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Comparison of Porcini and King Oyster mushrooms?

Comparison of Porcini and King Oyster mushrooms?
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  • Comparison of Porcini and King Oyster mushrooms?

    Post #1 - January 18th, 2010, 11:55 am
    Post #1 - January 18th, 2010, 11:55 am Post #1 - January 18th, 2010, 11:55 am
    Hello everybody (imagine this in Balki's accent),

    I found some King Oysters on sale for 3 bucks a pound in Chinatown. I bought them, of course, and made some Mushroom fried rice.

    My question to the board gourmets is: How different in cooked taste and flavor is King Oyster Mushroom as compared to a Porcini? The King Oyster looks like a Porcini. The cooked flavor is really strong. Of course since I do not eat meat, I cannot say if it tastes "meaty". :-) Also, since I have not cooked with fresh Porcini's I was wondering if anyone has cooked with both and how different are the flavors.
  • Post #2 - January 18th, 2010, 12:05 pm
    Post #2 - January 18th, 2010, 12:05 pm Post #2 - January 18th, 2010, 12:05 pm
    I got porcinis at a farmer's market a couple years back and fell in love with them. Rich, mushroomy, meaty - everything I ever wanted in a mushroom.

    I tried King Oyster mushrooms with the same thought as you - I've now tried them a couple times, and had less success each time. I found them to have a slightly bitter nuance, not a lot of mushroomy flavor.

    It's worth the money to buy fresh porcini and check them out - I don't know the season, but I did find them at a mushroom stall; they're expensive because not only are they rare, they're also quite heavy for their size. I haven't been able to justify buying them again; we aren't wealthy - but if I had that kind of money, they would be a staple in our home.
  • Post #3 - January 18th, 2010, 12:15 pm
    Post #3 - January 18th, 2010, 12:15 pm Post #3 - January 18th, 2010, 12:15 pm
    Dried porcinis are pretty good and fairly inexpensive.
  • Post #4 - January 18th, 2010, 12:38 pm
    Post #4 - January 18th, 2010, 12:38 pm Post #4 - January 18th, 2010, 12:38 pm
    You're right, and I do buy and use dried porcinis: I often add them to sauces. IMO, they don't have the terrific texture of the fresh ones, though.
  • Post #5 - January 18th, 2010, 2:36 pm
    Post #5 - January 18th, 2010, 2:36 pm Post #5 - January 18th, 2010, 2:36 pm
    The mushrooms probably picked u the flavor of my sauce mix for the fried rice, but it tasted Gooood. Next I want to try making risotto with this and add some Saffron.

    My new favorite mushroom. :mrgreen:
  • Post #6 - January 18th, 2010, 8:10 pm
    Post #6 - January 18th, 2010, 8:10 pm Post #6 - January 18th, 2010, 8:10 pm
    Some things are expensive for a reason. There's no comparison in flavor between porcini and eryngii mushrooms. I don't think a risotto made with the latter will have much flavor at all (especially since I suspect you'll be making it with a vegetable stock). On the other hand, a porcini risotto is one of the best things on Earth.

    If you do decide to use only eryngii, at least consider fortifying your stock with broth from reconstituted dried porcini. (Although I've found that some of the cheaper ones are unbelievably gritty.)
  • Post #7 - January 18th, 2010, 11:14 pm
    Post #7 - January 18th, 2010, 11:14 pm Post #7 - January 18th, 2010, 11:14 pm
    Dried porcinis are pretty good and fairly inexpensive.


    I disagree on both counts. Dried porcini are -- at least in the opinion of many people, myself among them -- hardly just 'pretty good'; if one is talking about genuine porcini, they are excellent. Even real dried porcini of middling quality are not by any means cheap but pack a lot of deep flavour and top grade dried porcini are quite expensive. The expense is, however, justified, if one appreciates their wonderful taste.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #8 - January 19th, 2010, 8:29 am
    Post #8 - January 19th, 2010, 8:29 am Post #8 - January 19th, 2010, 8:29 am
    Antonius - By "pretty good" I meant that they are a good substitute for fresh in some applications. Of course, "fairly inexpensive" and "cheap" are in the eyes of the beholder. It seems that I need to choose my words extremely carefully around you.
  • Post #9 - January 19th, 2010, 8:36 am
    Post #9 - January 19th, 2010, 8:36 am Post #9 - January 19th, 2010, 8:36 am
    Antonius wrote:
    Dried porcinis are pretty good and fairly inexpensive.


    I disagree on both counts. Dried porcini are -- at least in the opinion of many people, myself among them -- hardly just 'pretty good'; if one is talking about genuine porcini, they are excellent. Even real dried porcini of middling quality are not by any means cheap but pack a lot of deep flavour and top grade dried porcini are quite expensive. The expense is, however, justified, if one appreciates their wonderful taste.

    Antonius


    I LOVE dried porcinis, but I never use the mushrooms themselves. Once you soak them to reconstitute, they have a rubbery texture and most of their flavor has been sapped out. I toss them in the trash.* The soaking liquid, however, is powerfully fragrant and full of intense porcini flavor. Strained through a coffee filter, it's a great addition to sauces or stock being used for risotto.


    *perhaps I'm just cooking them the wrong way or something, so if someone has guidance on how to salvage the texture and flavor, please share.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #10 - January 19th, 2010, 8:58 am
    Post #10 - January 19th, 2010, 8:58 am Post #10 - January 19th, 2010, 8:58 am
    That topic makes me salivating and feeling frustrated. I went back to the thread of 2006-2008 on the same subject and was quite surprised to find out that 2 persons had found fresh porcini, that I called bolets (boletus) or cèpes when I picked them in the French and Swiss forests earlier in my life, in Michigan and at the mushroom stand at the Evanston Farmer's Market. Well, I have been searching for them for the last 40 years both at Farmer's Markets (including Evanston) in the Chicago area, and in forests in Wisconsin and Michigan, and I have never found a single one. Beats me. Perhaps I should buy special glasses for mycologists.
    All I know is that every time I tasted a so-called ''with porcini mushrooms'' sauce or garnish in a Chicago restaurant, I'm ready to bet that these preparations were made with dried porcini, which can be excellent by the way if properly humidified and reconstituted. Some fancy French restaurants like Le Perroquet or Le Français might have had occasionally secured sources of fresh porcinis in other parts of the United States or from Europe (shipped by air).
    I would love to hear of an address in the Chicago area where you can find in season (usually between July and October) fresh porcini mushrooms.
  • Post #11 - January 19th, 2010, 9:04 am
    Post #11 - January 19th, 2010, 9:04 am Post #11 - January 19th, 2010, 9:04 am
    The mushroom stall (can't remember the name!) at the Green City Market had fresh porcinis at one point this summer. I know that some of their mushrooms are flown in the from the Northwest, though I'm not sure if it was the porcinis or others.
  • Post #12 - January 19th, 2010, 9:08 am
    Post #12 - January 19th, 2010, 9:08 am Post #12 - January 19th, 2010, 9:08 am
    Darren72 wrote:The mushroom stall (can't remember the name!) at the Green City Market had fresh porcinis at one point this summer. I know that some of their mushrooms are flown in the from the Northwest, though I'm not sure if it was the porcinis or others.


    The porcinis being sold by the WI mushroom people at the Green City Market were flown in from Oregon.


    alain40 wrote:I'm ready to bet that these preparations were made with dried porcini, which can be excellent by the way if properly humidified and reconstituted

    And what is that proper way of which you write?
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #13 - January 19th, 2010, 9:47 am
    Post #13 - January 19th, 2010, 9:47 am Post #13 - January 19th, 2010, 9:47 am
    I'd pick dried porcinis over the same amount of fresh any time. Its flavor is so much more intense (shiitake as well) and its true value is definitely in the soaking liquid. After soaking for about half an hour, I squeeze it dry. The liquid is especially useful for reductions.

    As for the rubbery texture of the reconstituted porcinis, I would mince for stews and braises or puree for soups and sauces. I would never throw them away since there's still a lot left in it before cooking.
  • Post #14 - January 19th, 2010, 10:49 am
    Post #14 - January 19th, 2010, 10:49 am Post #14 - January 19th, 2010, 10:49 am
    alain40 wrote:Well, I have been searching for them for the last 40 years both at Farmer's Markets (including Evanston) in the Chicago area, and in forests in Wisconsin and Michigan, and I have never found a single one. Beats me. Perhaps I should buy special glasses for mycologists. I would love to hear of an address in the Chicago area where you can find in season (usually between July and October) fresh porcini mushrooms.


    alain, I think I also saw them at the Sunday market in Skokie, which has a very good mushroom guy. I think I saw them a very few times, being a fairly regular customer of both these markets. I believe they both are River Valley Ranch mushrooms, you might want to call them and see if they can alert you in some way when they have boletes.
  • Post #15 - January 19th, 2010, 11:01 am
    Post #15 - January 19th, 2010, 11:01 am Post #15 - January 19th, 2010, 11:01 am
    The mushroom guy at the Evanston farmer's market has porcini pretty regularly in the fall. But you need to get there early and some weeks they are not great (i.e., wet). He told me he's not allowed to sell them at Green City since they're not local, but I take it that's incorrect?

    I've also gotten them at Fox & Obel.

    Some of the Polish markets sell frozen ones.
  • Post #16 - January 19th, 2010, 11:25 am
    Post #16 - January 19th, 2010, 11:25 am Post #16 - January 19th, 2010, 11:25 am
    cilantro wrote:The mushroom guy at the Evanston farmer's market has porcini pretty regularly in the fall. But you need to get there early and some weeks they are not great (i.e., wet). He told me he's not allowed to sell them at Green City since they're not local, but I take it that's incorrect?

    No, I do think that's correct. I misspoke upthread. In the summer I sometimes head west from the Green City Market to hit the Lincoln Park farmer's market, and that's where I've seen the porcinis that have been flown in from the northwest. It's the same WI-based mushroom company, with stands at both markets (and many others around town).
    Last edited by Kennyz on January 19th, 2010, 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #17 - January 19th, 2010, 11:27 am
    Post #17 - January 19th, 2010, 11:27 am Post #17 - January 19th, 2010, 11:27 am
    cilantro wrote:He told me he's not allowed to sell them at Green City since they're not local, but I take it that's incorrect?


    The current Green City Market rules are here (in PDF):
    http://www.chicagogreencitymarket.org/c ... gs2010.pdf

    My reading of these rules is that mushrooms from the Northwest (or, more generally, from outside of the midwest region) are not allowed. But they were there last summer, so perhaps the rules aren't clear, were different last year, or are not always followed.

    Kennyz - just saw your latest post. I was fairly certain that the mushroom people at the Green City Market told me that they had some variety of mushroom flown in from the northwest. Sometimes I buy mushrooms from them at the Lincoln Square Market and perhaps it was this market that the imported mushrooms were available. I don't remember.
  • Post #18 - January 19th, 2010, 11:29 am
    Post #18 - January 19th, 2010, 11:29 am Post #18 - January 19th, 2010, 11:29 am
    Darren - my memory on it is fuzzy too. I edited my last post to say "I think that's correct" instead of "that's correct" because I can't remember with certainty where I saw the porcinis.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #19 - January 19th, 2010, 11:31 am
    Post #19 - January 19th, 2010, 11:31 am Post #19 - January 19th, 2010, 11:31 am
    Kennyz wrote:No, I do think that's correct. I misspoke upthread. In the summer I sometimes head west from the Green City Market to hit the Lincoln Park farmer's market, and that's where I've seen the porcinis that have been flown in from the northwest. It's the same WI-based mushroom company, with stands at both markets (and many others around town).

    Good to have another source, thanks. By the way, the price is usually something like $40/lb. in Evanston (and I'm assuming about the same at the other outposts if it's the same company).
  • Post #20 - January 19th, 2010, 11:34 am
    Post #20 - January 19th, 2010, 11:34 am Post #20 - January 19th, 2010, 11:34 am
    Should we be reading anything into the fact that people would much rather discuss porcini than king oyster mushrooms? :)
  • Post #21 - January 19th, 2010, 1:30 pm
    Post #21 - January 19th, 2010, 1:30 pm Post #21 - January 19th, 2010, 1:30 pm
    KennyZ
    Personally, I've never done it myself, but many years ago I have seen my grandma in Switzerland doing it , then I read several French recipes.
    In fact there are many methods to prepare dried porcini. Some people let them soak, after a brief rinsing stage, in milk all night long in the fridge, and then add that brownish milk to a broth.
    I think that one of the best ways is to rinse them rapidly in a bowl with a cup of cold water. Then put them in a larger bowl and add two cups of very warm, but not boiling, water, for about half an hour. Then put the whole thing , mushrooms and water, in a skillet and let the liquid reduce half way through evaporation at low-medium heat . Add a little butter. Resume the reduction until all the water is evaporated.
    (Some people do not reduce the liquid but filter it through some cheese cloth and keep it to make a sauce.) Then pat the mushrooms dry very delicately with paper towels.
    Other cooks who get their dried porcini from a glass jar, open it, fill the jar with warm water to let the mushrooms expand, put the cover back but not tighly closed, and let the mushrooms soak for half an hour. Then drain, save the juice, and pat them dry.
  • Post #22 - January 19th, 2010, 4:50 pm
    Post #22 - January 19th, 2010, 4:50 pm Post #22 - January 19th, 2010, 4:50 pm
    cilantro wrote:Should we be reading anything into the fact that people would much rather discuss porcini than king oyster mushrooms? :)

    Yes, flavor, especially in the dried porcini.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #23 - January 19th, 2010, 5:41 pm
    Post #23 - January 19th, 2010, 5:41 pm Post #23 - January 19th, 2010, 5:41 pm
    My method is much like one of those Alain describes. If they are of inferior quality, they need to be picked over first, to eliminate any large bits of dirt or pebbles and other foreign objects. The best quality ones from Italy, such as these...
    Image
    viewtopic.php?p=293021#p293021
    ... they are free of such refuse and one can pass directly to the soaking stage. I use very hot water -- not boiling, mind you, but very hot -- and let the mushrooms steep in the hot water for about a half-hour; in a rush, you can get by with perhaps just 20 minutes. On all occasions, regardless of whether one is using both products immediately or not, one strains and saves the liquor and also prepares the mushroom pieces appropriately for the recipe at hand.

    From something I haven't posted on yet but now will probably do so, here's the liquor waiting to be strained...
    Image
    ... and here the mushroom pieces from a batch of pretty good Polish (or possibly Croatian -- I can't remember) mushrooms...
    Image
    Both the liquor and the mushrooms, well chopped, were used in the same dish.
    I've been trying to upload some parallel pictures of Italian dried porcini but can't do so just now for some reason. The difference in how they look is considerable.

    Kenny - I have never seen or heard of an Italian cook throwing out the actual mushrooms after soaking and the idea of doing so sends shudders through me -- it seems possibly even worse than throwing out a piece of bread! :shock: :cry: :roll: :twisted:
    :wink:

    As I said above, good quality dried porcini are an expensive pantry item, just as, for example, saffron is an expensive item for the spice rack. And that's why there are lots of inferior quality ones available from Poland and elsewhere. I use a lot of porcini in my cooking and so it behooves me to keep an eye out for bargains in the Polish stores, where some batches are quite good but they typically require more handling than the always pricey Italian ones. WIth lesser quality mushrooms, there are pieces that are tough or woody that one needs to eliminate and the good pieces don't have great texture but they do have great flavour. With the high quality products, the number of pieces that need to be eliminated after soaking are very few in my experience and the best pieces, nice slices of porcini caps and stems, have a pleasant enough texture and phenomenal flavour.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #24 - January 19th, 2010, 7:28 pm
    Post #24 - January 19th, 2010, 7:28 pm Post #24 - January 19th, 2010, 7:28 pm
    Antonius wrote:Kenny - I have never seen or heard of an Italian cook throwing out the actual mushrooms after soaking and the idea of doing so sends shudders through me -- it seems possibly even worse than throwing out a piece of bread!

    What can I say? I feel like I get so much value out of the fantastic soaking liquor, a bit of my more usual frugality goes in the trash, literally. I just don't like the texture of reconstituted porcinis, though I am sure they could have fine uses in purees, sauces and the like. Maybe I can save a little face by showing off all of my frozen vegetable scraps, saved cheese rinds, and various rendered animal fats :)
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #25 - January 19th, 2010, 7:59 pm
    Post #25 - January 19th, 2010, 7:59 pm Post #25 - January 19th, 2010, 7:59 pm
    Kennyz wrote:I just don't like the texture of reconstituted porcinis, though I am sure they could have fine uses in purees, sauces and the like.


    I can understand that... to a degree!... lol...

    Maybe I can save a little face by showing off all of my frozen vegetable scraps, saved cheese rinds, and various rendered animal fats :)


    But are you saving your stale bread? :?:
    :D
    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #26 - January 19th, 2010, 8:41 pm
    Post #26 - January 19th, 2010, 8:41 pm Post #26 - January 19th, 2010, 8:41 pm
    Not that my lunacy requires illustration, but...

    Soaking porcinis that got thrown out last weekend:
    Image

    Fresh mushrooms sauteeing instead:
    Image

    Mushroom risotto with porcini liquor and fresh mushrooms (+pheasant-duck stock, a touch of white wine, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and hefty dose of butter):
    Image
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #27 - January 20th, 2010, 5:38 pm
    Post #27 - January 20th, 2010, 5:38 pm Post #27 - January 20th, 2010, 5:38 pm
    Thanks Kenny. That looks wonderful.

    My yearly mushroom indulgence is every spring when I can get fresh Morel mushrooms; I make Kashmiri Guchhi Pullao. Arborio rice, Shallots, Mushrooms and Saffron. Simple but really tasty.
  • Post #28 - May 2nd, 2021, 3:17 pm
    Post #28 - May 2nd, 2021, 3:17 pm Post #28 - May 2nd, 2021, 3:17 pm
    The last 2 times I shopped for dried Porcini, I came up dry. Any suggestions on where to get them ?
  • Post #29 - May 2nd, 2021, 6:17 pm
    Post #29 - May 2nd, 2021, 6:17 pm Post #29 - May 2nd, 2021, 6:17 pm
    I’ve been happy with the morels I’ve purchase from Forest Glory—they have dried Porcini though I’ve never ordered them. https://www.forestglory.com/collections/morel-mushroom-products
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #30 - May 2nd, 2021, 7:09 pm
    Post #30 - May 2nd, 2021, 7:09 pm Post #30 - May 2nd, 2021, 7:09 pm
    Aren't some of the dried mushrooms in Polish grocery stores actually porcini? Anybody know the Polish word for those mushrooms? Google translate tells me it's "porcini".

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