Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus)
Common Name: Lion's Mane mushroom, Hedgehog mushroom, Bearded tooth mushroom
Scientific Name: Hericium erinaceus
Physical Appearance and Identification:
White or creamy in color, with long spines resembling a lion's mane.
It has a soft texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
Where is it Commonly Found: Native to North America, Europe, and Asia, and can be found growing on hardwood trees, particularly oak and beech.
Historical Usage: Used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to promote digestive and immune system health, and as a general tonic for overall well-being.
May help improve cognitive function and memory.
May have anti-inflammatory properties.
May have antioxidant properties.
May help regulate blood sugar levels
May have anti-cancer properties
Please note that while these studies suggest potential health benefits of Lion's Mane, further research is needed to confirm these effects.
Flavor profile: sweet, nutty, slightly seafood-like
Texture: firm, meaty
Best cooking methods: sautéing, roasting, grilling, boiling
Best way to store: in a paper bag in the refrigerator
How long can it be stored: up to 1 week
Nutritional value: low in calories, high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants
Health benefits: may help reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and improve cognitive function
Best pairing options: pasta, risotto, stir-fries, salads
How to properly clean and prepare: remove the tough stem and slice or tear the mushroom into bite-size pieces, rinse gently under cold running water and pat dry with a paper towel, cook until golden brown and crispy.
Time from inoculation of substrate to mushroom growth: around 14-21 days
Optimal temperature range for growth: 18-24°C (64-75°F)
Optimal humidity range for growth: 85-95%
Best substrate for cultivation: hardwood sawdust or supplemented sawdust substrate
Expected yield of mushrooms per pound of substrate: varies depending on the cultivation method, but can range from 0.5 to 2 pounds
When to harvest: when the fruiting body reaches full size, typically around 3-4 months after inoculation
How to harvest: cut the fruiting body at the base of the stem using a sharp, clean knife
Storage and preservation technique for harvested mushrooms: can be stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to one week, or frozen for long-term storage. To freeze, blanch for 3-5 minutes, then cool in ice water, drain and pack into freezer bags or containers.