Cooking With Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

The world of Lion’s Mane (hericium erinaceus) is an impressive one, filled with health benefits and scientifically backed, energy and mood-boosting compounds. But how should you consume it?

As you might know, Lion’s Mane supplements are widely available, and high quality capsules can do you the world of good in both mind and body. But did you know you can cook with Lion’s Mane mushrooms, too?

Supplements go through a specialist extraction process to help you get more of the positive effects, but eating them can still allow you to access some of the benefits. Here’s everything you need to know about cooking with this friendly fungus…

What’s Lion’s Mane?

We’ll start from the basics here, as we know not everyone is a shroom aficionado like the team here at TwentyTwo. What even is a Lion’s Mane mushroom?

Well, it’s a mushroom with standards. Lion’s Mane isn’t found in any old back garden. It’s found throughout the Northern United States and Canada primarily, but can be grown in lab environments too. In the wild, you’ll find Lion’s Mane at home on decaying trees, like birch, elm, oak and beech. 

If Lion’s Mane were on Tinder, it would definitely have ‘tree lover’ in its bio. Lion’s Mane looks the part, too. It stands out from the crowd with its bushy, white tendrils that can grow to enormous sizes. It's like a hedgehog that decided to moonlight as a mushroom.

Lion’s Mane is truly a mushroom to remember, and that’s even before we get into its incredible, powerful effects on the human brain and body.

Health & Taste Unite

Beyond its rubbery surface, Lion’s Mane is actually a pretty complex fun-guy. This quirky mushroom doesn’t just make your tastebuds dance, it also showers you with health benefits.

Contrary to some concerns, Lion’s Mane is not a psychedelic, so eating it won’t give you a floaty trip to the ether. Nope, it’ll make a scrumptious addition to your meal while also giving you a taste for better health.

Chinese and Japanese medicinal practices have been using this for centuries, and they knew what they were doing. Buddhist Monks, for example, were even reported to have consumed Lion's Mane specifically to enhance focus during meditation!

Lion’s Mane has been used to keep the spleen, gut and brain in tip top form for a long long time. Lion’s Mane really is the OG gut health influencer.

Oh, and they’re delicious!

So why cook with Lion’s Mane? What’re you getting out of it other than an Instagrammable side dish?

Hold On To Your Neurons

Lion’s Mane is about to drop some brain-boosting wisdom. The brain is the epicentre of your wellbeing. It contains your thought processes, your skills, even that embarrassing memory from work last week. It’s pretty obvious that if your brain isn’t in fighting form, you won’t be at your best either.

Lion’s Mane knows this, and it's been cooking up some special properties that specifically target your brain’s function and long term wellbeing. Ever heard of hericenones and erinacines? (we know you haven’t, it’s ok!). These are the secret weapon of the Lion’s Mane mushroom.

These unique compounds can sneakily cross your blood-brain barrier and directly impact your brain, something many medicinal mushrooms simply can’t do. 

Their mission once they get to work in your brain? To save your neurons from the perils of cognitive decline as you age. This means protecting you from things like Alzheimers and brain fog. 

To do this, Lion’s Mane ramps up your production of a little thing called nerve growth factor (NGF), which is pretty self-explanatory. It helps your nerves stay healthy! 

But that isn’t all our mighty mushroom has up its mycelial sleeves. It tackles oxidative stress, boosts your memory powers and even supports mood stability all from the comfort of your brain.

Can you tell why we’re Lion’s Mane mad yet?


Your Mood-Swing & Immunity Maestro

Lion’s Mane has got your back if you’ve been feeling low or anxious. Seriously, in clinical trials this shroom has been shown to reduce the feelings associated with frustration, irritation, depression and anxiety.

Your very own emotional support mushroom!

Lion’s Mane continues to flex its supportive muscles, as it can do more than manage moods. One of the most important things Lion’s Mane is known for is its amazing immune-boosting abilities. It can keep bad bacteria in check in your gut and intestines, all the while keeping your immune system awake and alert to any threats. 

It’s like having a small but strong mushroom bouncer at the gates of your immune cells.

Nutritious & Delicious

Cooking with Lion’s Mane puts the adventure into the kitchen experience, because you’re basically guaranteeing a feel-good meal whatever you make. The proteins in this mushroom’s milkshake brings all the essential amino acids your body needs to the yard. 

These amino acids are like the fuel for your body’s engines, keeping you on the move. 

Combine them with the low fat content of Lion’s Mane, with a sprinkle of healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids, and you’ve got yourself a nutrient-rich dish to (not) die for.

And this is where things get fun. Lion’s Mane’s fungi flavour brings together the sweetness of seafood with some seriously earthy undertones. The flavour of Lion’s Mane is like no other mushroom.

Now, if texture is a worry for you, fret no more. This shroom becomes extremely tender and juicy when cooked, and it’s so good that it’s often used as a fish substitute in vegan dishes. But you know what, it’s so yummy you can even eat it raw. 

As long as you don’t mind a bit of a chew, live free and eat your Lion’s Mane the caveman way.

Where To Source Your Lion’s Mane

So, where do you find it? Now that we’ve got your taste buds tingling, you want to get your hands on this fantastic fungi. Fresh, dried or powdered, you can take your pick when it comes to Lion’s Mane for cooking.

Choose fresh and dried Lion’s Mane mostly if you’re thinking of frying and grilling your mushy friends. Powders, on the other hand, are an ideal secret ingredient to take your culinary escapades to a whole new level of flavour and hidden health benefits.

What you might not realise is that mushrooms are like sponges, they soak up whatever they were grown in or around, so make sure you go for organically grown and harvested Lion’s Mane. That way you’ll avoid the sneaky heavy metals and pesticides. 

Culinary Wizardry Tips & Techniques

So you’ve got your organic Lion’s Mane in the medium you want, what now? It’s cooking time at last! But first (we know, you want to get to the cooking, but this is important), storage.

Mushrooms are finicky little fellas. They need to be properly stored. Keep your mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge, giving them space to breathe. Please don’t squish! Stored this way, you can have a mushroom feast for up to a week. 

Quick pro tip: drying, freezing and dehydrating can increase the life of your shrooms too.

Mushrooms can start to turn a little bit yellow as they age, but don’t fear. Just trim off any yellow bits and carry on, chef!

Now you’re ready to turn on the heat. However you choose to cook your mushrooms, proper preparation will ensure a better final flavour. 

Don’t Make A Lion’s Mane Meal Of It

Lion’s Mane is a popular culinary mushroom because of its divine flavour profile and transformative health benefits, keeping you fit and full. 

If cooking your shrooms feels like a drag, you can choose quality Lion’s Mane capsules to give you all of the goodness with none of the effort. However, if you’re foraying into the kitchen, bon appetit!


Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

    1 out of ...