Culinary Arts

What Are Trumpet Mushrooms? Plus Gordon Ramsay’s Seared Trumpet Mushroom Recipe

Written by MasterClass

Jun 26, 2019 • 3 min read

Trumpet mushrooms—the tall, tree-like fungi—fall in line with the rest of the oyster mushroom family, but are noticeably different in appearance than a cartoon rendering of the same variety. These tall, thick fungi are worthy of featuring as a main meal, as well as a striking side dish.

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What Are Trumpet Mushrooms?

Pleurotus eryngii—commonly known by the names king trumpet mushroom, French horn mushroom, and king oyster mushroom—is an edible oyster mushroom with a thick white stem and a flat brown cap. When cooked, the meaty texture is comparable to seafood such as calamari, abalone, or scallops, with a hearty base flavor that makes it an appealing stand-in for meat for many vegetarians.

Where Do Trumpet Mushrooms Grow?

King trumpet mushrooms naturally grow in cooler climates throughout the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. The fungi feeds on stems of herbaceous plants. It is possible to grow trumpet mushrooms at home with proper humidity and ventilation using a spawn mixed with a substrate, like straw or sawdust.

How to Buy Trumpet Mushrooms

These days, trumpet mushrooms can be bought at most supermarkets, but if you’re struggling to track them down, Asian markets will almost always carry them. When selecting, look for firm stalks and minimal damage or discoloration on the caps.

Are Trumpet Mushrooms Expensive?

Trumpet mushrooms have been called the “cheap porcini”—full of flavor, but not as expensive. King trumpet mushrooms a good substitute for their similar size and texture to porcinis. If needed, cremini mushrooms can be substituted for trumpet mushrooms.

What Do Trumpet Mushrooms Taste Like?

Trumpet mushrooms taste like a cross between a portobello mushroom and a maitake—with a distinct juicy nuttiness when cooked.

Can You Eat the Stems of Trumpet Mushrooms?

Trumpet mushrooms can be eaten in their entirety. The cylindrical stem is hearty and can imitate meat in vegetarian and vegan recipes. The caps are not usually separated from the stem, but sometimes the whole mushroom is sliced in half lengthwise.

4 Ways to Cook Trumpet Mushrooms

Trumpet mushrooms can be eaten either raw or cooked. Cooking enhances their umami flavors, and, because trumpet mushrooms are more dense than other mushroom varieties, they hold up well to slow cooking and high heat.

  1. Seared: Half mushrooms lengthwise, then using a crosshatch pattern, make small incisions into the exposed flesh. Sear the cut sides down in oil or unsalted butter over medium high heat until golden brown and crisp, then flip and allow a little color to develop on the backside. Season to taste, and pair with something bright and herby, like chimichurri.
  2. Grilled. You might catch trumpet mushrooms on the menu of most yakitori joints, and with good reason: when grilled, halved trumpets take on all the smoky flavor of the Japanese charcoals, melt into a soft texture while still retaining all their moisture. Toss with a drizzle of oil before you grill, and finish with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt and togarashi.
  3. Pulled. Pulled, shredded trumpet mushrooms make great sandwich fodder. Sear or grill mushrooms, then when cool enough to handle, using your hands or two forks, pull the mushrooms apart into strings. Toss with lemon, minced garlic, or a teaspoon of sambal oelek and season to taste; rewarm in the pan if you like, then layer with pickled carrots, red onion, and herbs between two slices of sourdough toast.
  4. Raw. Raw trumpet mushrooms are mild enough that they make a subtle textural addition to most salads, and they also soak up dressing like nobody’s business.

The 1 Tip to Remember When Cooking Trumpet Mushrooms

Scoring the cut side of trumpet mushrooms allows them to cook much faster and evenly, as well as soak up all the flavor from the cooking oil or butter. Smaller mushrooms will still sear just fine if you don’t, but be sure to give the larger ones a little boost.

Gordon Ramsay seared king trumpet mushroom recipe

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Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Seared King Trumpet Mushrooms With Garlic and Thyme Recipe

  • 8 king trumpet mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1⁄2 bunch thyme sprigs
  • Maldon salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Slice the trumpet mushrooms in half lengthwise then use the tip of a paring knife to score the cut side of the mushrooms on the bias moving diagonally across the flesh. Repeat the process again in the opposite direction to create a crosshatch pattern.
  3. Place mushrooms cut side down in the sauté pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the scored side starts to become golden-brown. The mushrooms will have absorbed all of the oil so add the remaining olive oil to the pan and flip the mushrooms over.
  4. Add garlic and thyme sprigs and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  5. Drain the mushrooms on a plate lined with paper towels.

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