King oyster mushrooms just have to be dried out in the sun! They will dry indoors too, but apparently their nutritional content is increased by being exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays.
Shred or slice (lengthwise or sideways) the king oyster mushrooms before drying them, depending on how you plan to use them. Slice them as thinly or as thickly as you like! You don't have to slice them at all, either.
Choose a sunny day, spread out the mushrooms on a drying net or on a flat sieve, and put them in a sunny, well ventilated location to dry. Turn them over halfway through so that they dry evenly.
Drying time: Sliced or finely shredded king oyster mushrooms will be semi-dried in 1/2 to 1 day, and fully dried (for long term storage) in 2 to 3 days.
Drying time: Whole mushrooms (cut or rip very large ones in half) will be semi-dried in 2 to 4 days, and fully dried (for long term storage) in 2 to 4 days.
Slice very thick king oyster mushrooms into 1 cm rounds. They're very handy to add to curries and stews.
Warning: During the humid rainy season, it takes time for the mushrooms to dry, and they may not dry well. During this time, avoid drying whole mushrooms; slice them beforehand instead.
Rinse the mushrooms quickly before using them. Semi-dried ones can be used as-is. Fully dried ones are re-hydrated in lukewarm water before using. The soaking water can be used as soup stock.
Dried king oyster mushrooms have great texture, so the best method is to shred up large ones with your hands! In order to retain their delicious flavor, don't squeeze out the rehydrated mushrooms.
If you are drying the mushrooms over several days, take them in at night to avoid them becoming exposed to dew.
To store the mushrooms for a long time, put the dried ones in a mesh bag or something that is well ventilated and leave it indoors for a while. The mushrooms will become bone dry and can be stored for a long time.
For your reference: These are dried shiitake mushrooms. To dry a small amount, just spread them out on a plate and leave them on a windowsill!
Reference: These are dried maitake mushrooms! Shred them into small clumps before drying.
Story Behind this Recipe
It's really convenient to buy king oyster mushrooms in bulk when they are on sale. Shred them by hand or slice them (lengthwise or crosswise) and they will dry in no time, and can be re-hydrated quickly too. Whole dried mushrooms take time, but are so delicious!
Please adjust the degree of dryness to your taste, and experiment with it. Semi-dried mushrooms can be used as-is without pre-soaking. Store them in the refrigerator, and use them up quickly. Fully dried mushrooms are used by soaking them in lukewarm or cold water beforehand. If they are really dried out, they can be stored for a while in the refrigerator.