How to Eat Polyporus Squamosus!

When to find Polyporus squamosus?
Also known as the Dryad Saddle, this mushroom can be found as early as April in South Dakota and up until the snow falls. I usually find it sprouting in every single forest during mid May and then again in late fall. It prefers cold weather so if you find this mushroom in the middle of the summer it will likely be super tough and inedible.

Where does this Mushroom Grow?
Broad leaf forests. It is both parasitic (killing the host tree) and saprophytic (helps decay dead wood). In fact, after bringing over 50 caps to my house a few summers ago I question whether or not I’m the reason that there is a bunch growing on my neighbors tree now! This mushroom grows absolutely enormous and is impossible to miss even for people who aren’t hunting mushrooms.

Spore Print?

How to Eat Polyporus squamosus?
According to “” there are no poisonous look-alikes although the hedgehog mushroom with teeth (instead of pores) looks quite similar if found in your area. Make sure you pick young and tender mushrooms. By the time they have deep pores it is usually too late. You can also use the tear test. If you can easily tear the mushroom with your hands it should still be good. If not, it will taste like a leather jacket.

I’m slowly turning into a Polyporus squamosus culinary expert because of all the P.squam that grow near me (or maybe it’s the lack of all other mushrooms that grow here, haha). Either way, one of my new favorite ways to eat this is to make mushroom jerky:

8 ounces of dryads saddle
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon sriracha
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs brown sugar
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder

Soak it in a ziplock for a few hours then bake on a cooking pan with wax paper for an hour or two at 250*F. Yummy!

More Info
At the end of May 2022 a local forest was absolutely COVERED with polyporus squamosus. Downed logs, dead trees, and stumps boasted some mushrooms that were over two feet wide. At this time I found many young pins and aged growths.

I took some home to eat and was disturbed by the toughness. It was very different from the prior times that I at p. squamosus so I’m guessing that young mushrooms are the most edible. I’ve read that it is much easier to put them in a blender and use as a soup base. Gotta try it soon!