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Types Of Mushrooms Commonly Used In UK Cooking

Published by: Maria Kelley • Updated: January 20, 2024 • Checked By: Chef Matty Riedel

When you walk into a grocery store, mushrooms are ever-present. People worldwide use them to make fantastic meals, thanks to the many available recipes. Scientifically, mushrooms are a fungus. They are also known as the “meat” of the vegetable world. You can find them almost everywhere if you are looking: on lawns, fields, woods, or under trees. They also vary widely in size, shape and colour.  

Mushrooms are significantly nutritious, given that they are rich in vitamins and fibre. However, mushrooms have such a diverse taste that you can get lost along the way. Some are sweet, and others taste like lobster.  

Mushrooms are not only beneficial in cooking. Some varieties have medicinal benefits, such as reducing cholesterol, boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, and containing severe cancer cases. Even though there are so many types of mushrooms, only a few are commonly used in UK cooking. This is because mushrooms are such an excellent addition to most dishes.  

This article highlights the most popular types of mushrooms, their respective tastes, characteristics, nutritional value and how to use them.

I use mushrooms in my cooking at least 2 or 3 times weekly. They are a favourite ingredient when cooking hearty stews in my amazing multi-cooker (Instant Pot Duo – thanks for asking!)

11 Types Of Mushrooms Commonly Used In UK Cooking 

1. Bay Bolete Mushroom 

Bay Bolete Mushroom

It’s related to the popular porcini. It has a mild flavour and is common in Mexican markets. While young mushrooms can be eaten raw, mature ones are best when dried. Mature ones are delicious when prepared in vegan butter.  

2. White Button Mushroom 

types of mushrooms: white button
White Button Mushroom

It is also called a cultivated mushroom, button, table, or champignon mushroom. Agaricus bisporus is a white edible mushroom. It’s white and brown when immature; the mature version is called portobello. It’s got the mildest taste of all varieties.  

They command more than 90% of the mushrooms in the market. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Also, it’s excellent when used to make soups, salads, pizzas, and stews.  

3. Portobello Mushroom 

Portobello Mushroom

It is also known as an open cap or field mushroom. These mushrooms are the size of your palm (average person). They have a rich taste and a dense texture. They are used to make pasta and sauces and are thus considered a good meat substitute. Besides using them for grilling and stuffing, you can use them as a bread-bun substitute.  

4. Crimini Mushroom 

Crimini Mushroom 

It is called Swiss brown, Italian brown, classic brown, chestnut or cremini mushroom when immature and brown. Ideally, the crimini mushroom is a young portobello mushroom. Criminis are familiar with white button mushrooms vis a vis size and colour. Even so, crimini has a light brown while creminis are darker.  

5. Oyster Mushroom 

types of mushrooms: oyster
Oyster Mushroom

Oyster mushrooms don’t have the best visual appeal firsthand, especially if you’re familiar with white button mushrooms. Even though they resemble sea oysters in terms of looks, they don’t grow in the sea. They are present in the wild on the sides of trees. Currently, they are widely cultivated around the world.  

Oyster mushrooms have a sweet, mild flavour. They are a great starting point if transitioning from portobellos. Also, they are the adventurous types. Cooking them is straightforward, and they are perfect for sauteing and stir-fry. Their consistently delicate nature makes them cook more evenly than other types of mushrooms.  

6. Chanterelle Mushrooms 

Chanterelle Mushrooms

Chanterelles are yellow, golden, girolle, pfifferling, or egg mushroom. They are among the most extensive species of wild mushrooms and are white, yellow, or orange. The chanterelles are meaty and trumpet-shaped. Since they are difficult to farm, they forage naturally in the wild.  

These mushroom species are popular in European, Austrian, French, and American cuisines. Their odours vary widely: woody, fruity, spicy, and earthy. Their texture and flavour are very delicate and, thus, work best when fried in butter or oil. They are also used in combination with eggs. They also make great sauces, pasta, and soups.  

Black Trumpet Mushrooms 

Black trumpet mushrooms are commonly called chanterelle mushrooms. Just like the chanterelles, they are not attractive. Their vibrant and smoky flavour, however, compensates for their not-so-good looks. Although rare, they are easy to collect in the wild due to the absence of poisonous look-alikes.  

7. Shimeji Mushroom 

Shimeji Mushrooms

It’s best when cooked. It’s advisable always to cook the mushroom because it has a bitter taste when raw and can be somewhat unpleasant. When cooked, the bitter taste disappears, and the mushroom assumes a nutty flavour. It is best when the mushrooms are used in sauces, stir-fried dishes, stews, and soups.  

8. Porcini Mushrooms 

types of mushrooms: porcini
Porcini Mushrooms

They are also called cep mushrooms and are common in the Italian cooking culture. Their distinctive taste is comparable to sourdough bread. Porcini has slightly creamy and nutty flavours. In terms of size, they can get to 10 inches in diameter. They are, however, harvested when at the 1-inch size.  

Porcini mushrooms are available fresh, canned, or dried. If you use dry porcini, you must first soak it in water for about 15 minutes.  

9. Shiitake Mushrooms 

Shiitake Mushrooms 

They are one of the world’s most famous and tasty edible mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms are also called black forests, brown oak, black mushroom, black winter, forest mushroom, donko, and golden oak. They are popular in Asian cuisines, where they are also believed to possess ancient Asian medicines.  

They are meaty, just like portobellos. When cooked, they pick an earthy, smoky flavour. They are mostly sold when dried. You can cook them as soups, stir-fries, pan-frying, or sauteing.  

10. Enoki Mushroom 

types of mushrooms: enoki
Enoki Mushroom

They are also called enokitake, futu mushroom, or lily mushroom. The mushroom species is widespread in Asian cultures. It is cultivated and still harvested from the wild. While the cultivated variety is light in colour and has long stems, the wild type is darker and features shorter stems. They are straightforward to grow and cheap to purchase. Best when roasted, pan-fried, or used for soups and stews.  

11. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms 

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Lion’s Mane mushrooms grow in shaggy clumps on the bark of trees. They resemble stalactite formations inside limestone caves. It has many health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties, immune boosters, blood concentration, and improving the brain’s health. They also have a unique lobster-like flavour.  

Bonus: Mushroom Varieties Also Worth Mentioning 

  • Giant puffball mushrooms 
  • Reishi mushrooms 
  • Maitake mushrooms 
  • Morel mushrooms 
  • Chicken of the wood’s mushrooms 

Types Of Mushrooms: Summing Up 

Mushrooms are a delicacy, and there is no limit to their use in your cooking. As for the types of mushrooms we’ve covered in this article, all come with fundamental nutritional values. They contain calories, carbohydrates, sugars, protein, fat, and fibre in varying capacities. Next time you shop at the grocery store, buy some types and try some recipes available online.

Maria Kelley