Q.

Should I cut off the base of Maitake?

Like the King Trumpet, the base is non-existent.  The bottom parts of Maitake are edible but you can cut them off if you don’t like to use them.

Q.

Eggs or meatloaf did not solidify with Maitake.

Maitake has enzymes that decompose protein. That’s why eggs nor meat will not solidify.  When you like to cook protein with Maitake, you should boil the mushroom for 30 second beforehand. On the other hand, some people know an advantage that cooking tough meat with chopped Maitake gives us softer texture.

Q.

What are the white sponge like part under the Maitake caps?

Under the caps of Maitake is a part that produces spores.  When the mushrooms grow, these become more visible, but they are no problem and edible.

Q.

There is a brown ring on the bottom.

This is a ring mark of cultivation base. It is no problem to consume, but you can cut them off if you don’t like to use the portion.

Q.

Why is the juice black? Is it safe?

Maitake has black pigment that the juice is naturally black.  It is not a scum and contains nutritious ingredients beneficial for health including polyphenol.  It is a good idea to consume Maitake in soups not to lose the juice.