plural maitakes
: an edible bracket fungus (Grifola frondosa) of North America and Eurasia that forms large clusters of pale gray to brown fruiting bodies comprised of wavy, fanlike caps found usually at the base of trees and that is valued for its earthy flavor and medicinal properties : hen of the woods
Maitakes are one of the few mushrooms that taste arguably as good cultivated as they do wild.Becky Selengut
… we have discovered a second maitake at the edge of our woods, and last year the combined weight of the two was 26 pounds.The Valley Breeze & Observer (Smithfield, Rhode Island)
Asian cultures have long coveted the maitake for its purported medicinal properties.Jim McCormac
… wine-friendly food, such as maitake mushroom tempura, halibut with spring peas, and duck confit with barley.Harvey Steiman

Examples of maitake in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And though the macarrones con hongos is essentially stovetop mac and cheese, there’s nothing childlike about it; the pasta is enrobed in a velvety sauce, sharp with Idiazabal cheese and garlic, and topped with crispy maitake, yellowfoot, and black-trumpet mushrooms and a splash of parsley oil. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2022 The Mushroom Masa Crêpe looks like small piazza with maitake, Manchego, and Oaxaca cheese. Margie Goldsmith, Forbes, 7 Mar. 2023 This inspired him to mingle the meaty flavors of roasted maitake and oyster mushrooms with marrow, scraped from the bone tableside. The New Yorker, 27 Aug. 2021 The next best steak is the thick-cut, bone-in rib-eye: two pounds of primal pleasure flanked with fleshy maitake mushrooms, roasted garlic and a peppercorn sauce that doesn’t pull any punches. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 17 Feb. 2023 Gentl’s book includes recipes for king trumpet schnitzel, shiitake kofta, pots de crème with porcini and chocolate, and mushroom-rose-rye granola with powdered maitake, cordyceps and reishi. Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2022 Vegetable sides are far from afterthoughts — each one has its own assertive character, from the turmeric aioli served with crispy fried maitake mushrooms to one of Garcia’s favorites, cauliflower with vadouvan, pickled chile morita, and hazelnut. Pat Saperstein, Variety, 27 Apr. 2022 There’s a similar story played out on the charred maitake dish, with Jimmy Red grits providing a creamy foundation for the meaty mushrooms. Leslie Kelly, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 Not just for the tasting menus or pastries or longganisa sandwiches or mushroom adobo, offered by day with garlic rice ($16) and by night as a maitake frond with mussel emulsion. Louisa Chu,, 27 Dec. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'maitake.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Japanese, from mai (earlier mahi) "dance, dancing" + take "mushroom"

First Known Use

1905, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of maitake was in 1905

Dictionary Entries Near maitake

Cite this Entry

“Maitake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!