The King Blue Oyster is a hybrid mushroom between the common Blue Oyster mushroom, and the King Oyster mushroom. This mushroom is an optimum combination of the two, possessing the beautiful blue color of the Blue Oyster, and large thick-stem of the King Oyster.
As King Blue’s develop they are very interesting to observe: they grow and accumulate in large clusters, their pins mature into a deep blue hue, and develop into odd shapes, quickly forming into large, beautiful caps with meaty white stems as they reach full maturity. In addition to their alluring appearance, they have a strong shelf life much like that of the King Oyster, lasting up to 10 days in situations of proper storage.
As the King Blue Oyster shares a similar appearance and culinary characteristic to the King Oyster and Blue Oyster mushroom, their nutritional benefits too have commonality. This tasty and meaty mushroom obtains large nutritional content, providing the body with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as:
In addition to the abundance of nutrients, they’re also an excellent source of proteins, amino acids, and potassium, with only 37 calories in one cup of sliced and dried mushrooms. In academic studies, it was found that the Oyster mushroom significantly boosted the immune system and lowered the cholesterol in rats, with the possibility of doing the same for the human body. This was suggested due to the statins and lovastatin that became present in the Oyster mushroom. For those who may require a low fat diet, or are fighting obesity, the King Blue Oyster mushroom is a great option as it attributes accumulation of lipids in the blood. It has also been found that the Oyster mushroom has anti-inflammatory properties, and contains non starchy carbohydrates, such as polysaccharides, that may help in preventing the occurrence of a tumor. This was further studied by the Cancer Research Laboratory, Methodist Research Institute, in Indianapolis, IN, providing supportive evidence on the conclusion that the Oyster mushroom has “potential therapeutic and preventive effects on breast and colon cancer”. Additionally, the Oyster Mushroom contains Antimicrobial and Antiviral elements, protecting against direct and indirect viral activity.
Nutritional benefits of the King Blue reflect those of the Blue and King Oysters, making it a powerful addition to a collection of diets. Like both of the King Blue's parents, they have a rich and earthy flavor, with tender stems that compliment vegetarian and vegan dishes; especially as a substitute for meat. They’re also a great accommodation to heavier proteins such as beef, lamb, or pork. Their taste can be described as a subtle anise flavor, with a mild earthy note.
Having firm caps and tender stems, they make the perfect companion to pan or deep frying as they hold their composition well, but are cooked in a variety of other techniques. King Blue Oysters are commonly prepared by sautéing with butter and garlic, and accompanied to many dishes such as pasta, soups, sauces, and equally served well as a garnish. This mushroom also compliments a sweet flavor to scallops and vegetables. When prepared in a stir fry, savor both the caps and the stems to incorporate into the vegetables, as well as in combination with the sauce.
King Blue Oysters grow rather quickly and tend to continue growth thereafter harvesting. Mycelium at times may form around the stems, but it is not uncommon and a perfectly natural event. Often, this part of the mushroom is removed prior to cooking, and is sometimes referred to as the "heart" of the mushroom.
King Blues are commonly found in Asian cuisine for their rich, umami flavor. Soups and stews are another conventional way to cook King Blues, as they hold their shape well, and in pastas, supply a unique earthy edge.
We have yet to find a better way to incorporate this divine and flavorful mushroom into a delicious linguine. The texture and taste are a delectable addition, with an enjoyable pairing of Coconut and Lime sauce to top it off.
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