Butter Mushroom

As a mushroom growing enthusiast, I’ve always found the process of cultivating butter mushrooms to be both rewarding and enjoyable. Known for their rich, meaty flavor and velvety texture, butter mushrooms, also called Enoki or velvet mushrooms, are a culinary delight that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes.

Characteristics of Butter Mushrooms

Butter mushrooms are a species of edible mushroom that belong to the family of Pleurotus ostreatus. They are characterized by their pale, creamy color and broad, fan-shaped caps. The gills of the mushroom are white and run all the way down its short stem. The overall appearance of the butter mushroom is quite distinct, making it easily recognizable to seasoned foragers and cultivators.

Cultivation Process

When it comes to cultivating butter mushrooms, the process is relatively straightforward. The mushrooms thrive in a temperature range of 55-65°F and require a humid environment to grow successfully. I’ve found that using a substrate made of sawdust, straw, or a combination of both works well for cultivating butter mushrooms.

Substrate Preparation

The first step in the cultivation process is to prepare the substrate. This involves pasteurizing the sawdust or straw to remove any potential competing organisms. Once the substrate has been prepared and cooled, it’s ready for inoculation.

Inoculation and Incubation

Next, the prepared substrate is inoculated with butter mushroom spawn. This can be done by layering the spawn and substrate in a clean, sterile environment. Once the inoculation is complete, the substrate is left to incubate in a warm, dark space until the mycelium has fully colonized the substrate.

Fruiting and Harvesting

After the substrate has been fully colonized, the mushrooms will begin to form. I always find it incredibly satisfying to witness the tiny pinheads emerge and develop into full-sized butter mushrooms. The mushrooms are typically ready for harvest when the caps have fully unfurled and before the gills begin to darken.

Culinary Uses

One of the great joys of cultivating butter mushrooms is being able to enjoy them in a variety of dishes. Whether sautéed, grilled, or added to soups and stews, the rich, earthy flavor of butter mushrooms enhances any dish they’re added to. I often enjoy them sautéed with garlic and herbs, then served on a slice of crusty bread.


Cultivating butter mushrooms at home has been a truly rewarding experience for me. From the initial substrate preparation to the joy of harvesting the delicate mushrooms, every step of the process is filled with satisfaction. And of course, the delicious flavor of freshly harvested butter mushrooms is the ultimate reward for all the hard work. If you’re a mushroom enthusiast or simply enjoy incorporating fresh, flavorful ingredients into your cooking, I highly recommend trying your hand at cultivating butter mushrooms.