Updated: Feb 3
Never in a million years would I have dreamed Lobster mushrooms existed before I found out about them. But, there are bright and vibrant orange to red mushrooms here in Canada, that smell and taste like seafood. The excitement of finding one was part of what got me hooked on foraging wild mushrooms. A fresh lobster mushroom REALLY smells like seafood. Dried do too, but not quite as strong. Their texture and flavour cooked up is nothing like your typical button mushroom. And probably no one would guess they were eating a mushroom if you didn't tell them.
Lobster mushrooms are a source of B vitamins, vitamin D, protein, minerals and more.
Lobster mushrooms (Hypomyces lactifloreum) are actually the body snatchers of the mushroom world. They are actually a fungus that parasitize certain Russula mushrooms, particularly Short stemmed russulas and sometimes Lactarius mushrooms and transforms them into Lobster mushrooms. But trust me, they're delicious and don't attack humans, or I'd be one by now for sure.
Often lobster mushrooms are hiding under the moss or just peaking out, so some people carry a stick and poke lumps of moss to see if it's a rock or a mushroom. These are a late summer early fall mushroom in most of Canada, and don't do well once the rain or snow hits. We've found them in all sorts of habitats, but they seem to like gentle slopes and mossy areas and conifer boreal forest, though we have found them in mixed deciduous forests.
Please don't just run out and start foraging though, study some ID books relevant to your area, join your local mycological society, or buy from professional harvesters by clicking here.
Creamy Lobster Mushroom Rosè
By Caitlin Beer
Time: 20-30 minutes
• Medium saucepan (frying pan)
• Medium pot
• Stirring utensil
• Knife or food processor
• Measuring cup
• 1 cup Classico sweet basil marinara or other tomato based pasta sauce (if you use a plain sauce, add 1 T dried basil and an extra 1/2 teaspoon salt)
• 1 cup milk (can substitute dairy alternative)
• 1/2 cup cream (substitute 1 can full fat coconut cream for all dairy, or just add more dairy alternative)
• 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth (to soak mushrooms in) or water
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup parmesan (can buy vegan parmesan) feta is also a delicious substitute
• 14 g Wildland Foods lobster mushrooms (approximately 1 cup) or dried Chanterelles
• 2-3 garlic cloves (substitute 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
• 1/2 red pepper diced
• 1/2 medium onion or 1 small onion diced (substitute 1 T onion powder)
• 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
• 2 Tablespoons butter or sunflower oil
• 4-6 servings fettuccine or linguine noodles (any noodles will do)
• 6 cups water + 1/2 t salt for cooking noodles
》Soak lobster mushrooms in cold broth 4+ hours or hot broth 15-20 minutes. I like to crush them slightly while dried so the pieces are smaller.
》 While mushrooms are rehydrating, dice up onion, red pepper and grate or finely dice garlic. Sometimes I use a food processor, sometimes a knife.
》Heat medium saucepan and butter on medium low and saute your onion, red pepper and garlic for 10 minutes, stirring regularly and adjusting heat as needed until lightly browned.
》Add mushrooms and saute 5 more minutes.
》 Bring to boil a medium pot with 6 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to cook pasta.
》Add pasta sauce, broth from soaking mushrooms, cream, milk, parmesan, salt and paprika and cornstarch to saucepan with onions, red pepper and garlic and stir well, cooking on medium low heat until sauce is thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.
》Cook pasta as directed, usually 8-9 minutes, drain in strainer.
》Either add noodles to sauce and toss before serving, or place noodles on plates and top with sauce. Garnish with parmesan or feta and enjoy!
Notes: if you've never tried lobster mushrooms, eat in moderation in case of allergy. All wild mushrooms should be cooked before eating.