Working with Reishi Mushrooms

December 14, 2019, at 02:31 PM by Geoffrey? in Mushrooms, Reishi (0 comments)


Reishi pic

There are many uses and benefits to incorporating the Ganoderma Mushroom into your health routine. I can explain on another pages the benefits of taking it, but for now, let’s assume you are already interested and knowledgeable on the benefits and want to jump right into Preserving and using the mushrooms.

Harvesting Reishi Mushrooms

When foraging and you come across a Reishi mushroom or a lot of Reishi mushrooms, it is important to decide whether or not it will be a good specimen for using.

My recommendations for selecting a Reishi mushroom are as follows:

reishi whiteedge
  • Choose a Reishi mushroom that still has a white leading edge or at least a completely white underside. Check ReishiIdentification for more clarity on identification.
dirty reishi
  • Choose a Reishi mushroom that has a tolerable level of dirtiness. ( I’ve seen some that are so low to the ground they are basically part of an ant pile.)

Why it is important to choose wisely:
Makes cleaning/preparation a lot easier
Higher degree of beneficial compounds are found in younger species
You want a Reishi that is finishing out the growing phase of its lifecycle, versus one that is aging and beginning to sporulate.
It’s always a good idea to leave some mushrooms behind. So try not to take them all. Leave the dirty & aging mushrooms around to sporulate, that way they can reproduce and create more.

Mushroom Preparation

Let’s assume you have found or bought whole Reishi mushrooms. I’ll start by saying working with fresh ones is way easier than ones that are already dry at least when it comes to slicing them.

Cleaning and Preparing Reishi mushrooms

Step 1:
Clean off the mushroom using running water, a paper towel or any other cleaning rag.

Be careful with the underside while cleaning as it can bruise easily. But not a huge deal if bruised, just not as pretty of an end result

Step 2:
Using a large sharp knife, cut off any “non-viable”, dirty, or otherwise compromised pieces of the mushroom.

Some Species of the Ganoderma mushroom have stems. You can use the stem just as you would the rest of it.

reishi clean ready

Step 3:
By now, the mushroom should be clean, and ready for slicing.

slicing reishi

To slice, I recommend using a large and sharpened kitchen knife. You want to start at one side and start making as thin of a slice as you can comfortable make. Typically, my slices range from ⅛” to ¼” in width.

Think of cutting through a moist dry cork. It can be challenging depending on the thickness of your mushroom.

While the thickness of the slices is not crucial, the thinner the slices are when dry, the easier they are to grind up or manipulate for whatever you choose to do with them

Fresh Reishi can be used to make a ReishiTea, or can be added to soups for extra flavor and health benefits.

If you can not or don’t want to use them right away, go on to the next step so that they can be safely preserved for usage later.

Drying Reishi Mushrooms

reishi dry1

Dry the mushrooms. Lay the dried pieces on your dehydrator rack so that they are not touching one another.

Set the dehydrator to 135F or lower. The research says that going over 135F can damage some of the stuff you are trying to preserve.

Let the mushrooms dry until you can snap it in half like you would a cracker.

I personally don’t worry about how long they dry for, over drying is fine, and much better than leaving any moisture inside the mushroom.

I find that using a dehydrator is the easiest way to dehydrate the Reishi mushrooms. But any drying method is fine.

Storing dried Reishi Mushrooms

Jar reishi

Store your mushrooms in an airtight container, and keep in a cool, dry place. Avoid exposure to sunlight.

For lengthy storage, I recommend adding in a silica packet to absorb any moisture that may still be in the mushrooms.


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Page last modified on September 17, 2020, at 08:55 AM