Straw mushrooms, native to Asia, are grown on rice beds and picked immature before being sent to market. Since they do not travel very well, they are typically only available outside of Asia in its dry form. Common in Chinese markets, the straw mushroom contains a dense ball which makes a great addition to any soup, stew or stir fry. While names straw mushrooms, the caps of this spore instead resembles an egg. The name straw mushrooms was given for the fact they grow on beds of rice straws. With a rather musty taste, they are not commonly consumed in Western cultures because of this distinct taste. Many poisonous varieties exist, so it is best to not search or source straw mushrooms on your own in the wild. Instead, make sure to buy them from reputable sources and suppliers
Mushrooms are a great source of protein, copper, potassium, zinc, selenium and B vitamins. Mushrooms are also a great source of dietary fiber and are low in both saturated and unsaturated fat.
Vitamin B1 – Thiamine is an important vitamin since it breaks down sugars in the body. Thiamine also helps to support nerve and heart health.
Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 helps to keep your immune system in good working order. It aids in the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and amino acids while helping to maintain the health of lymph nodes. Additionally, vitamin B6 helps to regulate blood glucose levels.
Vitamin B9 – Folate is an important vitamin for liver function.
Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 helps to preserve neurological function and DNA synthesis. It also plays a key role in the health of red blood cells. The nervous system relies on vitamin B12 for proper function as well.
Dietary Fiber – Dietary Fiber stimulates digestion and peristalsis, helping to relieve indigestion and constipation problems.
Potassium – Potassium is an essential mineral which aids in fluid regulation, protein synthesis and cardiovascular health. High levels of potassium are associated with reduced risk for stroke, improved blood pressure control as well as bone health.
Zinc – The health benefits of Zinc include proper functioning of immune system, digestion, control of blood sugar and energy metabolism.
Copper is an essential mineral which helps to promote proper growth, enzymatic reactions, healthy connective tissues and proper heart rhythm.
Straw mushrooms are available year round.
Per 1 cup (182 grams):
Calories (cKal): 58
Protein (grams): 6.97
Total Fat (grams): 1.24
Carbohydrates (grams): 8.44
Fiber (grams): 4.6
Buying and Storing
When buying mushrooms, make sure the flesh is firm to the touch and is free of rot, pests and damage. Store in your refrigerator for up to one week, making sure to place in a sealed bag when possible.
Best Way to Add to Diet
Mushrooms are best enjoyed when cooked. Add cooked mushrooms to your favorite omelet or place on top of grilled fish, burger or steak. Add some freshly cooked mushrooms to any main course dish, or try as a fantastic addition to a soup, stew or stir fry.