Wild Edibles: Coral Mushrooms

Posted September 17, 2015 by Lauren Dibble in Recipes, Self Sufficiency Skills / 0 Comments

Coral Mushrooms

coral mushrooms

Identification

 One of the most beautiful and easily-recognizable mushrooms that are just starting to appear in the woods nearby are Coral Mushrooms. Aptly named, coral mushrooms resemble common corals you would see off the coast. It is characterized by it’s soft tan pr white color, crown-like tips, and the many, thin, branches, bunched together, between two and five inches high. The tips of each branch will be topped with a small crown.

They tend to grow on dead wood, or leaf litter and are edible, but with a word of caution. They can cause gastrointestinal upset, but it is rare.

Cooking

Clean them thoroughly, as the thin branches tend to trap dirt and debris. Soak them in a sink full of cool water. Then dry thoroughly.

Corals tend to get soft and mushy very quickly, so they’re best added to soups and stocks. You can flash fry them in a pan, but avoid long exposure to high heat.

Scramble them with eggs or add to an omelette.

Preserving Coral Mushrooms

Coral Mushrooms do not dry well, however you can pickle them.

Pickling Coral Mushrooms

Makes 6 1/2 pint jars

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 lbs Coral mushrooms, the younger and more firm the better
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, whacked with the back of a knife

Instructions

  1. Break the coral mushrooms into bite-sized chunks and wash them.
  2. Mix together the rest of the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Divide the coral mushrooms up among your 1/2 pint canning jars and add the hot pickling liquid to full (leaving a 1/2 inch of head room).
  4. Process in a hot water canner for 10 minutes.

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