Perhaps you've seen these thick, stumpy mushrooms with small, flat caps at Asian markets. They're part of the oyster mushroom species and are sometimes called king oysters since they're the largest of the oyster mushroom species.
While native to the Mediterranean, these mushrooms are popular in Asian cooking. They hold up well in soups and stir fries, and are terrific when cooked as tempura.
These mushrooms have very little flavor or aroma when raw. When cooked, the taste has been described as being umami, with the flavor and texture of an abalone. These mushrooms have a long shelf life and can stay firm and fresh in the fridge for over a week.
In most oyster mushroom species, the stems are too tough to eat, but the stem of king trumpet mushrooms is very pleasing to eat. The texture is crunchy and firm, like a portabello mushroom cap. Trim off only the very end of the stem and give them a light brushing to remove dirt. Try sauteeing in some butter until golden brown, or try it in a stir fry. It also grills and barbecues well.
(Image: Kathryn Hill)