Yellow Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus citrinopileatus)
The Yellow Oyster Mushroom, sometimes called the Golden Oyster, is both stunningly beautiful and easy to grow, making it a popular choice among home cultivators. This mushroom grows fast and fruits heavily in vibrantly bright “bouquets”, although the small and relatively thin fruiting bodies usually make for a smaller overall yield.
For the most part, you are unlikely to see Yellow Oysters at your local grocery store- since delicate features and a short shelf life make it difficult to produce these mushrooms on a commercial scale.
Scientific Name: Pleurotus citrinopileatus
Yellow Oyster mushrooms grow in small, bright Yellow “bouquets”. These beautiful mushrooms are guaranteed to be a head-turner, and are a favorite among farmer’s market growers for this very reason. Similar to Pink Oyster Mushrooms, yellows are a warm weather strain, able to withstand higher fruiting temperatures.
Usually forming multiple clusters, the Yellow oyster will produce a high number of fruits which are notably smaller than other oyster mushrooms. Thin, delicate caps require gentle harvesting and careful storage. Generally, Yellow oysters have a short shelf and don’t do well with excessive handling and transportation.
Natural Habitat: Yellow Oyster Mushrooms are naturally found on hardwood trees such as oak, elm and beech. The mushroom is native to subtropical regions of Asia.
Difficulty of Cultivation: Easy
Yield: Overall yields for Yellow oyster mushrooms are smaller than other oyster species. This is due to the fruits being smaller and lighter, and because secondary flushes are usually minimal. A biological efficiency of 30-70% is typical for Yellow oysters.
Harvest: Aim to harvest most of the mushrooms in the first flush. Rather than picking off individual mushrooms, the cultivator should remove entire clusters or individual “bouquets” at the base with a sharp knife. This will help to minimize handling. Store in a cool location such as a cold room or refrigerator. Yellow Oysters have a short shelf life and should be sold within a couple days of being harvested.
Weakness: Yellow Oysters are easy to grow but are extremely delicate, making them difficult to store and transport effectively. These characteristics, along with a short shelf life, make commercial cultivation challenging. Another potential weakness is long term storage of the culture. Since Yellow Oysters are a warm weather strain, storing a culture in the refrigerator may kill the mycelium.
Cooking: Yellow Oyster are a tasty addition to any meal. If undercooked, the mushroom can be extremely bitter and off putting. However, if cooked for a sufficient amount of time, a balanced “nutty” flavor develops. The mushroom can be cooked until it is crispy, with the tiny flaky caps acting as a substitution for bacon bits- a nice addition to salads. Unfortunately, the brilliant Yellow color is almost entirely lost during cooking