White “Button” Mushrooms:
White mushrooms are the most popular mushrooms in Ontario. They have an earthy flavour that intensifies with cooking. The colour of these mushrooms varies from bright white to a darker off-white colour. White mushrooms are available in three different sizes: small “buttons”, medium and large “jumbo”.
Best Cooking Methods: Serve in soups, salads, appetizers, and entrées. Can also be eaten raw.
Cremini “Brown” Mushrooms:
Cremini mushrooms are similar to the white mushroom in shape and size, but are firmer in texture. They have a meaty, earthy flavour that is more intense than white mushrooms. These mushrooms have a dark cap that ranges from a light tan to rich brown colour.
Best Cooking Methods: Serve in soups, salads and entrées, or enjoyed raw. These are a great substitute for white mushrooms.
Portabellas are actually fully grown cremini mushrooms. They have less moisture than cremini mushrooms, making them meatier in texture with a strong earthy flavour. These big mushrooms have a large light-tan coloured cap, and exposed gills. Portabellas are the largest of all domestic mushrooms.
Best Cooking Methods: Can be grilled or baked and used in appetizers, side dishes and entrées. Portabellas are great meat substitutes because of their natural umami flavour and meaty texture.
Shiitake mushrooms have very different appearance and texture than white or cremini mushrooms. They have a soft, spongy texture that releases a woodsy flavour when cooked. These mushrooms range in colour from tan to dark brown. They have umbrella shaped caps, 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) in diameter, with open veils and tan gills.
Best Cooking Methods: Shiitake mushrooms are most commonly used in stir-fry and pasta dishes. They are best enjoyed cooked.
Oyster Mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms have a delicate flavour that is milder than other mushrooms. They have a light to dark brown funnel or fluted cap, a velvety texture, and white-yellow gills on a short, off-center, stem.
Best Cooking Methods: Because of the velvety texture of the Oyster mushroom, they make a great compliment to dishes featuring chicken, seafood and pork.
Enoki Mushrooms: Enoki mushrooms look very different from the other mushrooms on this list. They can be identified by their long, slender, white stems with tiny firm caps. These mushrooms have a mild, delicate flavour, with a slightly crunchy texture.
Best Cooking Methods: Enoki mushrooms are commonly used in Asian dishes but are also suitable for salads, soups, sandwiches and pasta. These mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked.
King Oyster Mushrooms: King Oyster mushrooms are pleasantly chewy, with a texture that remains firm when cooked. These thick stemmed fungi have a light tan cap, white stem, and a sweet woodsy flavour.
Best Cooking Methods: Slice the whole mushrooms and use it in stir-fry dishes, or sautéed in French, Italian or Mediterranean cuisines. Try grilling these mushrooms, as they become golden brown and deliciously crisp.