Sautéed Clamshell (Brown Beech) Mushrooms

Clamshell mushrooms

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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
87 Calories
6g Fat
7g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 87
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 264mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 416mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Known as brown clamshell or brown beech, these mushrooms are a wonderful ingredient to add to your cooking repertoire. Slightly crunchy, they are very bitter and tough when raw, but acquire a nutty flavor when cooked. Any form of heat incorporated into the mushrooms brings out a beautiful earthy flavor that complements all sorts of meats, poultry, and game really well. They're also delightful in stews, soups, and sauces.

This simple recipe for sautéed clamshell mushrooms makes a perfect garnish for steaks, roasts, chicken breast, pork chops, pasta, or risotto dishes. If you can't find clamshells, the recipe will work with other types of mushrooms including regular button mushrooms or something slightly more unusual but similar in size to brown clamshells, enoki mushrooms.


  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 pound clamshell mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed

  • Salt, to taste

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, optional

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and a big pinch of salt.

  3. Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until mushroom juices have evaporated and they've begun to brown slightly.

  4. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

  5. Add chicken broth and balsamic vinegar.

  6. Turn heat up to high, let liquid come to a boil, and cook for a few minutes, until almost all the liquid has evaporated.

  7. Turn off heat and stir in remaining tablespoon of butter. Add thyme, if using. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Recipe Variations

  • To make the recipe vegan and vegetarian, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth, preferably a type that's low in sodium.
  • Use fresh herbs for bright flavor. Add 1 tablespoon each of chopped Italian parsley and fresh basil instead of the optional thyme. Alternatively, add 2 tablespoons of store-bought pesto.
  • To prepare a thicker mixture, ideal for red meat and chicken, use 1/4 cup of broth and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Taste for salt and add a pinch of chile flakes if desired.
  • For a bolder flavor, replace all the broth with white wine.
  • If serving with red meat, add 1 small chopped sweet onion first thing. Brown the onion in the butter until translucent and then add the mushrooms. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as instructed.

Ways to Serve

This mushroom recipe pairs beautifully with meats, poultry, and game. But it also works wonderfully when used in other recipes:

  • Mushroom pizza: Sprinkle the pizza with pieces of any preferred creamy cheese and add the prepared mushrooms on top. Bake the pizza and top with fresh arugula and a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil.
  • Mushroom salad: Mix 1/2 cup of prepared mushrooms with 2 cups of sautéed baby kale. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped walnuts. Add a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Mushroom omelet: Beat 3 eggs and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and add 1/2 cup of prepared mushrooms and 2 slices of provolone. Cook for an additional minute, fold, and serve with toasted bread and a green salad.
  • Mushroom dip: In a food processor, blend 1 cup of prepared mushrooms with 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Serve the dip with crudités or pita chips, or use it as a spread for sandwiches and wraps.

What are beech mushrooms?

Usually found growing on beech trees (hence the name), these mushrooms are native to East Asia and are cultivated in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Beech mushrooms are also known as clamshell mushrooms or buna-shimeji, and come in two varieties: brown and white.

They can be found in specialized supermarkets and are sold in clusters or in pints. If found in cluster form, simply cut off the base before using. Regardless of how you buy them, always clean the individual mushrooms with a damp paper towel to remove dirt and debris, but never soak them in water. These mushrooms are at their best used right away but can be kept in the fridge in a paper bag for up to a week.