Learn how to cook lion’s mane mushrooms with this simple yet delicious method that enhances the meaty, thick texture of this highly nutritious fungi.

Often used in adaptogenic powders, this fluffy looking mushroom is even more wonderful when simply sautéed with a handful of ingredients and enjoyed in its natural state.

Butter, tamari and garlic bring out the wonderful umami flavor in the mushrooms as they caramelize to a deep golden brown. Enjoy them as a side dish, spread on top of crusty bread or as a topping to dishes like risotto, polenta and pasta.

Lion's Mane mushrooms in a pan with a wooden spoon.
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WHAT ARE LION’S MANE MUSHROOMS?

Chances are you’ve heard of this oddly named mushroom by now. Perhaps in a mushroom powder (which have gained popularity lately for their different adaptogenic effects) or a coffee blend.

Whole lion’s mane mushrooms are becoming more widely available in farmer’s markets and grocery stores (albeit usually with a hefty price tag) as of late. You can even order a kit to grow them yourself at home.

APPEARANCE

The lion’s mane mushrooms is a white fungi with a shaggy hair-like exterior that resembles a lion’s mane.

It’s also sometimes called a pom pom mushroom or hedgehog mushroom, both of which are also accurate depictions of its appearance.

It grows in clumps and doesn’t have the typical mushroom features of a stalk and cap.

ORIGINATION

Lion’s mane is native to North America, Europe and Asia.

BENEFITS

As an adaptogenic mushroom, lion’s mane mushrooms not only taste great but have some healthy benefits as well.

They’re often used in powder form or supplements to boost brain health and are said to be protective against dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Lion’s mane may also help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression while boosting focus, cognition and productivity. (source)

Lion's mane mushrooms on a cutting board.

WHAT DOES LION’S MANE TASTE LIKE?

The taste of lion’s mane mushrooms stirs up some controversy. Some say it has a seafood-like taste resembling crab meat while others don’t seem to think so at all.

Personally, I do detect a seafood undertone to these mushrooms but not in an off-putting way.

One thing that is certain about lion’s mane mushrooms is the texture. They’re meaty, hearty and chewy making them a great stand alone feature in a dish and an excellent replacement for meat.

For those who like to enjoy meatless meals without the use of fake meat products, lion’s mane mushrooms are perfect for this.

We often serve mushrooms like these air fryer mushrooms or these caramelized mushrooms with pesto guacamole as a side dish to a main course but lion’s mane are substantial enough in both taste and texture to be the star of the show.

Sautéed lion's mane mushrooms in a pan with parsley garnish.

INGREDIENTS FOR COOKING LION’S MANE MUSHROOMS

These sautéed mushrooms are made with just a handful of simple ingredients. It doesn’t take much to bring out their deep umami flavor.

  • Lion’s mane mushrooms – thickly sliced or chopped.
  • Ghee or butter – while you can substitute oil, butter is preferable in this recipe.
  • Tamari or coconut aminos – soy sauce is also fine if gluten isn’t a concern.
  • Minced garlic – fresh is best!
  • Salt – coarse sea salt
  • Fresh parsley – chopped for garnish
Caramelized lion's mane mushrooms with tamari, garlic and butter in a white skillet.

HOW TO COOK THE MUSHROOMS

Reference the full recipe at the end of the post but here is a quick overview for turning this fun shaggy mushroom into quite the savory delight!

  1. Prep the mushrooms by gently cleaning them of any dirt or debris. Cut off the tough bottoms then slice or chop into thick pieces.
  2. Sauté by placing the butter or ghee in a hot skillet. Once melted and hot, add the mushrooms, toss briefly to coat in the butter then let cook untouched until golden brown on the bottom. Flip each piece and repeat on the other side.
  3. Add the tamari and garlic about 30 seconds before the mushrooms are done cooking and toss to combine. Turn off the heat once the liquid has cooked off.
  4. Garnish with a pinch of coarse salt and fresh parsley before serving.
Golden caramelized lion's mane mushrooms on top of a rustic piece of bread on a cutting board.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO EAT LION’S MANE MUSHROOMS?

There’s a bunch of ways to enjoy this fun mushroom but here are some of our favorites:

  • On top of some crusty bread and drizzled with some balsamic vinegar or glaze. A rustic sourdough loaf or something savory like this kale and feta bread are great options.
  • In a sandwich. Usually, we flavor our sandwiches with tangy condiments like pickled shallots or a tomato peach chutney, but the sautéed mushrooms are a wonderful replacement. They’re so meaty they can easily serve as the main ingredient for a meatless sandwich.
  • In a stir fry. Swap out regular button mushrooms in stir fries like this pork and cabbage recipe or this ground beef stir fry for lion’s mane instead.
  • Make a mushroom pasta using lion’s mane. Something like this venison stroganoff over noodles would be the perfect way to feature them.
  • As a side dish. Of course, you can always opt for a more traditional approach and make them the side dish to any chicken, fish, pork or steak dinner.

HOW TO STORE LION’S MANE MUSHROOMS

When you get the mushrooms home from the store or market, they’ll keep best in a paper bag either at room temperature for a day or two or up to 5 days in the paper bag in the refrigerator.

Once the mushrooms have been cooked, keep them store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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4.80 from 140 votes

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Recipe

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 12 minutes
Lion's Mane mushrooms in a pan with a wooden spoon.
Learn the best way to cook Lion's Mane mushrooms with this simple recipe that enhances their natural meaty texture and umami flavor.

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces Lion’s Mane mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
  • 2 tablespoons tamari, or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions 

  • Place ghee or butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Once hot, add the sliced mushrooms and cook until browned on both sides. Don't touch the mushrooms as they cook to let them deeply caramelize on each side.
  • Add the tamari and garlic to the pan and cook for an additional minute until the liquid is absorbed by the mushrooms, tossing them in the mixture.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve as desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 104kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 561mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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23 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! The mushrooms have a light sweetness and are a little tangy. They are deliciously meaty and have a very nice aroma.