Lactarius indigo, also called indigo milk cap, blue milk mushroom or indigo lactarius, is a commonly found edible mushroom of the Russulaceae family found in coniferous and deciduous forests of North and Central America, Southern France and East Asia. It has a firm texture and peppery and somewhat bitter taste. The mushroom can be used for culinary preparations such as pizza toppings, stuffed omelets and stir fry dishes, and is mostly sold in rural markets of China, Mexico and Guatemala.
The color of the fruit body is dark blue to blue-gray depending upon the age. The stem of the mushroom is 2 to 8 cm tall and the cap is 5 to 15 cm in diameter. The milk oozing out of the mushroom when cut is also blue in color, and turns green on being exposed to air.
Mushroom experts are divided on the desirability of Lactarius indigo, with many considering it of mediocre quality. They are a good choice for casserole and stir fry dishes. They may also be used as stuffing for omelets and other dishes, or as toppings for pizzas and quiches. On account of its blue colored milk obtained on cutting, it is often used to give color to marinades.
Preferred Cooking Methods
The mushroom has a firm flesh which is best when sliced. Its granular texture makes it not very suitable for drying. They may be cooked by stir frying, sautéing, baking, roasting or broiling.
Popular Lactarius Indigo Recipes
- Asian Stir Fry: The mushroom can be utilized in various Asian stir fry recipes containing vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, leafy greens, cabbage and various Asian sauces and flavorings.
- Stuffed Omelet: The mushrooms can be used as stuffing for omelet, in which case it can be sautéed in olive oil and used in combination with ingredients such as chili and cheese.
- Mushroom Pizza: The sliced Lactarius indigo mushrooms can be used as pizza topping along with other ingredients like cheese and peppers.