10 good things to know about mushrooms

Updated: Mar 25

It’s fungi at their best.

I love mushrooms, but I also know some people who don’t. (I remember how a colleague even made a face and called them slimy.)

Maybe Janson Chan, the co-founder and CEO of Mushroom Kingdom, can help me persuade them of mushrooms’ fine qualities. 😊

Janson Chan
Mushrooms are Janson's forte

Based in Singapore, Mushroom Kingdom is an online shop that offers a wide range of mushrooms, mushroom products such as chips and sauces, organic ingredients such as raisins and raw honey, as well as salads and teas.

They grow their mushrooms at their own farm, and their team handles the produce – from harvesting to packaging to delivery – to ensure quality and freshness.

“We also recently partnered up with a local high-tech indoor farm to distribute their produce, and they produce for us a premium produce called Just Ice Plant. We sell them at affordable prices (compared to when you have them at high-end restaurants),” Janson adds.

Janson has loved mushrooms from the start, but he realised just how much when they set up Mushroom Kingdom. “My partners and I have been friends for many years and we wanted to do a business together, and decided that it shall be something that we like,” he recalls.

“After some discussion, we decided on something we like to eat among us – mushrooms!”

The power of mushrooms

Thank goodness for shops like Mushroom Kingdom then, because I also think mushrooms are a great alternative if you want something “meaty” on your plate, and I always gravitate towards dishes that have mushrooms in them.

A box full of possibilities

I’ve also been trying to eat better, so this post comes at a perfect time. Mushrooms add variety and can be so many things, and Janson proves all that with his experiences and tips. ⬇

#1 Add them to soup

“Personally, the most basic way I use fresh mushrooms is to add them to Campbell cream soup. Other than that, I like to add them with vegetables,” he says.

#2 Steam your portobellos

“My most recent discovery is that I can actually steam portobellos instead of baking them. And they taste good after steaming even without any seasoning.”

#3 Keep the stems

“I’ve heard some of the older generation say that mushroom stems can’t be eaten as they are poisonous,” Janson admits. “But actually, they can be eaten, and they are actually good to make mushroom patties with because of their fibre.”

#4 The one mushroom to rule them all

“My go-to mushroom would be shiitake. They are just so versatile in cooking. Some mushrooms are better with different methods of cooking, but shiitake mushrooms are simply suitable for all of them.”

#5 Store them properly

And you’ll be able to maximise them. “Store fresh mushrooms in paper bags and keep them in the vegetable section of the fridge if you’re not using them yet,” he advises. “A common beginner’s mistake is to wash mushrooms when they don’t intend to cook them yet.”

#6 Think three days

“For optimal freshness, I recommend using mushrooms within three days of purchase. While some mushrooms can be kept longer than others, I usually stick to consuming them within three days. Or else freezing them is good for a longer storage period.”

#7 One important fact

“Mushrooms aren’t actually vegetables, they are a category of their own – fungi. And they contain nutrients that most leafy vegetables don’t have, for example, selenium.”

#8 How to use your mushrooms?

Shiitake: “I like grilling them and sprinkling cumin (over them). Using them in cream of mushroom soup is great too.”

White button mushrooms: “Pizzas!”

King oyster mushrooms: “Slice them up and add to your stir-fry. They give an abalone texture.”

Portobello mushrooms: “Bake, topped with cheese and bacon bits.”

Grey oyster mushrooms: “My favourite is lok lok (dipping them steamboat) style.”

White and brown shimeji mushrooms: “Stir-fry with potato leaves and use for hotpot.”

#9 Snack on them

Turn your mushrooms into crispy chips. (Mushroom Kingdom has a range of air-fried shiitake chips, if you don’t have the time.)

mushroom chips
Flavours include Original, Black Pepper and Honey Butter

#10 And when they’re chips…

“The mushroom chips can be used as a substitute for bread crumbs in salads or cream soup. (For soup, I’d recommend either the Original or Black Pepper Shiitake Chips.) They can be used as a topping for rice or noodles when you crush them too.”

For fun

One more thing that’ll convince you of mushrooms’ greatness? Mushroom Kingdom’s Mushroom Grow Kit. You’ll love how easy and cool it is to watch mushrooms grow right in your own home (and eventually find their way to your dishes). They make unique gifts too.

Maybe I should give this to the people I know who don’t like mushrooms? It might help change their minds. 😊 🍄

For more on Mushroom Kingdom, go to their shop, Facebook or Instagram.

Mushroom Grow Kit
All caps