Elmaki mushrooms are common oyster mushrooms, only slightly differ in color and some characteristics. Fruit bodies are edible, suitable for winter harvesting, conservation, cooking. Ilmaks grow in nature on trees, and if desired, the mushroom picker can grow them independently at home on a prepared substrate.
What does an elmak mushroom look like?
Translated from Latin, the name of the mushroom sounds like Golden Pleurotus. People call oyster mushroom lemon, yellow, golden. However, more often the mushroom is called ilmovik or ilmak. The name was not given by chance. Oyster mushrooms of this species usually grow on the elm, a common tree in the Far East. Fruiting bodies populate the trunk or stump in groups of up to 30 pieces. The family has no pattern of location. Ilmaks simply parasitize on a tree in compact growths. Alone, mushrooms are rare.
Yellow oyster mushroom grows in groups of about 30 mushrooms
If you compare the photo and description of elmak mushrooms, then you can get a little confused. Most often, you can see beautiful yellow hats in the image, but in reality they are almost white. There is nothing unusual here. It's just that young elmaks are more often seen in the photo. The surface of their caps is really lemon yellow. The shape is flat. A small depression forms in the middle. When the oyster mushroom matures, the yellowness gradually disappears. The mushroom cap becomes white.
In nature, elmaks grow to large sizes. The diameter of the cap reaches from 5 to 30 cm. The spore-bearing layer consists of white plates. Sometimes they take on a pinkish tint. The plates are even, compacted with each other, from the cap they smoothly pass to the leg. Mushroom pickers love elmak for its fleshy pulp. The younger the oyster mushroom, the juicier and softer it is. The flesh is rougher in the area where the mushroom cap goes into the leg. Experienced mushroom pickers recognize the type of oyster mushroom by its flour aroma
Cream-colored elmak leg. In large fruiting bodies, it is capable of reaching a length of 8 cm, a width of 3 cm. In the family, oyster mushrooms can be found on a long elongated leg or completely without it. This structure is due to the adaptation of the elmaks to the surrounding conditions.
Where does the ilmak mushroom grow
In the wild, elmaks grow throughout the warm season, usually from May to September. Sometimes the crop can be harvested even in early December. On the territory of Russia, a massive growth of oyster mushrooms is observed in Primorye, as well as in the southern Amur region. For mushrooms, they go to the forests where cedar, elm and other broad-leaved trees grow. They look for clusters of yellow fruit bodies on the trunks of weak or fallen trees, stumps.
Golden oyster mushroom can be found on stumps, growing and fallen tree trunks
Important! A feature of the species is good resistance to frost, which is rarely inherent in other mushrooms. With a strong drop in temperature, fruiting bodies slow down their growth and resume with the onset of warming.
The video shows how elmaks grow in Primorye:
Is it possible to eat yellow oyster mushrooms
Ilmak is considered a completely edible mushroom. The pulp has excellent taste. Mushroom pickers value more oyster mushrooms collected in the forest, rather than grown on a substrate. Wild fruit bodies are more aromatic. The most popular recipe for elmaks with potatoes among mushroom pickers, where mushrooms are fried with onions after harvesting, and then added to fried potatoes. Delicious pickled, dried, salted oyster mushroom.
Yellow oyster mushrooms look appetizing even growing on a tree
In adult mushrooms, the stem is often discarded. This is not due to its poisonousness, but simply it is rough. If the elmak is very old, then part of the cap is removed, where it grows together with the leg.
Attention! Only those yellow oyster mushrooms that were collected near the highway or in contaminated areas are considered inedible.
How to cook Ilmaki mushrooms
There are many recipes for cooking oyster mushrooms. The most popular are fried mushrooms on their own and with potatoes, pickled, salted, stewed. Delicious soup with elmak, sauce, pizza or pie turns out, where the fruit bodies are used for filling.
Boil wild mushrooms for about 10-15 minutes before cooking.
Before preparing the dish, the mushrooms need to be prepared. The procedure begins with cleaning. It is not necessary to remove the skin or the spore-bearing layer from the elmaks. Simply using a brush and a knife, they clean off the dirt, cut off the damaged areas and the lower part of the leg. The fruiting bodies are washed and loaded into a container with salted water so that they do not turn black. Before cooking, they are examined again. If dark spots appear, they are cut off with a knife blade.
Elmak mushroom recipes
Each housewife has her own favorite recipe for cooking elmaks. Moreover, mushrooms are not only eaten for pleasure, but also used for medicinal purposes.
Shredded elmaki are a great salad ingredient
One such example is a popular tincture recipe that helps to strengthen the immune system and avoid the formation of tumors. For cooking, you need 50 g of chopped elmaks, pour 0.5 liters of wine. Ready tincture is taken for cardiovascular diseases three times a day for 1 tbsp. l. To fight against a tumor, mastopathy, 300 g of chopped elmaks are insisted on 500 g of vodka. If you need a tincture just to strengthen the immune system, 100 g of oyster mushrooms are insisted in the same amount of vodka.
In almost all recipes, you need to cook elmaki in plenty of water. This is due to the fact that the mushroom releases a lot of juice during heat treatment. To cook oyster mushrooms, they are first poured with cold water. Salt as well as spices are added to your liking. The duration of cooking after boiling water is 20-30 minutes. The larger and older the mushrooms, the longer they need to boil. Ready oyster mushrooms are discarded in a colander, give time to drain. Boiled mushrooms can be eaten immediately or used to prepare other dishes.
To fry elmaki mushrooms, they do not need to be pre-cooked. The mushrooms will be tasty, aromatic and not watery. However, fruit bodies are prepared without cooking if they are confident in their ecological purity. For example, oyster mushrooms are grown independently on a substrate or collected in the forest far from roads and industrial enterprises. For frying, elmaki with onion rings are placed in a preheated pan with vegetable oil. To prevent all the juice from evaporating, cover with a lid. Fry for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Add vegetables or chips if desired.
How to cook ilmaki for the winter
To feast on mushrooms in winter, housewives salt them, pickle, freeze them. You can dry elmaks, but this storage method is not very popular. Drying is often affected by insects, if stored improperly, it disappears, loses its taste.
How to salt elmaki
Salted elmaks compete with pickled mushrooms and are considered the best snack. A simple salting recipe is designed for 0.5 kg of mushrooms. 2 liters of water are poured into a stainless steel or enameled pan, 50 g of salt are added, mushrooms are loaded and boiled for up to 7 minutes. Ready-made elmaks are thrown into a colander.
Pickles are one of the best winter harvesting methods
For salting, a brine is prepared from 300 ml of water and 1 tbsp. salt. From spices add 4 leaves of laurel and black currant, 4 black peppercorns. The brine is brought to a boil, boiled for 5 minutes, allowed to cool. The liquid is filtered through cheesecloth, boiled again without spices and allowed to cool. Mushrooms drained in a colander are placed in a sterilized jar. Ilmaks are poured with brine, covered with a lid, and sent to the refrigerator. After a week you can taste it.
How to pickle elmaki
Pickled mushrooms are considered the # 1 snack. Ilmaki are delicious in pure form and as an ingredient in salad. To marinate the harvested crop, you need to prepare the marinade. For 1 liter of water add 1 tsp sugar, 0.5 tbsp. salt and 1 tbsp. vinegar. From spices take bay leaf, black peppercorns. After boiling water, add all the ingredients along with the mushrooms, simmer for about 30 minutes. Marinated Ilmakams are given a little time to cool, laid out in jars, and covered with lids. When the mushrooms are completely cool, they are sent to the refrigerator.
For marinating, it is optimal to use cans with a volume of 0.5 liters.
How to freeze ilmaki
It is best to freeze oyster mushrooms, previously boiled. After defrosting, they are immediately ready to eat. Boiled fruit bodies are given time to drain in a colander. Each mushroom is individually laid out on a tray, sent to the freezer for 4 hours. When oyster mushrooms become "glass", they are packaged in bags or plastic boxes, sent back for long-term storage back to the freezer.
Freeze is best stored in plastic boxes.
Advice! Mushrooms must be defrosted first in the refrigerator, and then at room temperature so that the pulp is soft.
Ilmoviks can be frozen fresh, without cooking. Fruit bodies need to be cleaned, rinsed quickly under water so that they are not saturated with moisture and dry. Further steps are the same as with boiled oyster mushrooms.
False doubles of golden lemon oyster mushroom
Yellow oyster mushroom has no false counterparts. There are fruit bodies that are similar in morphology, but they have nothing in common with the ilmaks.
Mushroom picking should not be carried out near roads, garbage dumps, industrial enterprises. The fruiting bodies are twisted holding the cap. If the family is large, it is better to cut off the splicing with a sharp knife so as not to damage the mycelium. It is undesirable to take strongly old mushrooms. They can be wormy. In addition, the pulp of such fruit bodies is rough and difficult to process.
It is better to put the harvested crop in a container or basket.
Growing lemon oyster mushrooms
In the photo, lemon oyster mushroom grows in a garden bed loaded with substrate. However, the most common practice is the cultivation of mushrooms in bags. The substrate is prepared from straw, hay, seed husks, sawdust. Organic matter is poured with water, boiled for 2 hours, left to drain and cool. A substrate is considered good, from which a few drops of water are released when clenched with a fist.
At home, yellow oyster mushrooms are grown on a substrate
Buy mycelium for disembarkation. Store it temporarily in the refrigerator, but do not freeze it. When the substrate is ready, it is laid out in plastic bags. Mycelium is sprinkled in layers. You need to work with gloves so as not to infect. The bags seeded with the substrate are placed in a dark, cool room. After about 18-20 days, the mycelium will grow. On the bags, cuts are made with a knife through which fruit bodies will appear. Mushrooms are provided with humidity of about 80%, air temperature up to + 25 aboutC, good ventilation. Hats are sprayed 1-2 times a day with water at room temperature.
When grown properly, the mushroom picker will collect mushrooms for 6 months. The first two harvest waves are considered the most productive. The result is considered successful if 3 kg of oyster mushrooms were collected from 1 kg of mycelium.
Elmaki mushrooms can be grown in winter when there is a heated room. However, most often mushroom pickers do this in the warm season. Heating costs are not always profitable if there is no good sales market to make a profit.