How to Cook Lion’s Mane Mushrooms (5 Methods)

Lion’s mane are not ordinary mushrooms. These health powerhouses are packed with benefits such as improving brain function, relieving anxiety, regulating blood pressure, and many more. On top of that, they are incredibly delicious and make a great substitute for meat in vegetarian and vegan dishes.

How to cook lion's mane mushrooms

Mushrooms are a common ingredient used by many of us in everyday cooking. We mainly use edible fungi to improve the flavor and texture of dishes without even thinking about their nutritional and medicinal value.

While all mushrooms provide some health benefits, not all of them are equal, far from it. Let me introduce you to a true health powerhouse – lion’s mane mushrooms. These little gems are good for your brain, help relieve depression and anxiety, reduce the risk of heart diseases, and even protect against ulcers. How cool is that?

Combine all of this with incredible flavor and you have the perfect ingredient for any kitchen.

The downside is that lion’s mane mushrooms are not as easy to find as the more common button or oyster ones. And when you do obtain them, the process of learning how to cook them properly awaits you.

All of this is very worth the effort, though. The texture of these mushrooms is very interesting, mimicking shellfish like crab or lobster. You can also make meatless “steaks” out of these fungi which comes in handy for vegetarians and vegans.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about these medicinal mushrooms. I am sharing tips on finding and picking the best specimens as well as the most common ways of cooking lion’s mane mushrooms.

What is Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

Lion’s mane is a visually stunning white shaggy coral-like mushroom that typically thrives on trunks of hardwood trees such as beech or oak. Sometimes these are also called pom pom mushrooms. They are native to forests in North America, Asia, and Europe. Their appearance resembles a lion’s mane, hence the unique and interesting name.

Despite the fact that this edible fungus has been used as food and medicine for centuries in Asia, it’s only taking its first steps into the spotlight in the Western world.

It’s not that difficult to find these fungi in the wild as they are pretty common. But, let’s be honest, most of us won’t go foraging. To purchase lion’s mane, head to specialty stores, farmers’ markets or look for the mushrooms online. Whole Foods also has them. 

Choose white lion’s mane because if they are yellow or brown, they are probably past their prime.

Lion's mane fungi

Health Benefits

Where do I even start? Lion’s mane is undoubtedly one of the most health-boosting mushrooms I’ve ever encountered.

Count with me: mood-regulating properties (help against depression), nerve support and repair, memory function boost, blood pressure reduction, blood sugar regulation. These mushrooms also are a good source of antioxidants and help reduce inflammation and treat ulcers and gastritis. That’s not even a complete list of health benefits!

Not only fresh lion’s mane mushrooms are beneficial but they can also be taken as a supplement in the form of capsules or powder. The mushroom powder can be added into smoothies, tea, coffee or even soup.

How to Cook Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Now that you’ve finally got your hands on precious fresh lion’s mane fungi, let’s talk about how to prepare and cook these beauties.

The preparation itself is pretty simple. Start by cleaning mushrooms with a brush or damp cloth / paper towel to remove any dirt. The trick is to NOT rinse lion’s mane in water because they are very absorbent and too much water can ruin your dish. If you did that, I recommend wringing them out like a sponge before cooking.

Shredded lion's mane mushroom

It’s also recommended to trim the bottom off because it can be tough to eat. That’s it! Now you either cut them into slices, shred into pieces or even leave them whole depending on which lion’s mane mushroom recipe you are making.


Believe it or not, you can make steaks out of these fungi. Even though lion’s mane look soft and fluffy on the outside, when you press and cook them in a hot skillet, they get dense and meaty.

The mushroom steak doesn’t taste exactly like seared flesh but it’s as close as it can get. Juicy, meaty, satisfying. Check out the recipe for the lion’s mane steak below.


This is the most popular way of cooking lion’s mane mushrooms. There are several ways how you can fry them in a skillet. 

Slice the mushrooms and simply fry them in oil or butter for a couple of minutes per side. In the very end toss them in a simple soy sauce-based sauce.

Lion's mane crab cakes

Another popular recipe is lion’s mane “crab cakes”. As mentioned before, these mushrooms resemble crab meat when shredded into small pieces so you can actually use them instead of shellfish when making fishcakes. Perfect for vegetarians and for those with seafood allergies.

Check out my recipe for these vegetarian “crab cakes”. They are crazy delicious, I promise.


To turn these delectable fungi into the ultimate comfort food, try making lion’s mane nuggets. It’s really easy – just prepare a simple batter, dunk mushroom pieces into it and deep-fry in the oil for a couple of minutes. And there you have it! A perfect snack or appetizer for any gathering or party.


Probably the easiest way to prepare lion’s mane is to roast them in the oven. The preparation is no different from roasting any vegetable. Cut mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss with some olive oil and add your preferred seasonings. 

Roast for 15-20 minutes and voila! Super quick and easy. Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli or Brussels sprouts can be roasted together to create a great side for meat dishes. 

You can find a recipe for making perfect roasted lion’s mane mushrooms below.

Pom pom mushrooms


Pom pom mushrooms can also be used in various stir-fries just like you would use any other fungi. I like this lion’s mane stir-fry with tofu and different veggies topped with the peanut sauce. Such a quick and healthy meatless dinner for the whole family.

I usually use button mushrooms in my stir-fries since they are more convenient but my plan is to use more lion’s mane because of endless healthy advantages.


Store in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Keep them away from water or any moisture, in general, because these mushrooms will soak it up.

Lion's mane mushrooms in a bowl

If your lion’s mane started turning yellow, you can still use them by cutting the yellow parts off. But if they get slimy, it’s better to discard them.

Pom poms can also be frozen but they have to be cooked first. Cut into bite-sized pieces and saute in a pan with a little bit of oil until they have given up their water. Let cool completely before moving to a freezer-safe container.

How to cook lion's mane mushrooms featured photo

How to Cook Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Try two different ways of cooking lion's mane mushrooms – roasting with vegetables or making vegetarian steaks.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 140kcal
Author: Jovita | Yummy Addiction


Roasted Lion's Mane and Cauliflower

  • 1/2 lb. (225g) lion's mane mushrooms , cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 head cauliflower , cut into small florets
  • 1/2 red onion , cut into thin half moons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt , to taste
  • black pepper , to taste

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Steaks

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (vegan butter can be used)
  • 1 lb. (450g) lion's mane mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Roasted Lion's Mane and Cauliflower

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, toss the lion's mane, cauliflower, and onion with olive oil. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne (if using).
  • Arrange the mushrooms and vegetables on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned and tender.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Steaks

  • Heat a cast iron pan until very hot. Add half the oil and half the butter, swirling to coat.
  • Add the mushrooms in one layer. Use another heavy pan or pot to press the lion's mane down. Cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the fungi to a cutting board.
  • Flip the mushrooms and season the cooked side with half of the seasonings.
  • Add the remaining oil and butter to a pan. Return the mushrooms uncooked side down. Use another pan to press again, for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the weight and flip the mushrooms. Add the remaining seasonings. Return the weight and press for another 2 minutes.
  • Keep repeating the process until your lion's mane mushrooms are golden brown, pressed, and crispy, for about 10 minutes in total.


The recipe for the lion’s mane steaks is adapted from “The Wicked Healthy Cookbook” by Chad and Derek Sarno.


Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.7g | Protein: 3.5g | Fat: 13.8g | Cholesterol: 7.6mg | Sodium: 6.1mg | Sugar: 2.2g
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lion’s mane mushroom recipes

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