Recipes

Lion’s Mane Recipes: 7 Creations Using This Unique Mushroom

By March 17, 2022No Comments
Lion’s Mane Recipes: 7 Creations Using This Unique Mushroom

These 7 excellent Lion’s Mane recipes can help you elevate the fresh, dried, or powder versions of this health-supporting mushroom to new heights. Lion’s Mane mushrooms have been long sought after for their brain-supporting and immune system-boosting effects. They are also a satisfying substitute for meat and shellfish.

We will begin by giving you insight into Lion’s Mane mushrooms and why they’ve become so popular in the health and wellness space. Then we’ll cover how you can get your hands on the various forms of Lion’s Mane mushroom. And finally, we’ll present you with 7 mouth watering recipes to incorporate this functional mushroom into your diet.

In This Article:

  1. Lion’s Mane Benefits: More Than Just a Tasty Mushroom
  2. Buying & Preparing Lion’s Mane
  3. 4 Fresh & Dried Lion’s Mane Recipes
  4. 3 Lion’s Mane Recipes Using Powder Extract

Jump to our recipes section here.

Lion’s Mane Benefits: More Than Just a Tasty Mushroom

Brain-Boosting Benefits of Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) has a long history of being used as a brain-boosting edible mushroom. Chinese Buddhist monks used Lion’s Mane powder in their tea, claiming it helped them focus in their meditation and increase overall brain power (1). Modern science has set out to examine the validity of these claims and is finding promising results.

Compounds called hericenones and erinacines, when extracted and isolated from Lion’s Mane, have qualities that may protect neurons and nerves in our bodies. The unique neuroprotective effects of these Lion’s Mane compounds are speculated to shield the brain from normal mild cognitive decline associated with aging (2), help support healthy memory function and focus (3,4), and support a positive mood and relieve occasional stress (5,6,7,8).

Dried Lion's Mane Mushroom
Is it just coincidence, or is it nature’s intent that Lion’s Mane mushrooms (like these dried ones) look like brains and have special compounds that support brain functions?

Other Lion’s Mane Health Benefits

Lion’s Mane mushroom is linked to multiple potential health benefits beyond the cognitive and neurological world. Traditional Chinese Medicine has promoted the use of Lion’s Mane for thousands of years as a tonic for everything from digestive health to enhancing general vitality (2).

Below are some of the additional ways Lions’ Mane could potentially improve your health, according to modern scientific studies:

  1. Helps keep the immune system responsive (9,10)
  2. Supports a healthy inflammation response (antioxidant) (11)
  3. Helps the heart and cardiovascular system (12,13,14)
  4. Supports digestive health & gut microbiota (15,16,17,18)
  5. Helps keep blood sugar balanced (19)
  6. Supports restful sleep (20)
  7. Helps keep pets healthy (21)

For more details about how and why Lion’s Mane can support the health of the mind and body, read our article Lion’s Mane Mushroom Benefits: A Complete Supplement Guide.

Lion’s Mane Nutrition & Culinary Benefits

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are often used as a meat substitute because of their dense texture. Due to the uber-absorbent nature of mushrooms, it can be marinated to give it just about any flavor profile, including a meaty one (see our Lion’s Mane steak recipe below). Additionally, it can be prepared to bring out its natural, delicate, seafood-like flavor. So, it is also ideal as a shellfish substitute (see our Lion’s Mane faux crab cake recipe below).

You can also benefit from the loaded nutritional profile of this delicious mushroom. It is very dense in protein and fiber, which also makes it an ideal meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians. The nutritional chart below shows you how Lion’s Mane stacks up against other high-protein foods.

Lion’s Mane Nutrition Chart

Lion's Mane Nutrition Chart
Lion’s mane is very high in protein and fiber, even compared to meat. Source.

Buying & Preparing Lion’s Mane

There are three formats of Lion’s Mane mushroom that are available commercially: fresh, dry, and powder. Each has their unique advantages and will be suitable for different culinary uses. Below we will detail how to find quality Lion’s Mane and how to prepare each type for consumption.

Jump to a Section:

  1. Fresh Lion’s Mane
  2. Dried Lion’s Mane
  3. Lion’s Mane Powder
  4. How to Forage Lion’s Mane

Buying & Preparing Fresh Lion’s Mane

Where to Find Fresh Lion’s Mane

Ideally, when buying fresh Lion’s Mane, you would only purchase organic. Mushrooms are very absorbent. As a result, they are extremely susceptible to absorbing pesticides or pollutants they may be exposed to. No amount of washing will rid the mushroom of chemicals it has absorbed. It’s therefore best to buy organic to help ensure you are ingesting only pure mushroom goodness.

Typically, organic and health-food markets will be the likeliest to carry fresh Lion’s Mane. Some farmer’s markets will have vendors that grow mushrooms and you might locate some Lion’s Mane there. You may also find fresh Lion’s Mane in Asian food markets, however they will not necessarily have been grown organically.

If you really want to experience fresh Lion’s Mane and you live in an area where it isn’t sold, you can consider growing your own! The process of growing Lion’s Mane has been made easy by companies selling all-in-one growing kits.

Buying Fresh Lion's Mane Mushroom
One of Real Mushrooms’ clients shows off their recent organic fresh Lion’s Mane purchase. It’s important to choose organic because mushrooms readily absorb pesticides, pollution, and chemicals.

Preparing Fresh Lion’s Mane for Cooking

Store your fresh Lion’s Mane mushrooms in a single layer in a paper bag. Keep these in the refrigerator for up to a week, depending on the freshness when you purchased them. The mushrooms will begin to brown as they become less fresh.

Do not use a water bath or otherwise “wash” the fresh Lion’s Mane with water. It will absorb too much liquid. Instead, brush any dirt off your mushroom with a dry sponge or soft brush. Since you will be buying organic mushrooms, you do not need to worry about “washing” this furry fungi. Tear off any overly brown bits and you’re ready to cook!

See our 4 recipes for fresh Lion’s Mane mushrooms here.

Buying & Preparing Dried Lion’s Mane

Where to Find Dried Lion’s Mane

If you cannot located quality, organic, dried Lion’s Mane in your local market you’re in luck! There are many online sellers of dried whole Lion’s Mane. A simple Google search will turn up several vendors. As we mentioned in the section about buying fresh Lion’s Mane, it is important to find an organic source to help ensure you aren’t going to potentially ingest unwanted chemicals or pollutants from this highly absorbent mushroom.

Preparing Dried Lion’s Mane for Cooking

Dried Lion’s Mane mushrooms simply need to be re-hydrated for cooking purposes. Soak pieces of your Lion’s Mane in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes until they are plump. Use a strainer to remove your Lion’s Mane from the water, pat the pieces dry, and begin cooking! You can use the leftover soaking water as a mushroom broth.

Store dried Lion’s Mane away from heat and moisture (the enemies of your dried mushrooms). If you place them in an air tight container and store them in the freezer, they will keep well for between six months and a year.

Buying & Using Lion’s Mane Powder

Where to Find Lion’s Mane Powder

Now, before getting into where to find Lion’s Mane powder, there is a distinction we need to make. There are two potential types of powders on the market:

1. Whole mushroom powder

This comes from the whole mushroom having been dried and ground down into a powder.

  • Advantage: You retain the fiber and protein of the mushroom.
  • Uses: You can use the powder to make mushroom broth. It is most useful as a flavor enhancer for dishes.

2. Mushroom extract powder

This comes from the whole Lion’s Mane and/or its mycelium (root system) having been soaked in hot water or alcohol (or both). The fibrous remains of the mushroom are discarded and the resulting liquid is evaporated. This process leaves behind a very concentrated powder where the medicinal compounds of the mushroom are retained.

  • Advantage: You need to ingest very little of the powder to get the health-benefiting compounds unique to Lion’s Mane.
  • Uses: Powder extracts are ideal for their versatility and are intended to be used to maximize the ease and efficiency of getting the health benefits Lion’s Mane can offer. Since so little of the extract is needed, you can add it to any drink or everyday snack or meal.
Mushroom Powder Extract
A high quality, organic Lion’s Mane powder extract is a versatile and concentrated way to reap the health-supporting benefits of this superfood mushroom. You only need 1 teaspoon and can add it to any drink or meal.

SHOP LION'S MANE!

You can find organic whole mushroom powder from online vendors relatively easily. However, there is a little more intentional selection necessary when buying a Lion’s Mane extract, especially if you want to use it for health-supporting purposes.

We have laid out a 4-point buying guide for Lion’s Mane mushroom powder extracts here. This guide will help to ensure you buy a Lion’s Mane powder extract that will actually deliver the helpful compounds you need for getting the health benefits from Lion’s Mane.

See our 3 delicious recipes using Lion’s Mane powder extracts here.

How to Forage Lion’s Mane

If you’re a mushroom forager, you can try to find and pick lion’s mane from the source. It grows in the northern United States and Canada on the dead, dying, or fallen hardwood like oak and beech. They can generally be found during cooler weather months, before frost sets in. In many areas where Lion’s Mane mushroom can be found, this means early-to-late fall, and for milder climates that could extend into December. There are no toxic lookalikes, so it is an easier mushroom to identify without risk of accidental poisoning.

Foraging Lion's Mane Mushroom
Our Real Mushrooms team member, Sarah, found this beauty on an Arbutus Tree in the Pacific Northwest. Generally, Lion’s Mane grows on hardwood trees like oak and beech.

4 Fresh & Dried Lion’s Mane Recipes

The following recipes work with either fresh or dried Lion’s Mane mushrooms. However, if you are using dried mushrooms, simply soak them in water for 30 minutes and strain them before cooking. Pat them dry before pan-frying.

Recipes in this section:

  1. Lion’s Mane Souvlaki Recipe
  2. Lion’s Mane “Crab” Cakes Recipe
  3. Vegan Lion’s Mane “Steak” Recipe
  4. Simple Lion’s Mane Egg-Drop Soup Recipe

1. Lion’s Mane Souvlaki Recipe

You can make this recipe to enjoy the Lion’s Mane mushroom barbequed on skewers with a mix of vegetables, or add them to pita bread with tzatziki sauce to make yourself a Lion’s Mane gyro. This recipe is indeed vegan-friendly, and if you want, use this vegan tzatziki recipe.

Lion's Mane Souvlaki Recipe
Our Real Mushrooms client, Hanady, adapted this Lion’s Mane souvlaki recipe by adding Oyster mushrooms and turning it into a gyro.

INGREDIENTS

  • 600 g of fresh Lion’s Mane mushrooms, torn into 1” cubes (feel free to add in other types of mushrooms)
  • 1 red onion, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 peppers (any color mix), chopped into large pieces
  • Wood skewers

Marinade:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix the marinade ingredients into a large bowl.
  2. Tear the Lion’s Mane mushroom into small pieces and add them to the bowl with the marinade. Stir to make sure the mushrooms are well coated.
  3. Place wax or parchment paper on top of the marinating mushrooms and add a weight (such as a plate with some cans on it). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Soak your wood skewers in water for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the mushrooms from the marinade and assemble your souvlaki skewers by alternating mushrooms with pieces of onions and peppers.
  6. Cook the skewers on the BBQ or over a hot skillet for about 20 minutes, turning the skewers frequently.
  7. Serve hot.

2. Lion’s Mane “Crab” Cakes Recipe

This awesome “faux crab” recipe really highlights the sweet, light, shellfish flavor of the Lion’s Mane. It can be made completely vegan if desired. While there are many variations of Lion’s Mane “crab” cake recipes, this one from Jamie at So Happy You Liked It really stands out. We’ve made one adjustment: we steamed the mushroom rather than baking it so it truly retains its moist, shellfish-like texture.

Lion's Mane Crab Cakes Recipe
This recipe really highlights the natural, light shellfish flavor of Lion’s Mane.

INGREDIENTS

For the “Crab” Cakes:

  • 1 large Lion’s Mane mushroom, ripped in to small pieces
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp vegan mayo
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 egg – sub flax egg if vegan (see note)
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • Few dashes Aminos or soy sauce

For the Greek Yogurt Remoulade:

  • 1/4 cups Greek yogurt sub dairy free if preferred
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Aminos or soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dijon
  • 1 tsp shallot finely minced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Break the mushroom into 1” cubes and steam them until they are soft and hot throughout.
  2. Meanwhile, place garlic, mayo, bread crumbs, onion, lightly whisked egg, Old Bay, and aminos in to a large bowl. Set aside as you prepare the remoulade.

For the Greek Yogurt Remoulade:

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, whisking thoroughly to combine. Taste to the sauce, and adjust to your liking! Add more smoked paprika, salt, or perhaps even some mayo or a splash of lemon juice.

For the “Crab” Cakes:

  1. Once mushroom is slightly cooled, pulse in food processor until mixture resembles crab meat. It will look somewhat stringy. Add to bowl of crab cake ingredients, and mix thoroughly to combine. Form in to four patties.
  2. Add a tablespoon of oil (grapeseed oil is ideal, since it has a high smoke point!) to a cast iron skillet, and add crab cakes carefully to pan. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. Flip and cook the other side for an additional 3 minutes.
  3. Serve warm topped with remoulade sauce and a sprinkle of paprika. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

If you want to make these vegan, use a flax egg (1 tablespoon mixed with 3 tablespoons water) in place of 1 egg and use dairy free yogurt in the remoulade sauce. Note that I haven’t tried the flax egg option – I would love to know your thoughts if you try it!

3. Vegan Lion’s Mane “Steak” Recipe

This recipe from master vegan “meat” wizard, Mark “Sauce Stache” Thompson, is about as delicious a steak reproduction you could come across using the dense, meaty Lion’s Mane.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large dried Lion’s Mane mushrooms
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Marinade:

  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup black vinegar (or substitute white vinegar and mix in some A1 sauce)
  • 2 tsp mushroom powder extract
  • 1 tsp methyl cellulose (for thickening)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp beetroot powder
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molases
  • 1 tsp blackstrap molases
  • 1 tsp soy lecithin (for emulsification)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Perforate the dried Lion’s Mane mushrooms with a mechanical meat tenderizer
  2. Create the marinade by combining the ingredients into a food processor or blender and slowly drizzle in the melted coconut oil as the marinade blends.
  3. Add the mushrooms to a tofu press and cover with the marinade.
  4. Place the lid of the tofu press onto the soaking mushrooms and push down to flatten them (use the highest setting you can).
  5. Refrigerate the marinating mushroom in the tofu press for 2-3 hours.
  6. Remove the mushrooms from the marinade after refrigeration and slightly pat them dry (top and bottom) without forcing too much marinate out.
  7. Season the top and bottom of the mushroom with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  8. Heat the pan (preferably cast iron) to medium and add your vegan butter and olive oil.
  9. Add the mushrooms into the pan, press them down firmly as you cook them on each side.

4. Simple Lion’s Mane Egg-Drop Soup Recipe

As we mentioned in the section about the health benefits of Lion’s Mane, this mushroom has been used by cultures around the world for centuries. In the Chinese culture, for example, it was and still is commonly used in soup. We feel it’s important to include a soup recipe as a nod to the traditional heritage of this wonderful mushroom.

This recipe from Happy Mushrooms for egg-drop Lion’s Mane soup is simple and reflects the cultural heritage of this mushroom.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large Lion’s Mane mushroom
  • 2 eggs
  • Thinly sliced ginger
  • Approx 1-2 tbsp corn powder starch
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 small slice of carrot
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallion
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Optional: chili powder or chili flakes to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Break Lion’s Mane into small pieces
  2. Crack 2 eggs into a bowl & whisk briskly
  3. Heat sesame oil in a pan
  4. Add sliced ginger to the heated oil
  5. Add a slice of carrot
  6. Add water
  7. Add Lion’s Mane mushroom
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir well
  9. Let it boil until the mushrooms cook thoroughly
  10. Add a tablespoon of corn starch as a thickener, stir well
  11. Lower heat to “low”, pour in the eggs and stir well
  12. Stir in 1 tbsp chopped scallion
  13. Serve in bowls, garnish with remaining chopped scallions
  14. OptionAL: add chili powder or chili flakes for a spicy flavor

3 Lion’s Mane Recipes Using Powder Extract

It is possible to find fresh Lion’s Mane at certain grocers or farmer’s markets, or to forage or grow it yourself. However, the easiest and most accessible way to benefit from the health-supporting effects of this mushroom is to take it as a supplement in capsule form or to add extract powder to your drinks and/or favorite recipes.

Here are some of the tastiest Lion’s Mane recipes our Real Mushrooms team has whipped up that makes use of our organic Lion’s Mane mushroom powder extract.

Recipes In This Section:

  1. Morning Golden Milk
  2. Keto Baked Donuts
  3. Cacao Butter Mushroom Coffee

1. Morning Golden Milk

This delicious hot brew is a wonderful, stimulant-free, substitute for coffee to get your brain going for the day. It features the power of Lion’s Mane and Ashwagandha, another wonderful adaptogen to keep your body balanced and resilient to stress.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 TB honey (or favorite sweetener)
  • 1/2 TB coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • small pinch of black pepper and grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Real Mushrooms Lion’s Mane extract
  • 1/2 tsp Ashwagandha

DIRECTIONS

  1. To a small saucepan, add coconut milk, almond milk, ground turmeric, grated ginger, the cinnamon stick, coconut oil, black pepper, Ashwagandha, Lion’s Mane, and sweetener of choice.
  2. Whisk to combine and warm over medium heat. Heat until hot to the touch but not boiling – about 3-4 minutes – whisking the whole time.
  3. Turn off heat and taste to adjust sweetness level.
  4. Take out the cinnamon stick and if you like it very smooth, you can strain the golden milk to take out the ginger pieces. Enjoy!

Find the original post here.

2. Keto Baked Donuts

Three words: Cinnamon. Sugar. Donuts. Cue craving! We’ve all smelled the heavenly aroma of this magical combination. But we don’t usually associate those sights and smells with these three words: Healthy. Brain. Function. But, what if we told you all of those words can belong together, that you could have your donuts and your brain boost too? That’s where this baked Keto donut recipe comes in. These cinnamon “sugar” donut holes roll into play with their low-carb real food ingredients, healthy fats, and the secret ingredient known as the “Mushroom For the Mind.” It’s the sweetest of our Lion’s Mane recipes.

INGREDIENTS

Keto Donut:

  • 1 and 1/4th cup blanched almond flour
  • 3 tbsp favorite sweetener – monk fruit / birch xylitol / coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Real Mushroom’s Lion’s Mane
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cinnamon “Sugar” Coating:

  • 3 TB favorite sweetener – monk fruit/coconut sugar / Birch Xylitol
  • 1 TB cinnamon
  • 2 TB melted coconut oil or ghee

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine all the dry donut ingredients in a glass bowl – almond flour, sweetener, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and Lion’s Mane. Mix until combined.
  3. Add your wet donut ingredients – egg, coconut oil, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for about 10-15 minutes so that it’s firm enough to easily work with and roll into balls.
  5. After 10-15 minutes in the fridge, roll the dough into 12 balls.
  6. Place the balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. While they are baking, make your cinnamon “sugar” coating.
  8. In a small bowl, mix the sweetener and the cinnamon.
  9. In a separate small bowl, have your melted coconut oil.
  10. After the keto donuts have cooled, dip each one into the melted coconut oil and then roll in the cinnamon and sweetener mix.

Find the original post here.

Keto Baked Donut Holes
Real Mushrooms client, Sheryl, is delighted with her freshly baked keto donut holes. Like her, feel free to share the results of your recipes from this article with our Facebook Group.

3. Cacao Butter Mushroom Coffee

Integrative nutritional health coach, Edith Agoston, developed this take on the classic bulletproof coffee recipe for the Real Mushrooms audience. This butter coffee recipe amps it up a notch by adding some extra special ingredients like cacao butter, collagen, maca root, and Lion’s Mane powder extract. The final result is this gorgeous, frothy cup of coffee that is sure to excite all the sights and senses.

INGREDIENTS

  • Organic, shade-grown & mycotoxin free coffee beans in 14 oz hot, filtered water
  • 1 tbsp of MCT oil
  • 2 scoops of coconut or vanilla collagen creamer
  • 1 to 2 tbsp cacao butter
  • 1 tsp organic maca
  • 1 tsp Real Mushrooms Lion’s Mane powder extract
  • 1 tbsp grass-fed unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS

Add everything to a blender and blend for roughly 10-20 seconds. It will come out nice and frothy as a result!

Find the original post here. You can use Lion’s Mane powder extract in any of our 11 mushroom coffee recipes.

Recipes Worthy of Sharing!

Once you’ve tried out any (or all!) of these Lion’s Mane recipes, please be sure to share the results and your impressions (and any of your tweaks) with our Facebook Group or Instagram.

SHOP LION'S MANE!

Lion's Mane Extract PowderReferences

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  20. Furuta, S., Kuwahara, R., Hiraki, E., Ohnuki, K., Yasuo, S., & Shimizu, K. (2016). Hericium erinaceus extracts alter behavioral rhythm in mice. Biomedical research (Tokyo, Japan), 37(4), 227–232.<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27544998>
  21. https://www.realmushrooms.com/medicinal-mushrooms-pets/

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Real Mushrooms

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