How to grow enoki mushrooms and what exactly are they? Enoki mushrooms are those little white mushrooms that have velvet-like stems. When you look up this mushroom, you will notice that it comes with different names among them are velvet stem, winter mushroom, velvet foot, and enokitake. Enoki mushrooms are also known as bean sprouts mushrooms because they grow in shapes that have similarities to a bean sprout. This mushroom thrives in the cold weather conditions, and they are usually grown in the dark, resulting in its white color. As stated previously, it is grown in the dark to which it also gives its long slender shape, this is because the mushroom is trying to reach for sunlight. Often times, they are the only mushroom available in the winter.
Enoki mushrooms commonly grow on rotting wood, especially on dead elm trees in the forested areas. Wild enoki mushrooms have brown caps, instead of white as commonly seen in cultivated enoki mushrooms, and they form in clusters. If you have plans on foraging them in the wild, it is important to have a spore print check first for each mushroom you have collected. The enoki mushrooms closely resemble a Galerina autumnalis and this mushroom is deadly.
Did you know these little mushrooms have been used medically to treat liver infections, boost the immune system, and even reduce tumors? As a mushroom lover, you must be curious and even you may want to have a taste of this mushroom. If so, do consider learning how to grow enoki mushrooms.
It takes a little more care than your average vegetable to grow enoki, but the end result is worth it. There is a lot to learn about how to grow enoki mushrooms. Unlike most plants that require sun and warmth to grow, enoki needs a dark habitat to thrive in. They also grow better in the winter months too.
Can You Grow Enoki Mushrooms In A Bottle?
When the question was asked, “can you grow enoki mushrooms in a bottle?” I was curious about this. It turns out the best way to grow enoki at home is actually in a bottle. Growing in a bottle helps you grow more consistent uniform mushrooms. It also makes the harvesting process a lot easier.
How Long Does It Take For Enoki To Grow?
If you are wondering how long does it take for enoki to grow, you won’t be waiting for too long. After only 2 weeks in the bottle you should see enoki strands starting to sprout, these are the roots. Keep those roots in a humid environment and you will see mushrooms in anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
Experienced enoki growers aren’t even waiting that long for their crops. Sometimes the mushrooms will have sprouted in under a week. If your mushrooms are taking a slow time to grow, consider lowering the temperature that you are storing them in. You should see sprouts soon this way.
Starting Enoki Mushrooms
If you’re familiar with growing vegetables in your gardens, such as lettuce and tomatoes, you’ll be surprised at how different the process is for enoki mushrooms. Growing these enoki mushrooms at home requires careful application of the steps below and also the careful balance of warmth, cold, and humidity at different phases of its growth phase. Enoki doesn’t require any soil or seeds to start growing.
- Enoki mushrooms thrive in a cold temperature environment. So make sure that you find a place in your home that can fulfill the temperature requirements needed for the enoki mushrooms to thrive. The ideal temperature would be 40–50 °F (4–10 °C).
If you don’t have ay facilities that can fulfill the ideal temperature, just leave the enoki mushroom in a dark corner or any shady spot. Enoki mushrooms can still grow fine in the room temperature environment.
- Collect and clean out plastic bottles (such as water bottles) that are at least 8 inches tall. Consider using things such as water bottles, milk containers or plastic soda bottles. Make sure that the bottles are properly sterilized and cleaned. Wash the bottles with antibacterial soap and rinse it thoroughly with water, make sure there is no residual soap that remains.
- Use aged hardwood sawdust and a mushroom growth medium (find it at a local garden centre) with the enoki spawn. Enoki mushrooms are decomposers like most mushrooms are, and they can likewise grow in any number of organic substance, but they tend to appeal more to hardwood dust.
If you are looking for alternatives to hardwood dust, you can likewise use straw or any garden compost. Stock up the organic garden compost to about 2 inches or 5.1cm deep.
- Fill the rest of your bottles with the inculcated growing medium.
- Store the bottles in an area will 90% humidity and in a temperature range between 40–50 °F (4–10 °C), but they can also grow without difficulty in temperatures ranging to about 75 °F (24 °C), but they will grow slower.
- Water the enoki mushrooms at least twice a day during the morning and in the evening. No need to thoroughly water them, just a couple of light spray will do the job.
- In 2-4 weeks the mushroom should reach maturity. If kept in a cool temperature and moist environment your mushrooms should be able to grow healthy and fine in a moment. If it seems that the enoki mushrooms are growing slower than expected, move them to a much cooler environment to further stimulate growth.
- Move the bottles to a much cooler area where the temperature ranges from 50-65 degrees fahrenheit. The humidity level doesn’t need to be as high anymore.
It is a much different process than any other plant I have grown before. Although it is not a complicated process it does take more care than easier to grow plants, such as basil.
How To Care For Enoki Mushrooms
Since enoki mushrooms require different temperatures for different stages of their progress you might be wondering how to care for enoki mushrooms. It isn’t as stressful as one would believe.
If you are wondering where you are going to store the mushrooms when it’s time to put them somewhere cooler, clear a section in your fridge. You have 2 weeks after planting your enoki to have a spot ready in there.
Watering your enoki plants is also a simple task. They need to stay damp without being overwatered. Do not put water directly on your enoki mushroom spores. The best thing to do is mist them with a spray bottle twice a day.
How to Use Enoki Mushrooms in Cooking
There are so many ways to use enoki mushrooms in food so you can get some of those amazing health benefits. Here are just a few ideas:
- In soups: Enoki mushrooms are a popular ingredient in soups, particularly miso soup and hot pot. Simply add the mushrooms to the soup towards the end of cooking, as they cook quickly and can become soggy if overcooked.
- In stir-fries: Enoki mushrooms can be added to stir-fries for a crunchy texture and mild flavor. They go well with other vegetables like bok choy, bell peppers, and snow peas, as well as with tofu or shrimp.
- In salads: Enoki mushrooms can be used raw in salads, as their delicate texture and mild flavor complement greens and other vegetables. They can also be lightly sautéed or blanched and then added to salads.
- In sushi: Enoki mushrooms can be used as a filling for sushi rolls, either alone or in combination with other ingredients like avocado or cucumber.
- In pasta dishes: Enoki mushrooms can be used in pasta dishes like spaghetti carbonara or mushroom risotto. Simply sauté them in butter or oil and add them to the dish towards the end of cooking.
If you are after specific recipes to benefit even more from your growing work, then check out these Enoki recipes as you are sure to find some that you love.
Other Important Enoki Mushroom Information
When you see enoki mushrooms in the grocery store they look to be a nice velvety white shade. This happened because those mushrooms are grown in highly controlled conditions. Homegrown enoki mushrooms usually have more of a yellowish tint to them. If this happens to you, your mushrooms aren’t sick. They are organic!
Enoki has a nicer flavor than regular button mushrooms. It’s savoury flavor blends well into just about any dinner dish. They make any stir fry or salad a million times better. Even if you don’t enjoy the button mushroom you should still try enoki since the flavor is different. It’s loaded with health benefits so you can’t go wrong in trying them.
If you have a successful enoki mushroom growing season and can’t possibly eat them all, you can also use them for tea. Enoki mushroom teas is a wellness drink that is beloved worldwide.
Always make sure you thoroughly wash your enoki mushrooms before eating them or enjoying them in a tea.
Enoki mushrooms have many healthy benefits that have made them a popular staple in a lot of people’s diets. They are not just a tasty vegetable to add to stir frys. Here are some of things enoki mushrooms can help with:
- Boosts your immune system
- Reduces body fat (especially in the gut)
- Reduces tumors
- Balance you sugar levels
- Constipation relief
- Improves intellectual development
- Decreases effects caused by allergic reactions, such as asthma, eczema, and rhinitis
- Lowers blood lipids
- Healthy metabolism
There are so many great things that enoki mushrooms can do for your body. All the more reason to start growing your own organic enoki mushrooms at home.
Final Thoughts on How to Grow Enoki Mushrooms
I always wanted to know how to grow enoki mushrooms. Even though how to care for enoki mushrooms is a much different process than any other plant I have grown I am up for the challenge. Practice makes perfect, so I am sure you will be growing mushrooms in under a month if you keep at it!
To find enoki mushroom spores and everything else you need to start growing them at home check your local garden centre. They may even have starter kits available that have everything you need to start growing your enoki to make things simpler for you.
What are some of your favorite dishes to eat enoki mushrooms in? I can’t wait to try enoki mushroom miso soup. Tell us about it in the comments.