In Japan, shiitake mushrooms are highly prized for their medicinal properties and taste. Shiitake in Japan was a delicacy for noblemen, and ordinary people were not allowed to eat them. The name Shiitaki comes from the Japanese “Shi,” which means tree species in Japan, and “take,” which means mushrooms.
What Do Shiitake Mushrooms Taste Like?
What do shiitake mushrooms taste like? Shiitake mushrooms have a strong earthy, creamy, buttery and meaty flavor and a soft, velvet, juicy texture. Shiitake are considered a delicacy, appreciated for their specific pleasant taste and aroma, which resembles porcini mushrooms.
Shiitake has excellent taste and aroma, soft, pleasant texture and is rightfully the king of cultivated gourmet mushrooms. It is a great food for vegetarians and those who are struggling with obesity. Koreans put them first in taste among other mushrooms, preferring soups made from dried mushrooms or from their powder. All over the world, it is a popular delicacy for those who love delicious food with health benefits.
Do shiitake mushrooms taste good? Shiitake mushrooms taste good and are valued for their rich buttery, meaty flavor. Shiitake tastes good in any way — raw, fried, dried or grilled. Shiitake contains umami because of the amino acid glutamate. Dried shiitake is used in soups, sauces, mushroom salads, game fillings, meat rolls, pies, etc.
Shiitake mushroom has the taste of umami. It is the second largest cultivated mushroom and tastes best when raw.
Even though shiitake mushrooms are popular and considered a delicacy all over the world, some people say that shiitake mushrooms taste bad — sour or bitter. If shiitake mushrooms taste bad, sour or bitter, they are not fresh or were not stored properly and must be thrown away ASAP. High-quality shiitake mushrooms have a rich, creamy and meaty flavor and never taste bitter or sour.
What Do Shiitake Mushrooms Smell Like?
Shiitake has a pleasant rich mushroom smell with a slight admixture of radish smell. They can be eaten raw without boiling or any other cooking. During boiling or frying, the specific, slightly pungent taste and smell of raw shiitake becomes more mushroomy.
Fresh, high-quality shiitake mushrooms do not smell. Shiitake mushrooms have a pleasant rich earthy mushroom smell and do not have a strong, pungent odor of old rotten vegetables. Bad shiitake will have wrinkles, dark brown spots and smell bad. Throw them away immediately.
Shiitake is widely used in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cuisines. Shiitake dishes can be found in expensive restaurants and sushi bars. Chefs mostly use shiitake caps and not legs because they are chewier. Shiitake mushrooms are used to make soups, sauces, and potassium-rich yoghurt. Shiitake extract is added to drinks, cakes and candies.
When frying shiitake mushrooms, you must follow simple rules: cut off the caps, add light vegetable oil to a pan heated over high heat. Pour in the mushrooms and frequently stir while frying until the water evaporates. Onions, spices, walnuts, almonds are added to fried mushrooms to taste. Fried shiitake mushrooms are served with fish, rice, chicken, vegetables or pasta.
How do you eat shiitake mushrooms? Shiitake is traditionally eaten with rice, sushi or vegetables flavored with miso, soy sauce, or tomato sauce. In the European space, it is used in stews, risottos, dishes that are cooked in a pan, as well as in vegetable dishes, sauces or soups. Shiitake can also be eaten raw.
What Is So Special About Shiitake Mushrooms?
What is so special about shiitake mushrooms? Shiitake is prized for being saturated with the flavors of other foods without drowning them out. Shiitake mushrooms contain a huge amount of zinc, ergosterol (a provitamin of vitamin D2), polysaccharides, lysine, leucine and other amino acids that are essential for a normal existence.
According to the results of numerous studies, consuming shiitake can reduce blood cholesterol levels. In diabetics, Japanese mushroom lowers sugar levels and improves insulin production. Shiitake is highly recommended for vegetarians, as these mushrooms contain vitamin D, which a lot of people lack.
Shiitake mushroom contains a lot of protein (26% of dry weight or 13 g of protein per 100 g), linoleic acid, some vitamins and minerals. So, 100 g of shiitake contains 0.5 mg of vitamin B2, 0.9 mg of vitamin B6, 0.1 mg of vitamin B12, 2 mg of vitamin C, 3.5 mg of vitamin D, 1650 mg of potassium, 290 mg of phosphorus and 110 mg magnesium.
The shiitake mushroom has been used for centuries. This mushroom is used in many Asian dishes, for example, in the famous Japanese miso soup. Shiitake’s high protein content makes it an excellent substitute for fish or meat, especially in vegetarian dishes.
Fiber and amino acids accelerate the processing of cholesterol and thereby regulate its presence in the blood (eating shiitake can reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol by almost half). Also, shiitake mushrooms significantly reduce blood sugar levels, which is most important for patients with diabetes mellitus, protect against allergies and weaken the course of this insidious disease, improve the functioning of all organs.
Chinese doctors, among whom are quite a large number of adherents of treatment that is not entirely traditional for us, argue that the use of shiitake as a food product on an ongoing basis allows a person to better resist various stresses and forget about old age and the diseases that accompany it for a long time.
To all of the above, shiitake is indispensable in cases when, for some reason, disturbances in the functioning of the immune system occur, as they strengthen immunity well and protect against viruses, fight chronic fatigue and are even very effective in the treatment of certain types of malignant tumors (with their help, you can stop the development of prostate and stomach cancer).
Like many other mushrooms, shiitake may remove harmful substances of various origins from the body, including radioactive ones (this feature is inherent in products that contain cellulose and chitin).
All of the above reflects only a small fraction of the beneficial effect of shiitake on the human body because these representatives of mushrooms still have a positive effect on male potency, improve blood quality, and contribute to a decrease in body temperature. There is also evidence that shiitake is indicated for gout and stomach ulcers, some visual impairments and can be used for the prevention and treatment of viral and bacterial diseases such as influenza, herpes, poliomyelitis, smallpox, hepatitis, bronchitis, tuberculosis. Shiitake mushrooms are also effective for people with candidiasis and other fungal infections.