A difficult undertaking: properly cleaning the frilled mother hen

A difficult undertaking: properly cleaning the frilled mother hen

Where to find the frilled mother hen

Sandy soil and pines: Here you can search very purposefully. Experience has shown that the Krause mother hen particularly likes to grow on western or southern slopes, mostly directly on the roots of the pine. Sometimes, however, you can find them on the trunk or on an old tree stump. Their fruiting bodies are as big as a fist when they are young, as big as a football when they are ripe - and larger - and branched irregularly. The individual branches are curly and have a curved edge. A lot of dirt collects here, in addition to sand and pine needles, beetles, snails and other smaller animals also like to nest here in heaps.

also read

  • Should I dry or freeze the frilled mother hen?
  • For the special aroma: dry the curly mother hen
  • How to clean chanterelles properly

Attention: please leave broad-leaved mother hen

The very similar broad-leaved mother hen, also a good edible mushroom, occurs at the foot of fir and spruce trees. However, it is rare and classified in the Red List of Germany's mushrooms as very endangered. So please don't take this hen with you, just enjoy the sight of it. You can recognize them by their wavy branches that are whitish to straw-colored.

Cleaning the frilled mother hen: It doesn't work without washing

Due to their special shape, sand, earth and all kinds of small animals often settle in the coral-like branches of the mushroom. You should therefore not cut the frilled mother hen too deep or even twist it out of the ground, as it is difficult to remove adhering earth. Therefore, do not take the whole mushroom with you, just the clean, young parts. At home, further cleaning takes place as follows:

  • Cut the fruiting body into thin slices, about two to three inches thick.
  • You can also cut the mushroom into bite-sized pieces.
  • Remove coarse dirt with a brush or the tip of a knife.
  • Put the pieces or slices in a freezer bag.
  • Add one to two tablespoons of flour (Type 405 will do).
  • Seal the bag and shake it gently,
  • so that the flour is evenly distributed and all parts of the mushroom are dusted.
  • Rinse the dusted mushroom body under running cold water.
  • Repeat the process until the frizzled mother hen is satisfactorily cleaned.

You can then cook the meat as you wish.

Don't wash the frilled mother hen?

In general, mushrooms should not be washed as they will soak up like a sponge and lose their taste. Fruit bodies like that of the Krausen mother hen contain a lot of dirt inside, which cannot be removed without using water.


The Krause mother hen can also be preserved very well by freezing or drying. If it is to be dried, however, you should not wash it if possible.