Sulphur Shelf Mushroom (Laetiporus sulphureus)

There is a non-poisonous yellowish-orange mushroom that tastes like chicken. Sulphur shelf mushroom are large in size, smooth and juicy in texture, and safe to eat. Sulphur shelf mushroom is also known as chicken of the woods, chicken fungus, and chicken mushroom.

These mushrooms provide you with plant-based proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with a delicious chicken flavor, adding umami characteristics to dishes.

Sulphur shelf mushroom is different from the classic mushrooms, portobellos, or mushrooms you often find in the supermarket. They are a picker’s delight, and some restaurants prepare delicious dishes with these mushrooms. So, if you find them on a hike, you can take advantage of them and enjoy an extraordinary dish.

Characteristics to Recognize Sulphur Shelf Mushroom

Sulphur shelf mushroom was first described as “Boletus sulphurei” by the French mycologist Pierre Bulliard in 1789. These mushrooms grow mainly on live or decaying oak trees and can weigh up to 100 lbs. (45 kg). Its appearance is striking, with an orange color (although as it matures it may become brownish) and hardly any height. These mushrooms are usually fan-shaped or even semicircular, and their texture is soft and suede-like.

Shape: Because this mushroom has no stem, it is not tall. It is fan-shaped to semicircular or irregularly shaped and can be smooth to finely wrinkle with a suede-like texture. The cap is 2” to 12” (5 to 30 cm) wide and up to 8” (20 cm) deep; it may be up to 1.2” (3 cm) thick.

Color: When young, it is a brilliant yellow to bright orange (sometimes with a reddish tinge), and after it reaches maturity, it frequently ages and becomes virtually white. When chopped, its color does not alter. When the flesh is young, it is thick, squishy, and extremely watery.

There are many other varieties of orange mushrooms, such as the Sulfur shelf mushroom, but not all are edible.

characteristics laetiporus sulphureus
Sulfur shelf mushroom on a rotten log.

Where to Find Sulfur Shelf Mushroom?

Sulphur shelf mushroom grow in North America, Europe, and parts of Asia and feed on trees, dead or alive. Oaks are their favorite trees, although they can also be found in other hardwoods.

These mushrooms which some also find lobster or crab taste are not poisonous, but they do cause terrible damage to trees. The University of Florida explains that “Laetiporus sulphureus” is a parasite that causes the rotting of the host tree.

How to Cook Sulfur Shelf Mushroom

To cook Sulphur shelf mushroom so that they are fully edible, they must pass through the pan. You can cook chicken of the woods mushroom with a little broth or wine to make them taste better, and perhaps we can add other ingredients such as black pepper, cayenne, garlic, and sweet paprika.

When cooking Sulphur shelf mushroom, you must cut the hard part of the mushroom, just where the stem sticks to the tree. Once cut, the mushrooms should be washed well and then dried.

Also, you can “bread” the mushrooms for a delicious recipe. Pass them through flour previously seasoned with paprika and cayenne, as well as a pinch of salt and pepper.

Dredge the mushrooms in the flour, then in the egg, and again in the flour. Heat a frying pan with olive oil and add the mushrooms, some crushed garlic, and some thyme.

Cook until the mushrooms are well browned on both sides (4-5 minutes per side), remove from the pan, leave on a plate with kitchen paper to dry the excess oil, and add some salt, and we can enjoy these chicken-flavored mushrooms.

how to cook sulphur shelf mushroom
How to Cook Sulfur Shelf Mushroom? Sulfur shelf mushrooms should always be cooked before being consumed. This mushroom should never be eaten raw.
About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for TheGardenStyle.com as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.