free to comment!

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