Buy shiitake mushrooms from Japan
Our own label organic donko shiitake mushrooms. These highly prized mushrooms have a meaty texture and a dome-shaped cap. Picked when budding, they are thicker and meatier than Koshin Shiitake, but more bite-sized at 25-42mm.
These premium dried Shiitake Mushrooms are naturally cultivated on special oak logs in the forests of Kyushu, a Southern Island of Japan. These Donko Shiitake are organic, forest-grown and dehydrated to a moisture content of less than 9% for maximum umami impact. This special growing process gives these mushrooms a deep and unique flavour that compliments their outstanding firm texture.
Our partners, Sugimoto Shoten work with registered growers growing shiitake to the highest standards. They were awarded the 2020 Sustainability Award by the Japanese Government for their 15-year cycle for shiitake growing: 15-year-old freshly cut oak logs are impregnated with spawn, and after two years of dormancy the logs will fruit twice a year for 5 years. Used logs are then naturally decomposed in the forest by rhinoceros beetles. Seedlings grow from the cut stumps of the trees, and after 15 years they are ready to be cut again for logs.
Dried shiitake is the ultimate umami booster: while Glutamate and Inosinate are widely recognised as Umami-boosters, the chemical reaction that occurs when you rehydrate these mushrooms produces enough Guanylate to intensify the Glutamate Umami by around 7-8 times – that’s a big difference on the palate.
Once rehydrated, these dried shiitake mushrooms add a delicious savoury element to soups, stir fries, mixed rice and other dishes. As the mushrooms have been exposed to the elements outside in the forest, the soaking water that is left over – or Dashi – has a very deep, rich taste and makes a superb Umami-boosting ingredient in many dishes such as vegan miso soup.
How to use
Rehydrating your Shiitake Mushrooms couldn’t be simpler. As they are grown naturally outside, it’s advisable to give them a wash before fully submerging them in cold water. They should then be kept at a temperature of less than 10ºC for 6 - 24 hours. This helps them retain flavour better compared to using warm water or boiling water.
The stem of the mushroom is the toughest part, so the best way to know if your mushrooms are ready is to give it a light squeeze. If you need to speed the process up, you can soak the mushrooms in cold water for an hour, then remove the stems and return to soak for another hour. The mushrooms will absorb a lot of liquid through the cut surface.
Stems should be finely chopped before use, caps are used whole or sliced. Retain the soaking water for cooking with, taking care to strain off any remaining grit.
Available in 70g