Exotic mushrooms offer some fascinating options in plant based cooking. I personally like to use the more natural and less processed “meat substitutes” and mushrooms are just perfect for that. I’m not a fan of adding mushrooms to each and every dish, rather look for sensible combinations of ingredients. The wisdom of Thai cuisine would lead you to the right ones.

To find more exotic mushrooms you may looks at farmers markets or even better forage by yourself. I love to forage and I’m excited to find some of the more rare mushrooms. A word of warning though, you should only eat mushrooms that you can confidently identify as edible and never eat anything in doubt. Looking online for expert foragers and social groups specializing in mushrooms identifications, may be a good way to start.

After searching for some time, luckily I have found one of the most sought after mushrooms. Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus).

This beautiful mushrooms grows on trees in large clusters. Younger specimen are tender through and the tips of older ones are typically tender enough.

Torn pieces of mushrooms resemble chicken meat and the texture and flavor do too. The flavor is actually more complex than that of a chicken and has some pleasing tartness. They are great in stir-fry dishes, curries and deep fried. Chicken of the woods should be thoroughly cooked before eating.

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