Golden oyster mushrooms are native to eastern Russia, northern China, and Japan. (In 2011, they were spotted for the first time in Kenya.) They are not found in North America in the wild. The cultivated ones shown here are courtesy of the Fat Moon Farm in Westford, Massachusetts.
Identification: Like other oyster mushrooms, golden oysters are trumpet-shaped, with distinctive fluted gills over the length of the stems. Stems are white, and the fruiting tops are yellow. Actually more like YELLOW! Stunning really. They have a soft, dry surface texture. Each fruit is ¾-1¾" (2-5 cm) long and ¹/₁₆-¼" (2-8 mm) in diameter. Caps are ¾-2½" (2-6.5 cm) in diameter. Spores are a pale pinkish color.
Edibility: Golden oyster mushrooms are choice edibles. They are increasingly cultivated, though their fragility demands careful handling and they should be used soon after harvesting. Spicy and bitter when raw, cooking produces a nutty flavor. See, for example, this recipe for oyster mushroom soup, or this one for cilantro and coconut roasted chicken with golden oyster mushrooms.
A study performed at North Carolina State University’s Department of Horticultural Science found these mushrooms to be an “excellent source of micronutrients and antioxidants,” comprised of 22% protein, 21% fiber, glutamic acid, vitamins B3, B5, and B2, and many other nutrients.
Pleurotus citrinopileatus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.