Honey fungus or Armillaria Mellea is a type of wild mushroom that needs caution. It must always be cooked for at least 15 minutes and you should never freeze it from fresh as freezing preserves the harmful toxins the fungus contains. You can safely preserve honey fungus in oil as long as you pre-cook it in a strong pickling solution first. Here’s how to make the popular Italian recipe Funghi Chiodini Sott’Olio.
By the way, if you are an Italian speaker, this guide on poisonous wild mushrooms is extremely useful.
350 gr honey fungus
200 ml white wine vinegar
200 ml water
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
300 ml olive oil (quantity will vary according to size of glass jar you use)
Wash the honey fungus at least twice in cold running water and discard most of the stalk.
In a large pan boil the water, vinegar and salt then add the mushrooms. Cook for at least 15 minutes, then drain. Dry the cooked mushrooms over a kitchen towel for at least 1 hour.
Sterilise the glass jar (for example, place in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for at least 15 minutes). Cut the garlic into thick slices.
In the jar, start layering the oil first, then a spoonful of cooked mushrooms and some dried oregano with a slice of garlic. Top with more oil, continue with the mushrooms and seasoning until you use all the ingredients. Pack the mushrooms tightly into the jar by pressing them down with a spoon. Top with more oil if necessary: the oil must submerge all the mushrooms.
Leave the jar uncovered and press down the mushrooms after an hour to ensure there are no air bubbles, then close the jar with a lid. Keep in a cool, dark place for a month before tasting. Once opened, keep in the fridge and consume within a few days.