Lobster Mushroom


Lobster Mushrooms have a color similar to cooked lobster meat or lobster shell and can have a seafood-like aroma when cooking. It is actually an example of a mold attacking a mushroom. Hypomyces lactifluorum attacks and parasitizes Lactarius piperatus or Russula brevipes and covers the entire fruit body with an orange skin. Lactarius piperatus has a peppery flavor that is improved by Hypomyces. Russula, which is very crumbly, becomes dense and less breakable.


Other names: Hypomyces lactifluorum

Physical Description

The cap is irregular often resembling the shape of the mushroom it attacks. Russula and Lactarius can develop a concave cap and the lobster may look somewhat like that. It can seriously deform the shape though and be very irregular. There are often cracks in the surface. It does not have gills and usually there is little to no stem.

The flesh is white or slightly orangey white and quite dense

Colors: White and slightly orange

Tasting Notes

Flavors: spicy
Mouthfeel: Dense, Firm
Food complements: Seafood
Wine complements: White wines
Substitutes: Crimini, Portabella, Oyster or shitake mushrooms

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: Lobster mushrooms can be highly variable in their flavor characteristics. Nice fresh specimens that are completely white on the interior are best.
Buying: Available at farmer's market and some grocers.
Procuring: They can be found under a variety of trees but hemlock is a good candidate. September and October seem to be the months when most will be found but they can appear as early as July. Any place where Lactarius, an exceedingly common mushroom that is white with a concave cap, grows, is a possibility. They are very noticeable. Nothing else looks remotely like them.

Preparation and Use

Simple sauteing or sauteing with seafood seems to be the best preparation.

Cleaning: They can tend to have brown spots that should be trimmed off.

Conserving and Storing

Store in a paper bag in a cool dark space.



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