AKA Hen of the Woods
Maitake mushrooms have a delicate, rippling fan shape that almost resembles feathers.
The distinctive looking maitake mushroom is known as “Hen of the Woods” thanks to its unique appearance that resembles the tail feathers of a hen. With a rich flavor as unique as it looks, the maitake mushroom is delicious simply sauteed in butter or oil, browning its delicate edges to your desired degree of crispness. It can also add rich flavor to any recipe calling for mushrooms.
Hen of the Woods, Sheep's Head Mushroom, Ram's Head Mushroom
Flavor and texture
Maitake mushrooms have a distinct aroma and a rich, woodsy flavor with a succulent texture. They can be cooked as a whole cluster or torn into smaller pieces to suit any recipe. It’s a perfect pick for a main dishes as well as for side dishes and soups.
At the grocery store, select maitake mushrooms that are firm with a fresh appearance. The surface of the mushroom should be dry, but not dried out, and appear plump. Store mushrooms in original packaging or in a porous paper bag for prolonged shelf life. Some mushrooms may keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. Fresh mushrooms should never be frozen, but frozen sautéed mushrooms will keep for up to one month. To clean mushrooms, brush off any debris from mushrooms with fingers or a damp paper towel, or rinse briefly under running water and pat dry with a paper towel.