Maitake Mushrooms


Maitake is a mushroom native to Japan with a robust, earthy flavor; this variety can grow up to 50 pounds. They are a good source of immune-system enhancing Beta Glucan, as well as niacin, vitamins B2 and D2, calcium, potassium, magensium and fiber. Find them at gourmet and Japanese markets. It is an unusually shaped Asian mushroom - it grows multiple long stems from the base upwards as it forms a large leafy head.


Other names: Hen Of The Woods, Sheep's Head
Translations: Maitake Sēnes, Maitake Grybai, Ciuperci Maitake, Maitake gljiva, Nấm Maitake, Maitake Grzyby, Maitake Paddestoelen, Maitake मशरूम, Cogumelos Maitake, Грибы Maitake, Maitake Μανιτάρια, Maitake الفطر, Maitake 버섯, Houby Maitake, Маитаке Печурке, Maitake mushrooms, 舞茸蘑菇, Fongs maitake, Maitake gobe, Huby Maitake, Maitake Funghi, Maitake פטריות, Maitake Svampar, Jamur Maitake, マイタケキノコ, Champignons Maitake, Maitake-Pilze, Maitake Svampe, Maitake sopper, Hongos Maitake, Гриби Maitake, Maitake Sienet, Maitake гъби

Physical Description

This clustered mushroom looks like a cross between an open-faced flower and a speckled chicken but instead of the chicken’s blacks and whites, the maitake is colored with elegant creams and grays.

Colors: Black, Gray, White

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Nutty, Meaty
Mouthfeel: Meaty
Food complements: Soups, Salads, Steak, Pork sausages, Sweet corn, Chicken, New potatoes
Wine complements: Red wine
Substitutes: White mushrooms or chanterelles

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Look for freshness and make sure there is no discoloration or "slimy skin" or sheen to them.
Buying: You can purchase at your local grocery store or local farmers market.

Preparation and Use

Cleaning: You can rinse lightly with cool water and pat dry with paper towel prior to use.

Conserving and Storing

Can be stored in air tight container in refrigerator for 2-3 days.


Japan has been studying the medicinal effects of mushrooms in the immune system, cancer, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

History: Asian healer have used certain edible mushrooms for thousands of years in tonic, soups, prepared foods, teas and herbal formulas for health and long life. The Japanese word "Maitake" means "dancing mushroom" because people in ancient times danced with joy when they found these mushrooms.



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