Phoenix Tail Oyster Mushroom
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Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms grow in shelf-like clusters of 5 or 6 mushrooms. They are semi-circular and fan-shaped, growing from 5 to 20 centimeters in diameter. They are whitish-beige to a pale tan in color, and may sometimes have lilac or gray tones. The Phoenix Tail Oyster mushroom is is finely lined, with a cap margin that is curled inwards when young, and opens to be wavy and undulating when mature. The caps of the Phoenix Tail Oyster are paler and frequently smaller than the brownish oyster mushroom. The Phoenix Tail Oyster mushroom often has a short stem of 1 to 7 centimeters long, and features whitish gills that are fairly close together. The flesh of the Phoenix Tail Oyster mushroom is smooth, thick and white. The odor is distinctive, with the seafood-y tones typical of any oyster mushroom. The texture of the Phoenix Tail Oyster is silken and tender, and its taste is mild and faintly sweet.
Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms are available year-round, but have a peak season in summer.
Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms are botanically classified as Pleurotus pulmonarius, which is Latin for “lung”, referring to the mushroom’s texture. Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms may be referred to as the Lung Oyster, Indian Oyster, and Phoenix mushroom. They belong to the oyster mushroom family, and are often mistaken for the “true” oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus). Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms favor warmer weather to other oyster mushrooms. Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms are fairly common, and as such are not considered to be a gourmet variety, however they are favored by mushroom-growers because they grow quickly and are highly productive. Like other oyster mushrooms, Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms contain a protein called ostreolysin, which MAY BE TOXIC unless the mushrooms are cooked at temperatures exceeding 60 degrees Celcius.
Oyster mushrooms contain high amounts of amino acids such as thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, sterols, and carotenoids. They contain high levels of vitamin C , potassium and iron. Oyster mushrooms are primarily made up of protein and complex carbohydrates, and they are of the best sources of ergothioneine, a unique antioxidant found only in fungi. Ergothioneine has been shown to help fight with chronic inflammation, and may prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries, which leads to cardiovascular disease. Oyster mushrooms also have anti-cancer, antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits. They may help to boost the immune system, and may have medicinal uses for reducing pain sensitivity.
Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms can be used in any recipe that calls for oyster mushrooms. They pair well with fish, lamb and pork. Slicing or chopping the mushroom and adding them to a stir-fry is the most common method of preparation. Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms may also be used in sauces, soups, pastas, casseroles and terrines. Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms do not keep for long. Store them in a perforated bag in the refrigerator, where they will last for a couple of days.
The Phoenix Tail Oyster mushroom is one of the most important commercially-grown mushrooms in Taiwan. In China, the spore-bearing structure of the oyster mushroom is used in traditional Chinese medicine where it is dried and added to medicines that are prescribed for tendon pain. Historically, mushrooms were not popular in India, however modern chefs throughout India are reinventing classic dishes to include mushrooms. Today, the Phoenix Tail Oyster mushroom is one of three commercially cultivated mushrooms in India.
Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms were first described scientifically by a Dutch naturalist in 1775, and grow in temperate and subtropical parts of the world. They are found in North America, Europe, Asia and the Asia-Pacific regions. Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms grow in forests on dead wood, and will often quickly consume the wood they are growing on. They tend to prefer conifer trees, and do well growing on firs, spruce, poplar, oak, maple, elm and aspen trees, but can also be cultivated from spores in mediums like straw, hay or sawdust. Phoenix Tail Oyster mushrooms grow best between 18 to 27 degrees Celcius.