The Black Oyster Mushroom is an Interesting Hybrid to Know About
The black oyster mushroom (Shimofuri), also known as the black oyster, black king trumpet, or the black pearl is a unique hybrid that starting to gain notoriety
You’ve probably heard about oyster mushrooms by now. Oysters are popular, diverse, and aggressively-growing edibles that many small-scale mushrooms farmers have turned towards. Many of the popular oyster mushrooms have lovely, vibrant colors like pink or yellow oysters. Today we are getting into a hybrid oyster known as the black oyster mushroom. This mushroom was developed by crossbreeding European oyster mushrooms with Japanese oyster mushrooms.
Background information on the black oyster mushroom
The name (Shimofuri) means “marbling” in the Japanese language. You can see in the image below that this mushroom has a beautiful marbled pattern on its cap. These mushrooms cook up like the king trumpet but have a softer, more tender texture like other oyster mushrooms.
Like some other oyster mushrooms, this mushroom likes cooler temperatures to fruit. The ideal range is 55-60 degrees F with a relative humidity of 90-95%. You will find the texture is similar to the king trumpet, which is one of the mushrooms used to create this hybrid. This mushroom is more dense and meatier than most oyster mushrooms. The stems are large, thick, and edible, and a bit softer than the stem of the king trumpet. The caps are smaller than the stems and are also edible. The flavor is complex, with notes of sweetness and umami flavor. The black oyster mushroom has a peppery aftertaste, so they go great in soups, stews, veggie stir fries, pasta or risotto dishes. Due to its meatiness it can also be used as an alternative to meat or poultry.
The black oyster mushroom is considered to be easier to grow than the king trumpet, especially indoors. You can use a variety of substrates for growing this mushroom at home, including hardwood sawdust, which is popular for growing oyster mushrooms in general. However, the black oyster mushroom can grow a little differently from other p. Ostreatus, where it will develop primordia and then begin fruiting without pinning.
Understanding the presence of umami flavor in black oyster mushrooms
Here is an excerpt from the study Mushrooms—Biologically Distinct and Nutritionally Unique, which discusses both the umami flavor and some of the nutritional constituents associated:
“Mushrooms have many flavor and nutrient characteristics that make them an ideal addition to many dishes. Their texture and umami or savory flavor properties make them a suitable substitute for meat. Mushrooms contribute moisture that improves the mouth feel and overall sensory appeal of many dishes, whereas their low energy density (about 92% water) can reduce the energy density of the final dish when taking the place of other higher-energy-dense ingredients.”
The study continues with a deeper look at the umami flavor and mushroom nutrition:
“The use of other umami-rich ingredients, such as tomatoes, that have a synergistic effect with the umami compounds in mushrooms further adds to the flavor and consumer appeal. The interactions of the umami compounds on taste buds create longer-lasting taste sensations compared with the effects of the compound on their own. Traditional global cuisines have combined multiple umami-rich ingredients for millennia to create iconic dishes. For example, in Chinese cuisine, fresh mushrooms that contain naturally occurring glutamate often are combined with dried, rehydrated mushrooms that contain naturally occurring guanylate. Mushrooms and other vegetables rich in umami also have the benefit of being low in sodium and rich in potassium”
Not only do these mushrooms taste great, they also have healthful constituents that make them even better for eating. For instance, the black oyster mushroom contains calcium, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and a range of vitamins (B1, B3, B5, B12, C, D).
Using the black oyster mushroom growing kit
The black oyster mushroom growing kit is a great way to start cultivating this mushroom at home. In fact, it’s the perfect introduction to this mushroom by hobbyists and professional mushroom farmers alike. Hobbyists can grow this mushroom in the comfort of their own home and do so easier than some other mushrooms, like the related king trumpet. Professional mushroom farmers can try the black oyster kit to see what it’s like to grow this mushroom and whether or not it makes sense for their farm without having to do a large grow from the start. All mushroom growing kits we provide come ready to fruit, including this kit for growing black oyster mushrooms.
To use this kit, simply cut holes in the plastic bag that the kit comes in. Keep the kit in an area where there is enough light that you can comfortably read a book. Dial in the temperature and humidity conditions listed above. Mist the kit with a spray bottle two or three times each day and ensure the kit is receiving fresh air at least every four hours. If you follow these directions you should have your first harvest within two weeks of starting the kit. The black oysters typically grow in clusters. Get your black oyster mushroom growing kit now, and check out the entire line of mushroom growing kits we provide.