The Lions Mane Mushroom

Hericium erinaceus

As you can see above, this is not your average mushroom.  Lions Mane belongs to a group of mushrooms known as tooth fungus.  The mushroom is covered in spines, which facilitate the transport and release of spores for reproduction.  They are native to North America, Europe and Asia and can be found growing on hardwood trees in the late summer to fall.

Their flavor is reminiscent of lobster or crab meat, and the same can be said of its texture.  This mushroom shreds apart just like crab meat.  With these qualities, Lions Mane can actually be used to substitute crab meat for a vegetarian crab cake.  In order to fully experience this mushroom on its own, simply cut the mushroom into even pieces and sautee in a little bit of oil on medium low heat for 20 to 25 minutes.  Add a little melted butter to the mushrooms and prepare for a new mushroom experience.