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Cooking Tips For Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

January 02, 2017

Cooking Tips For Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

As you’ve probably guessed, we’re big fans of shiitake mushrooms. Really, can you blame us? They are a food that’s nearly unrivaled in terms of perfection. Shiitake mushrooms are packed full of numerous health benefits, so by eating them regularly, you can look forward to greater amounts of vitamins B and D, as well as a reduction in your body of harmful microbes.

But as much good as these fungal wonders can do for our health, today we’re a little more concerned about the culinary side of things. Shiitake mushrooms have a wide range of options when it comes to cooking. In fact, they are one of the culinary foundations of Asian cuisine. Read on for some helpful tips on how to prepare them, and a few dishes enhanced by their presence.

  • Make sure to store your dried shiitake mushrooms in an airtight container in the refrigerator or a cool place. With proper storage, they can easily last for months.
  • Preparing dried shiitakes for cooking is a snap. Start by placing them inside a heatproof bowl and adding water. Be sure to cover the mushrooms completely with water by a few inches. Let them sit in the water for about 20 minutes or until the caps are tender. Usually, thinly sliced mushrooms will completely rehydrate in 20-30 minutes using room temperature water. If you’re in a rush, hot water will speed the process up a little.
  • Next, remove the mushrooms and gently squeeze out the water inside them by hand.
  • Trim off the stems. You can either discard the stems or hang onto them to use for flavoring stocks and soups. While the stems are too fibrous to be edible, they still have a ton of flavor inside them. Adding them to vegetable stock creates a richer flavor with more depth.
  • You can also hang onto the mushroom soaking liquid. This broth can add a lot to a dish, but bear in mind that the flavor is strong. Slowly pour the liquid into a measuring cup or container, but be sure to stop when you reach the gritty residue at the bottom. You can also strain the broth through a coffee filter or paper towel to make sure you’ve gotten it out. You can store the broth in the refrigerator for several days, or freeze it to use later.
  • Taste one of the mushrooms. Besides the amazing flavor, you’re checking to see if the mushroom still has any grit. If you taste grit, you’ll want to give the mushrooms a rinse. Put the mushrooms inside a strainer, then run water over them for several seconds while gently tossing the mushrooms. Once you check to make sure all the grit is gone, the mushrooms are now ready for cooking.
  • Shiitake mushrooms are frequently added to miso soup. Consider sautéing them with garlic and onions, then adding them as either a side dish or topping for beef, venison, lamb, or chicken.
  • Looking for a delicious and fast Asian pasta dish? Sauté your shiitake mushrooms along with tofu and snap peas. Season them to taste, then serve over either buckwheat soba noodles or your pasta of choice.