Shaggy Mane Mushroom Recipe

Shaggy Mane Mushrooms at Different Stages, in the Early Morning Light
I attended a mushroom hunt a few weeks ago, and I came away without mushrooms, but with a shaggy mane mushroom recipe.

The hunt took place in the woods, and the shaggy mane (coprinus comatus) grows in open fields, so it was not included in that day's activities, but I asked the mycologist to tell me how to deal with the abundance of shaggy manes that pop up in my village every October. I had tried cooking them, but I didn't like the way they came out, all black and yucky. (It won't surprise you to hear that they're often referred to as "inky caps".)

The secret?
  1. Pick them as young as possible -- before they start turning black;
  2. Cut them in two lengthwise;
  3. Freeze them on a cookie sheet;
  4. Bag them and store them in the freezer;
  5. Take out as many as you need and sauté them.
  • Cut them in two and sauté them fresh.

WARNING: shaggy manes and alcohol are a toxic combination.


  1. Actually, shaggy manes (Coprinus comatus) and alcohol are OK for most people. (In fact, just a few days ago I had a bowlful of shaggy manes that I had stir-fried with egg and followed it with a glass of wine with no ill effect.) It's the shaggy manes' cousin, the scaly inky cap (C. variegatus / C. quadrifidus) or the "alcohol inky" (Coprinus atramentarius), that reacts badly with alcohol. See

    1. Thank you for the explanation. Shaggy manes are due to show up here any day now (probably after tomorrow's rainfall), and I look forward to that annual treat.

    2. Gina, not sure you''ll ever see this but what Anonymous says above is not 100% correct. While it's true that consuming alcohol with c. comatus does not cause same kind of acute distress caused by alcohol + c. atramentarius, some people DO indeed feel ill effects from it. Shaggy manes + alcohol usually don't produce anything near as drastic as the reaction of alcohol + c.atramentarius or the other "alcohol inky caps," but some people may feel some swelling (especially in the gums or lips), feel uncomfortably flushed, or experience unpleasant hot flashes when combining comatus with alcohol. These are temporary effects which usually go away in an hour or two and are not life threatening in any way. It probably also depends how many mushrooms and how much alcohol is involved, but it most experts recommend avoiding drinking alcoholic beverages in the couple hours before and after eating shaggy manes ("If you ink don't drink?").. As far as I know, there aren't any reports of bad reactions to fresh shaggy manes consumed without alcohol.

    3. Thanks, Dave. I hope anyone reading this blog will do a bit more research before consuming any kind of wild mushroom. Regarding this particular problem, a reliable source, such as the Mycological Society of San Francisco, might be a good place to start. They have a page about the shaggy mane at: