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Timber 2 Table - Oyster Mushroom and Venison Stir-Fry

This tasty mushroom can be found all over the country this time of the year and makes a great addition to your favorite wild game recipes

Oyster Mushroom and Venison Stir-Fry

30 Min

Prep Time

15 Min

Cook Time



Easy, Medium


For much of the United States, oyster mushrooms are a common fall edible. Here in the Midwest, you will usually find them growing from early November through as late as January if the winter is mild. Oyster mushrooms are also easy to grow at home. Either way, they make a great addition to this venison stir-fry. On a good fall day, you might even procure both ingredients in a single lucky trip to the woods.

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Oyster mushrooms pair well with venison in recipes like this easy stir-fry.

Oyster mushrooms are fairly easy to identify. For starters, they almost always grow out of wood, not off the ground. Dead or dying hardwoods are the most common hosts. Their color ranges from white to tan, often darkening with age. These mushrooms are named for their oyster-shaped cap and normally have an off-center, short, or even nonexistent stem.

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For much of the country, oyster mushrooms are in season right now.

Their caps range anywhere from 2 to 10 inches across and grow in a shelflike pattern on the log. One of the first things you should look for when trying to identify this mushroom is the presence of decurrent gills. That just means that the gills are attached to and run directly down the stem, tapering to smooth at the base. The flesh and the gills of the mushroom should be white.

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The oyster mushroom has true gills under the cap that get smoother toward the base of the stem.

Luckily, there are only a few look-alike mushrooms in the fall woods this time of year, and while they might not taste good, most of them aren’t poisonous. As with all wild mushrooms though, your best bet for a beginning forager is to tag along with someone more experienced for the first few trips. If that isn’t an option, get at least two good guidebooks for mushrooms found in your area and cross-reference any finds to both books. If you aren’t 100% certain, send photos to an experienced forager or mushroom expert before consuming.

Oyster mushrooms have a rich, earthy flavor packed full of umami. To me, they taste very similar to spring chanterelle mushrooms. I love to use them in recipes like this stir-fry with venison.

Start by slicing a venison roast into bite-size thin strips.

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Slice the venison against the grain for tenderness.

Place the sliced venison in a bowl. Sprinkle over the cornstarch and blend to evenly coat the meat.

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Coat the sliced venison with cornstarch.

Slice the onion and oyster mushrooms. Chop the green onions and garlic, and grate the ginger.

Pour the oil into a wok or large skillet over high heat. Once the oil barely starts to smoke, stir-fry the venison in two batches. It should only take a minute or two per batch to get good color if your oil is hot enough. Move the cooked venison to a warm plate.

Add a tablespoon or so of additional oil to the wok, if necessary. Stir-fry the onions and mushrooms together until both are cooked through.

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Remove the venison from the wok and stir-fry the onions and mushrooms together.

Return the venison and add the green onions to the wok and stir until it is heated through. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 30 to 60 seconds. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chili crisp (you can find these in most large supermarkets, Asian markets, or order online).

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Return the venison to the wok and add the sauce ingredients.

Stir well to coat everything with the sauce. Serve with your choice of rice or noodles. Top with chopped green onion as a garnish.


1 ½ pounds venison, sliced into thin strips

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ cup peanut or vegetable oil

1 pound oyster mushrooms, sliced

2 medium or 1 large yellow onion, sliced

3-4 green onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons chili crisp

Cooked rice or noodles for serving

Additional green onions, chopped, for garnish

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