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Oyster mushrooms are beautiful and delicious! This basic pan-fried oyster mushroom recipe is quick and easy. The delicate mushrooms are quickly sautéed and tossed with garlic, butter and parsley. It’s our favorite way to cook them, hands down.
Looking to replace boring old white button mushrooms in your next sauté? This quick and simple recipe for oyster mushrooms is a must-try! Enjoy them on their own as a side dish, or top off a green asparagus risotto for a perfect pairing.
Things to know about oyster mushrooms
These fancy-looking ‘shrooms belong to the genus pleurotus ostreatus. They have delicate oyster-shaped caps with fine gills, and come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes (including much rarer blue and pink varieties!)
Unlike common white button mushrooms, cremini or portobello mushrooms that are cultivated in soil, oyster mushrooms grow in clusters on trees.
- Pearl: These are the most common type and are widely cultivated — find them in grocery stores or supermarkets. This is the kind you’ll want to make this recipe.
- Golden: Pretty yellow-colored mushrooms found at farmer’s market and specialty stores. This type can easily be used instead of or in addition to pearl oyster mushrooms.
- King Oyster: The biggest of all oyster mushrooms, the King grows individually instead of in clusters, and has a large meaty stem. The caps are not as frilly as other types of oyster mushrooms.
Do oyster mushrooms taste like fish?
This is the million-dollar question! Some people say oyster mushrooms have an oyster-like flavor, but honestly I don’t taste seafood at all. If anything, I would say they taste more like chicken 🙂
Oyster mushrooms are pleasantly mild-tasting, with a delicate-textured flesh and nutty flavor. Like all mushrooms, they’re full of umami, which means they don’t need much seasoning. I think they’re perfect to eat simply with just salt, pepper and garlic butter.
They’re also a natural pair with soy sauce in veggie stir-fries.
How to prep:
All parts of oyster mushrooms are edible, but you’ll get the best results if you take a few minutes to prep them properly before cooking.
- Cleaning: Oyster mushrooms grow on tree bark, so they don’t usually have much soil or dirt on them. Gently wipe them with a soft towel to remove any debris. I don’t recommend rinsing them because the delicate caps can fall apart or become waterlogged.
- Trimming: You’ll find the clusters attached together by a little woody stem at the base. It’s a bit chewy, so it’s best to trim off the stem with a sharp knife.
- Slicing: Separate large caps or clusters with with your hands or slice them. Leave them whole if they’re small.
The best way to cook oyster mushrooms:
Searing oyster mushrooms quickly over medium-high heat is the best method I’ve found to cook them. They develop an irresistibly tasty crust, almost as if they were dipped in batter.
- Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil.
- Chef tip: Arrange the mushrooms in one layer in the pan. This is important! If the mushrooms are crowded, they will steam in the pan rather than sear. Cook them in two batches if your pan isn’t large enough.
- Cook 3-4 minutes, or just until they develop a nice golden-brown crust.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a serving platter. Toss the butter, garlic and parsley into the hot pan until melted, then pour over the mushrooms and serve.
The mushrooms are fantastic all on their own, or served as a side dish. Here are more ways to enjoy them:
- Make mushroom toast: Melt some cheese over toasted slices of garlic bread and spoon some mushrooms on top.
- Pasta sauce: Toss the mushrooms with cooked pasta and top with Parmesan.
- Risotto: Stir them into cooked farro, or creamy risotto.
- Scrambled eggs: Add the mushrooms to softly scrambled eggs for a fancy breakfast dish.
- Polenta: Top warm bowls of Parmesan Polenta with mushrooms for a delicious vegetarian meal.
Sauteed Oyster Mushrooms with Garlic Butter
- 10 ounces (284 g) oyster mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
- ¼ cup (15 g) fresh Italian parsley leaves
- Prep the mushrooms: Gently pat the mushrooms with a clean towel to absorb any excess moisture. Trim off the hard stem at the base of each clump of mushrooms. Separate large clusters into more bite-sized pieces, using your hands or a knife.
- Place a large (10-12-inch) nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When a drop of water sizzles and evaporates on contact, add the oil to the pan. Arrange the mushrooms in one layer. Cook, without turning, until one side is golden brown and crisp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and toss. *Note: If the mushrooms don't fit in one layer in your pan, cook them in 2 batches, adding a little more oil as needed.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a serving platter. Without returning the pan to the heat, add the butter, garlic and parsley to the hot pan, swirling until the butter melts and the garlic is fragrant.
- Pour the garlic butter over the mushrooms and serve.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- Make mushroom toast: Spoon over toasted slices of garlic bread with some grated Parmesan cheese or melted cheese.
- Toss the mushrooms with cooked pasta.
- Add the mushrooms to softly scrambled eggs for a fancy breakfast dish.