Sure. Shiitake mushrooms are a famous culinary and medicinal mushroom. Studies have confirmed their immune and heart-supporting properties, their nutritional value, and their antimicrobial properties.
With all these health benefits, here are a few tips for their use in your kitchen.
As delicious as shiitakes are when they are fresh, they are most popular when dried. Dried shiitake mushrooms have an umami flavor (a flavor that is beyond sweet, sour, salty, and bitter) This makes their flavor more intense than the fresh mushrooms.
Cooking with dried shiitakes is easy. Simply cover the mushrooms in boiling water, cover them to prevent the heat from escaping, and let them sit for 20 minutes. The mushrooms will almost double in size. Drain, discard the stems (they are considered too tough to eat), and then slice the caps to toss in whatever dish you are making. It’s that simple. And the flavor is fantastic.
Now you know why you see so many dried shiitake mushrooms in your grocery store and why you would choose the dried over the fresh. Their flavor is more intense, while fresh shiitake mushrooms will be softer and cook faster.
Both fresh and dried retain their medicinal and nutritional properties. So go be healthy as you enjoy these lovely gifts from mother nature.