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King Trumpet Mushrooms go by many names including kraüterseitlinge (German), cardoncello (Italian), xing bào gū (Chinese), French horn mushroom, and others. It is the largest of the pleurotus family with a thick white, meaty stem and a small tan cap. On it’s own it doesn’t have much flavor but develops that wonderful unami when cooked.  For years scientists disputed the flavour unami but after much debate have decided that it is indeed a taste, separate from salt, sweet, sour, bitter and salty. The king trumpet mushroom is full of natural unami, that pleasant savory taste. 


My local organic store had just marked an entire basket of king trumpet mushrooms down to €1 per kilo and I jumped at the chance to buy the whole lot. I was so surprised at the discount that I had to ask if it was really true. When I arrived at home with my bounty I knew it would take more than one recipe to use them all up.

Thinly slicing the long stalks, I dried a huge batch in my dehydrator – perfect for grinding into a powder for seitan, adding to broth, using powder as a garnish, rehydrating for cooking, or flavouring sauces. It doesn’t take long to reduce a huge volume to a small one when you dehydrate.

Next on the list was a thick and creamy mushroom soup. I like to use my friend Barbara’s simple recipe base because it is actually really simple. The soup is really creamy, uses no added fat and cooks up quickly. 

I’ve eaten mushroom bacon but never made it myself.  I tried two different recipes…one from Rouxbe and another from Herbivoracious (it’s my loss he no longer blogs). 

The last recipe is something I played with to see how the stems cut into scallops would turn out. I’ve served it on a spicy Thai eggplant salsa.

So today’s blog has three recipes. The next time you see a bumper crop of mushrooms grab them and give these a try!  Kraüterseitlinge are very seasonal where I live in Berlin so it’s nice to eat them til the season is finished. It gives me something to look forward to next year when they’re out again.

Photo - pleurotus eryngii

The first recipe is for creamy mushroom soup.  (Alone without mushrooms it’s a delicious cream of potato. Chill it and you have vichyssoise.) The garnish is lemon sauteéd mushrooms with some puffed buckwheat for a crunchy texture.

Creamy Mushroom Soup


Creamy Mushroom Soup (served on Polish pottery from Boleslawiec)

2 leeks, cleaned and roughly chopped, white parts only

1 stick celery

1 carrot

2 large potatoes

1 handful chopped celery

½ cup (handful) of chopped mushrooms

pinch of dried thyme

3 cups veggie stock

3 cups water, start with 2 then add more if needed to thin.

salt to taste

white pepper to taste

Cook all of the ingredients together. Blend when cool, until smooth with no chunks. The soup can be served chilled or hot. If you’re a Thermomix user like me you can put all of the ingredients in the machine, cook it and blend it all together.


Trumpet Mushroom “Bacon”


Trumpet Mushroom “Bacon” (adapted from Herbivoracious)

1 ½ tablespoons Himalayan sea salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons smoke paprika

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

king trumpet mushrooms (however many you want)

In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, sugar, paprika and black pepper. Unless you are doing a lot of mushrooms, this will be more rub than you need, but you can save it.

Slice the king trumpet mushrooms lengthwise on a mandoline to about 2mm thickness or cut thinly by hand. Rub both sides of each slice of the mushrooms with the dry rub mix (you probably won’t need all of it) and set aside for at least 15 minutes. Wipe off excess rub.

Working in batches, cook the ‘bacon’ in a ceramic pan with no oil, and cook until they start to caramalize, flip and brown the other side. It will also crisp a little as it cools.

Above you can see it nestled together with tomatoes, avocado, and fresh spinach in a tortilla. Serve it with hot sauce and you might smile from ear to ear like my sous chef did.


King Oyster Scallops with Thai Eggplant Salsa


King Oyster Scallops with Thai Eggplant Salsa

for the Thai Eggplant Salsa

1 medium eggplant roasted in a 450F/230C oven until soft. Remove from oven and let cool.

¼ cup/75ml rice vinegar
2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 chopped garlic clove
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 sm red bell peppers seeded and diced
1 med red onion diced
1 small hot chili pepper, diced
1/3 c. mint and/or cilantro leaves minced
salt and ground pepper to taste

Combine the vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, sauce, and sugar in a blender. Skin the eggplant and add the flesh to the blender. Pureé until smooth. Transfer the ingredients to a bowl and add peppers, onion, jalapeno, and herbs. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 30 min before serving.

for the King Trumpet Scallops

6 – 8 king trumpet mushrooms, sliced into half inch slices. Use the caps as well.
4 – 6 tablespoons tamari, shoyu, liquid aminos or other soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
sliced green onions
1 hot chilli, or to taste
pinch white pepper (black pepper does not complement Asian flavours, but white pepper does)

Marinate the sliced mushrooms in the tamari, brown rice vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, green onions and chilli for at least 30 minutes, carefully stirring several times to ensure they are coated with the marinade. Let sit for 15 minutes as the mushrooms absorb the flavours of the marinade.

When you are ready to cook the mushrooms, heat a good quality non stick pan (I used ceramic)

Place the mushrooms into the pan, one by one. They will sizzle.

Cook for about a minute without moving them while they caramalize.  Dust lightly with white pepper while they cook. The mushrooms will start to lose their moisture and shrink while cooking. If they are starting to brown too much then add a small amount of water to your fry pan and turn the heat down.

With tongs, flip the mushrooms. They should be lightly browned.  Reduce the heat a little. When thoroughly cooked, turn the mushrooms over again, turn off the heat and allow them to sit for a minute or two in the pan.

Serve hot, on top of Thai eggplant salsa.


Enjoy, and remember to cook with love!





Jill DiGiovanni

So, what do you think ?