Straw Mushrooms or Paddy Straw Mushrooms add a distinctive slightly musty flavor to food which is appealing to consumers. It takes well to inclusion in stir fries, soups, and stuffing, and retains both shape and flavor through cooking.
It figures most prominently in Asian cuisine, and many Westerners are familiar with the shape and taste thanks to a proliferation of Asian-themed restaurants around the world. It can also be included in cuisine from other nations for an unusual injection of flavor and texture.
The Grass Mushroom is a small tropical and subtropicaledible mushroom,approximately thumb sized, and distinguished by its pale pink gills and white spore print.
This mushroom has long white stems with a bulbous base, and drooping yellow to brown cap with a partial veil. This Asian mushroom gets its name from being cultivated on straw that has been used on a paddy. They are also known as paddy straw or grass mushrooms
In Asia, these mushrooms are heavily cultivated for food and export and they are readily available in fresh, dried, and canned forms at most markets.
In other parts of the world however, they are exported dried or canned and can be found in specialty produce stores and some large markets. The dried form of this mushrooms can be dehydrated with boiling water, while canned ones should be drained and rinsed before use.
Grass Mushrooms take well to indoor cultivation; this makes fresh specimen available all year-round. The mushroom takes its name from paddy straw, the straw left over after growing rice, which happens to be the mushroom’s favorite habitat.
In addition to its traditional growth medium, they can also be found growing on many types of vegetable material such as other straws or grasses, compost, cut dry plantain leaves and wood piles.
Usually the Straw Mushroom is cultivated for consumption on a mixture of cotton fiber and paddy straw. When mature for eating, the mushroom is approximately thumb sized, and distinguished by its pale pink gills and white spore print.
Benefits of Straw Mushroom
- Straw mushrooms are cold in nature and is especially good for summer
- They clear heat , have energy benefits, promotes the production of body fluid
- They contain Protein, Fat, Iron, Zinc, various amino acids and large amounts of Vitamin C
- They have a healing function for hypertension patients and those with high blood cholesterol level
- They have been used as an auxiliary treatment for cancer and diabetes patients
This mushroom has not been identified in the wild in North America, although it has been observed in most of Asia and parts of Eastern Europe.
Unfortunately, many Asian immigrants mistake the delicious Straw Mushroom with members of the amanita genus, which can be deadly. Amanitas have many superficial resemblances which can confuse amateur mushroom hunters: it is better to avoid veiled mushrooms with bulbous bases unless you are very experienced with mushrooms.