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Dried Shiitake Mushroom

  • Dried shiitake mushrooms and fresh shiitake mushrooms have very different aromas and flavors. Dried shiitake mushroom has a much stronger aroma and flavor compared to fresh shiitake mushroom.

Shiitake Mushroom
  • The way to prepare dried shiitake mushroom is to rinse with the cold water first then rehydrate by soaking in cold water for around 15 to 20 minutes before cooking. Softening the shiitake mushroom in water will make it easier to cut into the shapes you want and also make it easier to cook. In many Chinese dishes, such as savory sticky rice or glutinous rice, many Chinese chefs actually keep the water they use to soak the shiitake mushrooms and use it as a stock.
  • You can prepare dried shiitake mushrooms with many different methods in Chinese cooking, such as adding it to your soup, stir-fry, stew, braise, steam and more. Because of the strong flavor and fragrance, this is one of the most popular ingredients in Chinese cooking. Dried shiitake mushrooms are one of my personal favorite ingredients to use.
  • French chefs use truffles in French cooking and Italian chefs use porcini mushrooms in their respective cooking. Chinese chefs use shiitake mushrooms in Chinese cooking.
How do you choose a “good quality” dried shiitake mushroom? 
  • The good quality dried shiitake mushrooms have a big, round, and thick cap. 
  • The texture should be tender with a strong fragrance. If you can touch the shiitake mushroom before you buy it, the good quality shiitake mushroom should be dry, crispy and light.
  • Donko (冬菇) also known as “winter mushroom” and huagu (花菇) also known as “flower mushroom” are two types of high-end grade shiitake mushrooms. Flower mushrooms have a flower-like cracking pattern on the cap that’s why it’s call flower mushroom.

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