Monkey Head Mushroom
Ingredient Name: Monkey head mushroom, Hericium erinaceus, Lion’s mane mushroom, pom pom mushroom, bearded head mushroom
Chinese Name: 猴頭菇 (hóu tóu gū)
A very unique looking mushroom that is commonly used in Asia in soups. I haven’t seen this product before (especially fresh) in North America, but there is the potential that it exists dried. There are variants of this mushroom available in North America, I myself just hasn’t eaten it. Obviously, I am not a big mushroom fan, haha, but this texture and taste is quite interesting.
A type of mushroom in the fungus group that grows spines out of the tree (rather than a branch like most mushrooms)
- Often beige in color when it is fresh (or raw) and when dried, it turns into a yellow-ish brown color
- It’s texture is similar to that of a sponge
- The monkey head mushroom is used to replace meat in vegetarian dishes (such as pork or beef)
- It is considered a medicinal mushroom in Chinese Medicine
- A rubbery and bouncy texture when boiled in soups and tasteless
How do I prepare it?
Soak in warm water before usage
- Cut into slices or cubes (for eating) when cooked in soups
Where can I buy this?
Monkey head mushrooms can be purchased fresh or dried in Asian supermarkets and wet marts
- It is a seasonal purchase and not always available
What is the cost?
- A pack of 2 fresh monkey head mushrooms cost around $20 HKD
- Monkey head mushrooms are said to regulate blood lipid and and may reduce blood glucose levels
- It is considered a Chinese medicine and should be consumed in moderation as there is limited research on the ingredient
Other mushrooms such as the king trumpet mushroom (or king oyster mushroom) with similar texture and taste
Picture of dried monkey head mushroom