Best Enoki Mushroom Substitute (Alternative and Replacement)

Enoki grows in dense bundles that are attached to a common base.

They have long, thin stems. They grow attached to a common base.

Those produced under controlled conditions have small and white caps, while those grown in nature have larger caps and shorter stems, and their color ranges from brown to orange.

Cultivating enoki mushrooms in controlled conditions requires a complete lack of light in the space in which they are located and carbon dioxide saturation. Such conditions encourage the stems to elongate and give them a white color.

Also, due to this specific production method, mushrooms have a crunchy structure.

Enoki is a name derived from the Japanese language, and in China, it is known as “golden needle mushroom,” while its name is translated from the Korean language as “mushroom planted near catalpa.”

They have a mild taste and can be eaten raw. Very little time is needed for their preparation. After 2-3 minutes of frying in oil, they will be ready.

If you are cooking soup or ramen with enoki, you should add it almost at the end, about the last three minutes.

This way, you will avoid losing their crunchiness, and the dish will change its texture.

Due to the possibility of eating them raw and because they are naturally crunchy, enoki mushrooms are a real delicacy when added fresh to salads.

Omelets with enoki mushrooms are excellent, and the same can be said for curry, risotto, or sushi.

They can be used for up to a week if stored in the refrigerator.

They contain vitamin B, pantothenic acid, which is used in the human body for the synthesis of fatty acids, niacin, fiber, and a whole host of different nutrients.

Among other medicinal properties, it should be mentioned that they successfully regulate cholesterol and affect the vitality of brain cells, are anti-carcinogenic, and, due to the thiamine they contain, they regulate the functions of nerve cells.

Suggestions for substituting enoki mushrooms

Each mushroom has its characteristics and enriches the dish in its way.

The special value of mushrooms is that in addition to the four known tastes, sweet, sour, salty, and bitter, they also provide an umami taste.

Translated from Japanese, the word umami means the essence of taste. It is described as an aroma that deepens the flavor.

What we describe as umami taste is our ability to sense glutamate. Glutamate is an amino acid that makes proteins.

Apart from mushrooms, it is also found in aged cheeses, salmon, green tea, tomatoes, and many other food products.

Umami lasts longer than other tastes, spreading throughout the tongue and causing an effect known as “mouthwatering.”

Many types of edible mushrooms could be offered as a decent substitute for enoki, but this time we prioritized the mushrooms on this list.

They were on it for two reasons: each is a real delicacy, and what is also important, they can be easily obtained.

Maitake mushroom

Maitake grows naturally in Asia, Europe, and North America’s western and eastern parts.

In Japan, the successful production of maitake mushrooms under controlled conditions began at the end of the seventies of the last century.

It grows under deciduous trees, often oaks, from an underground tuber like a potato.

Its body is fertile, consisting of numerous shoots that branch from a common fleshy base. The tops of the shoots have the shape of a spoon.

The flesh of the maitake mushroom is white and fibrous, has a pleasant taste, and smells reminiscent of yeast.

The name maitake for this mushroom is used everywhere in the world, but it is also known as “Hen of the Woods,” “ram’s head,” or “sheep’s head,” but also as “rabbit mushroom,” “grey bush,” “deer’s ear,” which does not even close to exhausting all the names in use.

Nevertheless, its marvelous appearance has always inspired those who encountered it in nature.

Maitake means dancing mushroom in Japanese. According to legend, it got this name in feudal Japan.

At that time, it was very rare and difficult to find, so the money obtained for it was considerable. Supposedly, people who saw her would dance for joy.

With its healing properties, Maitake raises the body’s immunity and destroys tumor cells, and by making the body stronger, it manages to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

This mushroom can lower cholesterol in the blood, thus preventing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

It is successful in the treatment of diabetes, regulates blood pressure, and helps the body to fight viruses and bacteria.

It is rich in vitamins, especially vitamins B and C, minerals tin and copper, amino acids, fiber, antioxidants, and beta-glucan.

Maitake differs from mushrooms with similar healing properties in that, in addition to soluble polysaccharides, it also contains insoluble acids.

This property enables successful drying and storage. Dried and ground into a powder, it can be used as a spice.

Due to its medicinal properties, the maitake mushroom is used not only in the preparation of dishes but also in various tea mixtures.

It can also be obtained in capsules and tablets because it has a successful preventive effect on preventing the development of many diseases.

Shimeji mushrooms

Shimeji mushrooms have slender stems that grow from a common base, and their caps are small and round.

The texture of shimeji mushrooms is crunchy, and the taste is umami and nutty.

They are also known as beech mushrooms because, in nature, they often grow on stumps or decayed beech trunks.

In controlled conditions, it is grown successfully on various substrates.

In their raw state, they are bitter, but when cooked, they soften and lose their bitterness.

That’s why when you thermally process them, you should pay attention, so they don’t lose their crispness and firmness.

They are prepared in soups, various vegetable stews, stews, or as a side dish to meat dishes. They are also delicious in an omelet or pasta.

Shimeji mushrooms are rich in fiber, protein and minerals, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc.

They have anti-cancer properties and reduce the risk of stroke due to hypertension because they successfully lower blood pressure.

Shiitake mushroom

Shiitake mushrooms grow naturally in forests in Asia but are successfully produced worldwide from mycelium kept under controlled conditions.

It is also called an oak mushroom or Japanese mushroom.

The shiitake mushroom stem is hard and woody due to too many fibers and is not suitable for frying or stewing, but it should not be thrown away, as it can be used when making broth.

Due to their medicinal properties, shiitake mushrooms improve the body’s immunity, detoxify the body, destroy tumor cells, and thus give us extra energy.

In addition, it is rich in many minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and calcium, plant fibers, amino acids, and B group vitamins that ensure the functioning of the adrenal glands and convert food into energy, but also improve brain function and balance hormones.

It protects the pancreas and liver, regulates blood pressure, and lowers cholesterol. It has an anti-cancer effect and alleviates side effects after chemotherapy and radiation.

It helps to destroy viruses and bacteria. It is particularly effective against pathogenic microorganisms in the oral cavity.

Portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are in the mature stage of Agaricus bisporus. Their color is dark brown.

They have large, fleshy caps, which are excellent for grilling because of this feature. They average about 6 inches in diameter.

In addition to grilling, large caps are also suitable for stuffing, and they can be chopped in many stews, pastes, or sauces. It is edible raw, so it is ideal for salads.

It is successfully produced under controlled conditions. Previously, they were often grown in caves or tunnels.

Among the medicinal properties of portobello mushrooms, it should be noted that they are rich in selenium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium.

Oyster mushrooms

The appearance of oyster mushrooms resembles an oyster, which is why the Latin name of these mushrooms is Pleurotus ostreatus.

In nature, they usually grow in compact groups that look like sod, on the stumps of wild chestnut and beech, but also on vital trees in deciduous forests. Under controlled conditions, it is successfully grown on straw.

They are not edible in their raw state, but they are delicious if prepared on the grill or thermally processed in some other way.

They can also be obtained in a dried form. Their taste is mild and reminds of the smell of anise. They can be fried in oil or used for soups, pasta, sauces, or stews.

In addition to the many medicinal properties that oyster mushrooms have, they influence the lowering of cholesterol in the blood and thus prevent the formation of fatty deposits in the arteries and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

They are rich in antioxidants, such as selenium and beta-glucan, and are successful in stopping the growth of tumor cells.

In addition, the high percentage of vitamins and minerals that oyster mushrooms contain greatly affects brain health.

Some of them are niacin B3, which helps with various forms of dementia, and riboflavin B2, which has a therapeutic effect on conditions of motor neuron disorders.

Cremini mushrooms

Cremini is the middle stage of maturity of the mushroom Agaricus bisporus. Therefore, they are harvested before the cap opens.

The size of their diameter is from 1 to 3 inches. Their color is brown, and they taste milder than portobello mushrooms.

They are juicier than portobello mushrooms because they contain more water. They can be prepared in all possible ways, and the list of dishes they would fit perfectly is endless.

Since they are edible raw, they are great for salads, but you can use them for sauces, pasta, risotto, and stews, or prepare them on the grill or fry them in oil.

The older the cremini begin to change color to a darker one, they become drier and have a slightly different taste.

Abalone mushrooms

Abalone mushrooms are a type of oyster mushroom. In nature, they grow in China, but in controlled conditions, they grow worldwide, from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. Abalone mushrooms require special conditions for cultivation.

They got the name abalone because their shape resembles abalone shells. They are also known as White Elf, King, and Akuratake mushrooms.

Their color ranges from white to ivory, and their surface is smooth and silky. Their bodies are full and firm, with a crunchy structure. The taste is buttery and slightly spicy.

They are popular in Asian cuisines and are used as a basic ingredient in many soups.

Care should be taken not to overcook them, but also remember that they are not edible in their raw state. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to seven days.

Due to their texture and rich taste, they are often used in vegetarian dishes as a kind of substitute for meat.

In addition, they are an excellent source of phosphorus, antioxidants, and fiber.


Chanterelles are a gorgeous orange color with a cap that resembles an umbrella. According to many parameters, it is among the best-quality mushrooms in the world.

It is possible to produce chanterelles under controlled conditions, but the specific conditions they require make them much more difficult to grow.

Chanterelles need the roots of certain types of trees with which they live in symbiosis, and they develop only on special soil.

Due to its numerous healing properties, it is called the guardian of health.

Chanterelles contain eight essential amino acids, are a natural source of antibiotics, and have a handful of vitamins from the B group, provitamin A, vitamins D2, and C.

They are low in calories and recommended for people who want to stay slim.

It regulates digestion and the work of the heart because it is rich in potassium, and due to the calcium it also contains, it successfully affects bone health.

There is also phosphorus and magnesium, which ensure the proper functioning of the heart and blood flow and the functioning of the brain.

Matsutake mushroom

Matsutake mushroom is considered a luxury food in Japan. Until the 17th century, they were prepared only at the imperial court.

The smell of this mushroom has hints of pine and cinnamon. It grows in red pine forests where there is plenty of suns.

It is not produced under controlled conditions. Due to Japan’s dwindling red pine forests, this mushroom has a special status in gastronomy.

It is so appreciated that it makes an exceptional gift. It is packed in decorated wooden boxes, and usually, two sake glasses are placed inside along with the mushrooms.

Matsutake mushrooms can be found in China and Korea, and similar species grow in North America and Europe.

This type, similar to matsutake mushroom, is often used as a substitute for the Japanese type.

Matsutake mushrooms can be prepared by baking, boiling, grilling, or steaming. For soups and stews, young mushrooms with their caps not open are mostly used.

They retain their aroma best when prepared on the grill. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to ten days, but frozen, they can be used even after a year.

They are a good vitamin D, B3, copper, selenium, potassium, zinc, and protein source.

In addition, Matsutake mushrooms contain very little saturated and unsaturated fat and are rich in fiber that helps stimulate digestion.

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