If you're here to learn how to prepare and cook shiitake mushrooms, you're in the right place. I'm going to show you the safest and easiest way to prepare, clean and cook nature's most umami-rich food. Plus, I'm going to share my favorite simple shiitake mushroom recipe!
Most of us who are looking to reduce or eliminate meat in our diets find ourselves find ourselves cooking with mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms are the finest! This popular vegan meat substitute has a meaty, woodsy flavor that makes them a great addition to ramen, stir fry, pasta and risotto recipes.
Are Shiitake Mushrooms Healthy?
If you're wondering if shiitake mushrooms are healthy, the answer is a definite yes! These little nutrition powerhouses are low in fat and calories, and high in fiber and vital minerals that can be hard to get from other sources.
While they're not high in protein (providing 2.3 grams per cup), they're rich in all the essential amino acids. They're also valuable sources of B vitamins, copper, iron and selenium.
Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
Dried shiitake mushrooms are the truffles of East Asian cooking. They're used to create rich vegetable stocks for ramen and added to soups and stir fries.
When dried, these mushrooms have a different texture and aroma to fresh shiitake mushrooms. They're also prepared and cooked differently.
To prepare dried shiitake mushrooms, first rinse them under cold water, and cover them in boiling water. Cover the bowl with a tea towel to prevent the steam from escaping. They'll expand to twice their size. Drain and slice them, discarding the tough stems, and use them in your recipe. Be sure to save the soaking liquid. It makes a great addition to risottos or the perfect addition to a broth.
How To Clean And Prepare Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms For Cooking
- Wash the mushrooms under cold water, or clean them with a damp paper towel.
- Remove the stems with a paring knife. They're too tough to pull off. Reserve them to use in broths.
- Cut the caps into thick, meaty slices . Next we'll go over how to use your shiitake mushrooms in one of my favorite recipes!
How To Cook Perfect Shiitake Mushrooms
- Now that you've prepared your shiitakes, it's time to cook them!
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan. Throw all of your mushrooms into the pan. Don't worry if the pan seems over crowded; the mushrooms will reduce in size very quickly. Saute them for 5-7 minutes, or until they've released all of their juices and are to beginning to turn golden.
- Take your mushrooms out of the pan and put them in a bowl.
- Heat your sesame oil in the same saute pan, and saute your garlic for 1 minute. Add your brown sugar and saute until it begins to get sticky and caramelized. Now add your soy sauce, mirin, hot chili sauce (if using) and cornstarch slurry. Simmer until your sauce begins to get thick and glossy.
- Return the mushrooms to the pan and give everything a good stir. Continue to simmer until the sauce is thick and glossy and the mushrooms are heated through.
- Serve with rice and garnish with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Most recipes advise you to discard the woody stem as it's too fibrous. However, you can save the stems to use in broths.
No, all you need to do is wash them and clean them with a paper towel before cooking.
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How To Prepare And Cook Shiitake Mushrooms
- 1 pound shiitake mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup tamari *or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce *I used Sriracha (omit if you don't like spicy food)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- Rinse the mushrooms and wipe them dry. Remove the stems with a paring knife and cut the caps into thick slices.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large saute pan. Saute the mushrooms for 5-7 minutes or until they've released their juices and are beginning to turn golden. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. *see note 1.
- Heat the sesame oil in the same saute pan. Add the garlic and saute for a further minute. *see note 2.
- Add the brown sugar and saute until it begins to caramelized.
- Add the tamari, rice wine vinegar, chili garlic sauce and cornstarch. Reduce the heat and allow the sauce to simmer until it thickens (about 2-3 minutes)
- Return the mushrooms to the pan and allow them to heat through. Serve with rice, garnished with chopped scallions and sesame seeds.
- Don't worry if your pan seems overcrowded when you first put the shiitake mushrooms in the oil. They will quickly reduce in size.
- Don't cook garlic at too high a temperature, or for too long. It will burn and taste bitter.