Lion's Mane Grow-at-Home Kit
Lion’s Mane Kit Instructions Hericium erinaceus
• It is important to not open the bag. Within a few days of receiving the kit, poke 4 holes in the bag, 2 on each side. See photo for proper placement of the holes. The holes should be about ¼” in diameter. You can use a clean screwdriver, ice pick, pen, chopstick… to poke the holes. It is okay to poke into the substrate in the bag. The mushrooms will grow out of 1 or more of these holes.
• Keep the excess plastic bag tucked under the kit just like in the photo. You do not want to have any air space inside the bag. There may be premature lion’s mane already growing on the top of your block. Do not worry about these, they will die off.
• Place the mushroom kit indoors and out of the direct path of a heat source so the kit does not dry out. A corner in your kitchen, living room, bathroom, laundry room… usually works well.
The ideal humidity range to grow mushrooms is 75% - 95%. An easy way to keep the kit in its ideal humidity range is to fill the bottom of a plastic tote with a few inches of perlite and add water ¾ of the way up the perlite. Perlite is a natural volcanic mineral that will retain water which will slowly evaporate over time, creating humidity. Place the kit on top of the perlite. A lid can be placed 1/3 of the way on the tote, but not more than that or the kit will not receive enough oxygen. Mist the kit and the inside of the tote 2 times a day. Also make sure to add water to the perlite as needed to keep it moist.
*A hygrometer can be used to measure the humidity. If you use one make sure it measures up to 95% humidity. Hygrometers used in humidors can accurately measure high humidity levels. *A humidifier or fogger can also be used but you must make sure to monitor the amount of humidity closely because too much moisture can cause bacterial infections and mushroom rot.
Light Lion’s mane needs at least 8 hours of light daily, either artificial or natural light. This can usually be accomplished by having the kit anywhere in your home where it is not in total darkness. There is no need to set up special lighting for your kit. Some fungi contain photoreceptors that are primarily active during the fruiting body stage.
Temperature Lion’s mane prefer temperatures between 55°F and 75°F.
Oxygen Lion’s mane mushrooms also need oxygen; they absorb oxygen and emit CO2. Make sure the kit is not placed in an area with limited oxygen or it will not be able to grow.
• The time it takes for the mushrooms to start growing and the time it takes between crops depends on the growing conditions – mainly temperature. You will have 2 crops of mushrooms generally 7–28 days apart. The first crop should start growing within 2 weeks.
• The mushrooms are ready to harvest when their spines elongate and/or when they or soft when gently squeezed. Harvest by pulling off the mushroom. Do not cut the mushrooms or leave a stem butt behind.
• Store fresh mushrooms in a paper bag in your refrigerator. Fresh lion’s mane mushrooms will usually keep up to 7 days.
• After your first harvest the block will rest for a few weeks before it fruits again. Continue keeping the humidity, light, temperature and oxygen regulated between crops.
…And then keep on using the kit
When the lion’s mane mushrooms have stopped growing, you can create an outdoor mushroom patch during the spring, summer and fall by mixing the contents of the bag with hardwood sawdust/chips. Water the mushroom patch every few days. The patch may fruit again during warmer seasons.
We like to add the lion’s blocks to our garden which helps break up clay soil and adds nitrogen, as a mulch around our fruit trees and as a top dressing in our potted plants to help with moisture retention.
Lion’s mane have a rich mushroom flavor and firm, meaty texture. Their texture is very similar to crab meat. They can be diced or sliced into thin strips and sauteed for 10 minutes then added as a topping to any dish. They can also be added to your favorite dish during the last 10 minutes of cooking. They are our favorite mushrooms for soups and stews because they can be cooked for long periods of time while still maintaining their texture… Below are a few of our favorite recipes.
If you would like to preserve the mushrooms, they can be dried by slicing into thin strips and air-drying on a screen in front of a fan or heat source or in a dehydrator. Dried mushrooms should be sealed in an airtight container and be kept in the dark. Mushrooms can also be preserved by sautéing them and sealing them in an airtight container and freezing.
Lion’s Mane Crab Cakes
• 8 oz Lion's Mane mushroom
• 1 egg (or flax egg)
• 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
• 1/4 cup onion (finely diced)
• 1 tbsp mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
• 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
• 3/4 tsp old bay seasoning or Italian seasoning
• 1 tsp dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp parsley (finely chopped)
• 1/4 tsp each salt & black pepper (to your taste)
• 2-3 tbsp oil (to fry cakes)
• optional garnish: lemon wedges
Quick Tartar Sauce
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp dill pickle relish
• 1/4 tsp old bay or Italian seasoning
-Shred Lion's Mane Mushroom into small pieces resembling texture of flakey crab.
-In large bowl, combine egg, mayonnaise, onion, Worcestershire sauce, spices, Dijon mustard, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix until fully incorporated.
-Mix in Lion's Mane Mushroom until fully incorporated.
-Mix in Panko breadcrumbs until fully incorporated.
-Form mixture into 3-4 equal size round flat patties (about ½”thick).
-Heat oil in sauté pan on medium heat.
-Cook patties for about 8 minutes per side. Should be golden brown and cooked throughout.
-Add optional garnish, squeeze of lemon and enjoy!