Seasonal Spotlight: Abalone Mushrooms

Earlier this week, we talked about pink oyster mushrooms. Today we'll discuss another variety of oyster mushroom: the abalone mushroom.

Abalone mushrooms are common in Asian cuisine and have plump, delectable bodies. Abalone mushrooms are mainly used in stews and stir-fries, and have a very rich taste. Due to their large, meaty texture, they're popular in vegetarian dishes. Try braising them with rich sauces. The stems take longer to cook than the caps, so many cooks trim the caps off and add those last. When purchasing, look for firm, fat, white stems. The cap should be as intact as possible, with no brown edges. They should have a pleasant smell - no sour odor.

Some recipes to try:
Steamed Abalone Mushroom
Abalone Mushroom Flan
Abalone Mushroom Risotto
Nutty Mushroom Congee
Fish Fillet with Abalone Mushroom and Lotus Root
Exotic Mushroom Pate

(Image: Kathryn Hill)