Mushrooms - Shitake (250g Pre-Packed)
This little gem has been used medicinally by the Chinese for over 6,000 years. Today, they're loved by many for their complex flavour, meaty texture and distinctive aroma. They are best teamed with chicken, pork and beef dishes.
How do we make sure we provide top quality shiitake mushrooms?
There's no rule-of-thumb for selecting specialty mushrooms - they don't have the uniform appearance of the buttons, cups or flats. The criteria we use to make sure we supply you with top quality shiitakes are: the shiitakes must have a broad, umbrella shaped cap, with tan colour gills on the underside. They must also be dry to the touch, firm, with a fresh, earthy aroma. We apply these criteria meticulously, meaning you get top quality shiitake mushrooms, every time.
Where do we source our shiitake mushrooms from?
Mushrooms are not actually vegetables - they're a fungus! They don't have roots, leaves, flowers or seeds. They also don't grow through the usual process of photosynthesis; they need an external food source to stimulate growth. They are grown in specially constructed dark sheds, on plenty of organic matter so the mushrooms can grow. The best Victorian shiitake mushroom growers operate around Mernda (in the northern regions of Melbourne), and we source most of our shiitake mushrooms from there.
What is the best way to keep shiitake mushrooms?
Mushrooms store best when there's the right amount of moisture in the air - they'll dry out if they're left uncovered, and they'll become soggy if they're left in plastic bags. The best way to store them is in a loosely closed paper bag on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. This provides the right balance between temperature and humidity. Make sure you store them for no more than a few days, and keep an eye for indications of decay (such as discolouration, opening of caps, lengthening of stalks and a general softening and withering of the surfaces) – use them immediately if any of these signs appear.
Shiitake mushrooms nutritional information
Shiitake mushrooms contain an active compound known as lentinan, which has been linked to the improvement of depleted immune systems and fighting disease. Lentinan also contains a compound known as eritadenine, which has been linked to lowering cholesterol. They also contain high levels of iron, vitamin C, protein and dietary fibre.
Shiitake mushrooms serving tips and suggestions
Fresh and dried shiitake mushrooms have a meaty texture and a distinctive aroma and are especially popular in East Asian cooking. They're best enjoyed when cooked in stir-fries, soups (miso soup is particularly tasty) and other steamed and simmered dishes. You can also have them barbequed and served as a tasty side dish. The stems of shiitake mushrooms are usually too tough and woody to eat, so trim them off before you cook the caps. Don't throw the stems away though; they can be used to flavour stock.