Blue Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)
Few mushrooms are more satisfying to watch grow as the Blue Oyster Mushroom. It is very forgiving and easy to grow making it the ideal choice for a beginner. The fruits grow rapidly, sometimes doubling in size everyday. The mushroom starts out strikingly blue and turns grey as it matures. These mushrooms are ideal candidates for outdoor growing as their fresh air requirements are the highest of any of the mushrooms we have grown.
The blue oyster mushroom grows in large clusters and takes on the typical shelf like shape of the Pleurotus species. The size and shape can vary immensely depending on the growing conditions. Blue Oyster mushrooms required a extremely high level of fresh air exchange, more so than any other mushroom commonly cultivated. Grown in a high CO2 environment, the Blue Oyster mushroom will have a long and thick stems with small caps. They also have a huge spore load, which can quickly fill your grow room with a thick spore load. The mushroom clusters start out with deep blue coloring and eventually turn grey as they age. The fruit is usually thick and meaty and very versatile for culinary uses.
Found on hardwood logs trees and stumps, living, dying and decaying. Common throughout North America. Found in the spring and the fall.
Difficulty of Cultivation:
Pasteurized straw logs are extremely effective for Blue Oyster mushrooms. Use a higher spawn rate for better yields. Straw logs will produce multiple flushes if contamination can be kept at bay. Supplemented sawdust blocks also work quite well, but straw is likely to produce similar results more economically. Blue Oyster mushrooms will devour almost anything and can even be grown on coffee grounds, waste paper, sugar cane, grass and many other waste industrial products.
Use poly tubing for straw logs, 40cm lay flat diameter. Too thick a straw log will cause the center of the log to become anaerobic and eventually contaminate. Grow bags work by cutting slits in the side of the bag for mushrooms to grow through, or simply by cutting off the top of the bag and allowing fruits to form on the top of the block. Blue Oyster mushrooms are incredibly versatile and can be also grown in 5 gallon buckets with holes drilled, or any container you can think of.
Blue Oyster Mushrooms can achieve extremely high yields, up to 200% biological efficiency. Picking older mushrooms will improve the yield, but risks covering your grow room with spores or picking the mushroom past their prime for culinary use.
Harvest the mushrooms by picking of or cutting off entire clusters. Mushrooms will store longer if handled delicately and stored as a cluster instead of picking off individual mushrooms. Blue Oysters will store longer in the fridge than pinks or yellows. Blue Oysters have the tendency to continue growing in the fridge, with mycelium starting to grow from the stems. This is usually undesirable. Blue Oyster mushrooms can also be dried in a dehydrator for long term storage.
Blue Oysters have a huge spore load, more than any other mushroom. They also have the largest fresh air requirement than any other gourmet mushroom, making it a bit of a challenge to grow large fruits indoors. They last for a long time in the fridge but may start to grow mycelium from the stems. The stems can be chewy.
Blue Oyster mushrooms can be used in a variety of dishes, especially soups and pastas. The flavor is unique and delicious. The stems can be chewy, and you may want to avoid using the stems in most dishes. Dried mushrooms can be re-hydrated in water or directly placed in soups and stews.
Myshrooms Recommended Recipe:
Blue Oyster Mushroom Saute
- 170g Blue oyster mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and chopped into large bite size pieces
- 2 Teaspoons fresh peeled garlic, minced
- 4 Tablespoons Unsalted butter
- 5 Teaspoons fresh chopped parsley
- 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider vinegar OR 4 tablespoons dry white wine
- ⅛-1/4 Teaspoon herb de provence or plain sea salt (note- go easy on the salt a little goes along way)
- Freshly cracked pepper
- Melt butter over medium heat in a medium size sauté pan.
- Add mushrooms, sautéing for 4 minutes or so.
- Lower the heat to medium-low then add all remaining ingredients and sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Note: keep a close eye on the temperature. Too hot of a pan will burn the garlic and cause it to taste very bitter.