These special spring-summer mushroom’s common names are crab-of-the-woods, sulphur polypore, sulphur shelf, and chicken-of-the-woods. Its fruit bodies grow as striking golden-yellow shelf-like structures on tree trunks and branches. Old fruitbodies fade to pale beige or pale grey. The undersurface of the fruit body is made up of tubelike pores rather than gills.
Laetiporus sulphureus is a saphrophyte and occasionally a weak parasite, causing brown cubical rot in the heartwood of trees on which it grows. Unlike many bracket fungi, it is edible when young, although adverse reactions have been reported.
Due to its taste, Laetiporus sulphureus has been called the chicken polypore and chicken-of-the-woods (not to be confused with Grifola frondosa, the so-called hen-of-the-woods).
Many people think that the mushroom tastes like crab or lobster leading to the nickname lobster-of-the-woods. The authors of Mushrooms in Color said that the mushroom tastes good sauteed in butter or prepared in a cream sauce served on toast or rice. It is highly regarded in Germany and North America.
Young specimens are edible if they exude large amounts of a clear to pale yellow watery liquid. Only the young outer edges of larger specimens should be collected, as older portions tend to be tough, unpalatable, and bug-infested. The mushroom should not be eaten raw. Certain species of deer consume this type of mushroom.
Braised lamb with mushroom and green asparagus with quark noodle
Ingredients:1 large onion, quartered, 1 leek, halved lengthwise, 500 gr green asparagus, peeled, 1 large carrot, quartered, 1 garlic head, halved horizontally, 3 thyme sprigs, 3 parsley sprigs, 3 rosemary sprigs, 1 fresh bay leaf, 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, One 8-pound semi-boneless leg of lamb (aitch bone removed), salt, 2 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 500°. In a roasting pan that’s large enough to hold the lamb, spread out the vegetables, herbs and peppercorns. Season the lamb generously with salt. Set the lamb on top of the vegetables and roast for about 25 minutes, until the lamb is lightly browned.
- Step 2 Add the stock to the pan and cover the pan with foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 300° and braise the lamb for 2 hours. Uncover the lamb and cook for 1 hour longer, until deeply browned on top and the meat is very tender. Let the lamb rest in the juices for 15 minutes, then transfer it to a carving board. Strain the cooking juices, discarding the solids, and spoon off the fat. Slice the lamb 1/4 inch thick and serve with some of the cooking juices.
- Step 3 Serve with roasted vegetables and with the quark noodles or with the Italian gnocchi.