When dried, the stone mushroom is available throughout the year but when fresh, they are only available June to November. When selecting, choose those that are fresh looking and have firm caps and stems, avoiding mushrooms with shriveled caps and dried stems. To store, wrap unwashed mushrooms lightly in paper towels or place in a paper bag, never store in plastic. Keep them in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. It is best to eat them as soon as possible. Dried mushrooms may be stored indefinitely.
When cleaning, avoid using water because it will reduce the flavor of the mushroom. Use a brush to clean sand, grit and other debris from the pits and ridges. If you must use water, use as little as possible and dry quickly with a paper towel. Cut lengthwise and check interior for insects and other debris.