|"Open a can of straw mushrooms and out pops Walt Disney's 'Danse Chinois' from the movie Fantasia. These are mushrooms with happy faces, brown straw hats, and dancing feet." (Louise Freedman, Mycological Society of San Francisco)|
Rice-straw mushrooms (volvariella volvacea or het fang in Thai) are a favorite additon to clear soups like Tom Yum. Like tofu, these mushrooms take on the flavors of the dish and also add texture. These small high domed mushrooms are brown with grey colored tips and are traditionally grown on rice straw. Because the fresh mushrooms are highly perishable, it is practical to use the canned mushrooms.
Keep canned mushrooms on hand for a zero-fat addition to any Asian meal. Drain and rinse the canned mushroom thoroughly before using. Discard the fluid. Store leftover straw mushrooms covered with water in a glass or plastic container, changing the water every few days for up to one week.
See recipes using Straw Mushrooms: Tom Yum Goong and Shrimp Curry with Choo Chee Curry Paste (or with Scallops or Fish).
Also see Shitake Mushrooms.
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