Simmered Shiitake
This is a traditional way of cooking dried shiitake. They can be served with other simmered vegetables, sliced to use as a noodle topping, or minced with shiso or parsley and tossed with rice and toasted white sesame seeds. You can make these mushrooms a pantry-staple; they freeze well, and they add a nice flavor and texture to many other dishes.

Sweet Simmered Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
Hoshi Shiitake no Umani

from: The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
page 108
6 to 8 mushrooms

  • 6 to 8 large dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in cold water for 2 to 3 hours
  • 1 Tablespoon sake
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons usukuchi shoyu (light-colored soy sauce) or shoyu
  • pinch of salt

Drain the mushrooms, preserving the soaking liquid. Cut away and discard the stems.
In a small saucepan, combine the mushroom caps and the reserved soaking liquid. Add enough additional water to barely cover the mushroom caps. Add the sake and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, and cook the mushrooms, cover with a drop lid, for 10 minutes.
Add the sugar, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the soy sauce and salt, and cook until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Let the mushrooms cool to room temperature before serving.
These mushrooms can be frozen.

Not eating mushrooms, but thinking about mushrooms—
is Ms. Plath being a mushroom?
or is she overtaken by so many things out of her control,


9 thoughts on “Simmered Shiitake

  1. Pingback: Chilled Somen with Shrimp and Mushrooms « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

  2. heheh, cool poem. I do love how mushrooms apear overnight after a rain. Like magic.

    This recipe, its a good one. I am full of envy for you. I have such trouble eating Shiitakees. I try, I really do. Because they are super healthy. But the texture of biting into a Shiitakes always seems so icky to me. The only way I have been able to cook and eat these dried guys, is to pulverize them with a hammer, then insert into the meal with the sauce. Am I terrible or what?

  3. On second thought, I think my own personal mushrooms, my dark shadow, is making me think that Ms. Sylvia is talking about depression. Perhaps the more straightforward interpretation is that she is a subversive mushroom herself, among many, who will change the environment (the world?) by virtue of unresisting natural persistence, the meek, the women, the powerless, will “inherit the earth.”

    I agree: mushrooms do seem to be “magic.” good, bad, or bizarre…

    The texture of re-constituted shiitakes can be odd. This recipe does not change that: meaty and chewy and soft all at once. Personally, I don’t like to find a whole one in a dish. But with this recipe, chopped finely or sliced thinly, they are interesting. You can add more sugar, shoyu, or even a bit of something acidic to change the flavor. But the texture stays the same.

    I have seen recipes where dried shiitake are pulverized and the powder mixed with other things for their flavor. A food can have all the health benefits in the world though, and if you don’t like it, then it’s best to move on. (If you believe food is the source of a pleasurable experience.)

    Do you like the flavor of the vegetarian mushroom broth?

    Are you terrible? No. or yes: we can each of us be a terrible two…

    • :) The flavor is rather nice. If only I didnt have such a good imagination. I think of gross stuff when biting the texture. But not all mushrooms do it, just shiitake as far as I know. I like wood ears.
      My local asian store sells big bags of unlabeled unidentified mushrooms that always work great in a meal.

      But food is a pleasure. I try to have an open mind to like new things. Even if its something new or different.

      hey… did you just call me a bizarre mushroom? heheheh

      • You know what never fails to make me gag? The glue on envelopes. Uck! That is truly gross!

        Wood ears, yes, interesting. Just like biting ears. But let us not let imagination run away with us! (and yes, I do like them)

        Bizarre mushroom? No way! From one cat lover to another: cats are good magic.

  4. Pingback: Inspired Dishes « Live2EatEat2Live Blog

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