2 Mushrooms that Look Like Noodles

Cauliflower mushrooms in the wild
© iwciagr/Shutterstock.com

Written by Kaylee Keech

Published: November 15, 2023

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People often refer to Cauliflower and Enoki mushrooms as noodle mushrooms. These are the two most common mushrooms that look like noodles. Cauliflower mushrooms look like large clumps of egg noodles, while Enoki mushrooms look like long, stringy Pasta. 

Not only do these mushrooms look like noodles, they are edible. Please keep reading to learn which dishes taste best and how to cook them. 

Cauliflower Mushrooms 

Cauliflower mushrooms in the wild

Cauliflower mushrooms look a lot like Farfalle noodles.

©iwciagr/Shutterstock.com

These mushrooms are edible mushrooms that look a lot like egg noodles. They are large, flattened, but wavy mushrooms. They also somewhat resemble corals or ribbons. Cauliflower mushrooms are about 6-10 inches tall and 6-12 inches wide when fully grown. 

Cauliflower mushrooms (Sparassis s.) do not have stalks. They are common around the base of tree trunks and decaying stumps. These mushrooms grow most abundantly during warm, wet summers. You are unlikely to see them if the summer is arid. 

Finding Cauliflower Mushrooms in the Wild 

Cauliflower mushrooms are pretty rare throughout the United States. You’re in for a treat if you happen to come across one. 

Chef Alan Bergo gives these tips for correctly identifying cauliflower mushrooms: 

  • They will most likely grow on pine trees’ or stumps’ bases.
    • They will NEVER grow from the trunk.
  • The mushrooms look very similar to cauliflower heads. 
  • The mushrooms may range in color from white to light brown. 
  • Their spore print is white. 

You’ll likely spot these mushrooms if you look for damaged stumps or trees. Cauliflower mushrooms are parasites that cause trees to rot. 

Be careful if you’re foraging for cauliflower mushrooms. They closely resemble many other mushrooms, including: 

  • Berkeley’s polypore (Bondarzewia berkeleyi). 
  • Black-staining polypore (Meripilus sumstinei). 
  • Crested Coral Fungus (Clavulina coralloides). 
  • Crown Tipped Coral Fungus (Clavicorona pyxidata). 
  • Hen of the woods (Grifola frondosa).
  • White Coral Fungus (Clavulina cristata).
  • Wood cauliflower mushroom (S. crispa).

Some of the above mushrooms are still edible when young and fresh. So, it’s not always dangerous if you grab the wrong one, though they may not all be safe. 

When in doubt, always consult a mushroom expert. Never eat a mushroom that you aren’t sure is 100% safe. 

Preparing Cauliflower Mushrooms for Eating 

Tear the mushrooms into small pieces and rinse them to remove lingering dirt. Place them on paper towels to dry. 

If you’re not ready to eat them immediately, put them in a plastic bag with a paper towel to soak up the moisture. Next, please place them in the refrigerator, which should stay fresh for about four to five days. 

Eating Cauliflower Mushrooms 

Cauliflower mushrooms are tasty and are best to eat when they are young. 

Since these mushrooms resemble noodles, mixing them with noodles, like Farfalle, is a great, healthy idea. Mixing the mushroom pieces with authentic noodles helps reduce your carb intake. It also adds a nice flavor to your dish.

Here are some popular ways to cook cauliflower mushrooms:

  • Mushroom steak. 
  • Pastas. 
  • Saute with some garlic and thyme. 
  • Soup. 

Enoki Mushrooms 

Edible and tiny, enoki mushrooms look like spaghetti or angel hair noodles.

©Tamakhin Mykhailo/Shutterstock.com

These mushrooms are white, long, and slender. They look like noodles with little mushroom heads at the top. The roots of individual mushrooms attach, so many mushrooms grow from a large root base. 

Enoki mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes) grow on tree stumps from late fall to early spring. 

Commercially grown Enoki mushrooms look pretty different from wild ones. Commercial mushrooms grow without light. Instead, they grow in an area with lots of CO2. 

Cooking Enoki Mushrooms 

Not only do Enoki mushrooms look like noodles, but they also taste delicious. 

Enoki mushrooms are especially popular in Chinese and Japanese dishes. They often use them in ramen or hot pot dishes. You can also saute the slender mushrooms to get lots of flavor or use them in soups or salads. 

Here are some other ways cooks make Enoki mushrooms: 

  • Curries. 
  • Nametake is a Japanese condiment with a savory-sweet flavor.
  • Omelets.
  • Rice dishes.
  • Soba.
  • Spring rolls. 
  • Stews.
  • Stir-frys.
  • Sushi. 

Chinese cooks call these mushrooms lily mushrooms or golden needles. Japanese cooks call them enokitake. 

These mushrooms are crunchy and have a delicious but mild, savory flavor. 

You will likely find these mushrooms at farmer’s markets, Asian grocery stores, or health food stores. You may find them at a regular grocery store, though less likely. 

Preparing Enoki Mushrooms 

Prepare your Enoki mushrooms for cooking by giving them a quick rinse. Please don’t soak the mushrooms, or they might get soggy. 

If you’re not ready to cook the mushrooms immediately, put them in a paper bag. Store the sack in the refrigerator where there is good airflow. Please don’t put them in the produce drawer; they might get soggy. 

Stay Safe when Eating Enoki Mushrooms 

Eating edible mushrooms is generally very safe, but anything can go wrong with food. 

Earlier this year, people were getting sick with Listeria infections from Enoki mushrooms. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends following this advice for eating Enoki mushrooms: 

  • Always cook the mushrooms thoroughly — never eat them raw. 
  • Keep raw mushrooms away from other foods you don’t plan to cook. 
  • Thoroughly wash every surface that has touched raw enoki mushrooms, including your hands. 
  • Don’t eat enoki mushrooms if you are pregnant, older than 65, or have a weakened immune system.

Summary of the 2 Mushrooms That Look Like Noodles

MushroomThe type of Pasta it ResemblesWays to Cook These Mushrooms 
Cauliflower MushroomEgg Noodles Mushroom steak Pastas Saute with some garlic and thyme Soup
Enoki Mushroom Spaghetti or Angel Hair Ramen Hot pot dishes SaladsSaute Soup 


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About the Author

I am a content writer who focuses on pets, wildlife, sustainability, and the environment. I specialize in blogs and love showing my readers how fascinating everything can be! I graduated from Millersville University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Concentration in Marine Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Science Writing. I volunteered at Raven Ridge Wildlife Center for five years, where I helped care for injured and orphaned Pennsylvania wildlife. I love all animals, wild and domestic. I've had all kinds of pets, including dogs, cats, birds, fish, a lizard, a snake, and a guinea pig. I may be curled up with a good book or my crochet when I'm not writing. I also enjoy exploring new places, especially by hiking or kayaking.

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