Shiitake mushrooms are also know as black forest or black mushrooms, black winter mushrooms, brown oak mushrooms, Chinese black mushrooms, Oriental black mushrooms, forest mushrooms, golden oak mushrooms, or donko.
Shiitake mushrooms are now widely cultivate but still have the flavor and earthiness of wild mushrooms. They are large and meaty, and they work well in stir-fries, soups, and side dishes, or as a meat substitute. Dried shiitakes are excellent, and often preferable to fresh due to their more intense flavor.
3 ounces of dried shiitake is the equivalents of 1 pound fresh mushrooms. Soak them in water for about thirty minutes to reconstitute them, and then use the water they were soaked in to enhance your sauce.
Fresh and dried shiitake are used extensively in the cuisine of East Asia. In China, they are often sautéed in vegetarian dishes such as Buddha's delight. The Japanese serve them in miso soup, as the basis for a kind of vegetarian dashi, and also as an ingredient in many steamed and simmered dishes. In Korean cuisine, they are commonly used in dishes such as bulgogi (marinated grilled beef), jjigae (stews), and namul which is a sautéed vegetable dish. In Thailand, they are served fried or steamed. Russia produces and also consumes large amounts, mostly sold pickled.
The stems of shiitake are rarely used in oriental cuisine, mostly because they are harder and take longer to cook than the soft fleshy caps. In Japan the highest grade of shiitake are called donko.
Recipes Using Shiitake Mushrooms