Bamboo mushrooms (also commonly called “veiled lady mushrooms”) are long, thin, off-white mushrooms with a rich, earthy flavor and a delicate, porous texture. They are most easily distinguished by their long, lacy “skirts” or “veils.”
Rinse mushrooms under cold running water to remove any possible debris. To rehydrate prior to use, place desired amount in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak until tender, usually 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and rinse, or rinse and add directly to recipes that will cook for at least 25 minutes.
Bamboo mushrooms (Phallus indusiatus), also commonly called “veiled lady mushrooms,” are long and thin, typically measuring 7 to 8 inches long and 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick. They have a rich, earthy flavor and a delicate, porous texture. Bamboo mushrooms are generally colored light tan or beige, but subtle orange tones are also common.
As members of the Stinkhorn family of wild mushrooms, fresh bamboo mushrooms use a rather unpleasant scent to attract insects in order to help spread their spores, similar to the way flowers use pleasant scents to attract bees to spread their pollen.
A fresh bamboo mushroom grows a tall stalk (or “stipe”) topped with a conical or bell-shaped cap, from which hangs a lacy skirt called the “veil.” The presence of the veil gives dried bamboo mushrooms a delicate texture that is highly prized by chefs. Bamboo mushrooms’ lacy and delicate texture is balanced by their deep, earthy flavor.
Native to warm, moist climates, bamboo mushrooms grow naturally in many tropical regions, often in groves of bamboo or piles of wood chips and other debris on forest floors. Their name appears to come from the frequency with which they are found growing near bamboo, although some sources attribute the name to the color and shape of the mushroom.
Considered a delicacy in many Asian cuisines, they are especially prized in Chinese cuisine and are regularly harvested in the Yunnan Province where it grows in the wild.
As with many foraged foods, the scarcity of wild bamboo mushrooms means they were highly prized but extremely expensive for much of their history. In many Asian cultures, most notably Imperial China, the mushrooms were so expensive that they were reserved only for special occasions, and even then they were usually only served by the wealthy and members of the royal court.
The techniques and technology needed to cultivate bamboo mushrooms on a commercial scale were invented in the late 1970s and have been further improved since then, making bamboo mushrooms a much more affordable (but no less luxurious) foodstuff.
Lemongrass powder, ginger and garlic are a trinity of flavor for many Asian cuisines. Delicate and rich bamboo mushrooms are flavored with our Lemongrass Powder for a quick, delicious filling for wontons.