Shiitake mushrooms, pronounced shee-TAH-kay, range in colour from amber to ‘paper bag-brown’ and are available year-round from our indoor grow rooms at Lindale Gourmet Mushrooms. Like our oyster mushrooms, shiitake grow on trees and not in soil. We replicate this environment by growing them on oak hardwood with soy as nutrition.
Scientifically classified as Lentinula edodes, they are the second most commonly eaten mushroom in the world after the button mushroom.
Shiitake mushrooms are native to East Asia, specifically China and Japan. They have been growing wild since prehistoric times, and have been cultivated since 1100 AD, during the Song Dynasty.
It is said that around 200 AD, the 14th emperor of Japan, Emperor Chuai, was given Shiitake mushrooms by the Kyusuyu, the original aboriginals of Japan. In China, Shiitake mushrooms are called shaingug or hsiang ku, which means ‘fragrant mushroom’.
In addition to their culinary uses, Shiitake mushrooms have long been used for medicinal purposes. They are rich in vitamins and minerals with potently high levels of vitamin B2, B12 and vitamin D. Shiitakes are a source of the compound Lentinan, which is being evaluated as an anti-cancer drug.
How to use
Shiitake mushrooms should be cooked prior to eating. This variety only need 10-12 minutes cooking time. When cooked, they release a garlic-pine aroma and have a rich, earthy, umami flavor (savoury or meaty).
Although Shiitake mushrooms are a cultivated variety, their flavour and texture lends well in recipes calling for ‘wild mushrooms’. You can pair Shiitake with most meats (steak, chicken, duck, pork), fish (salmon, cod), asian greens, eggplant, rice, noodles, garlic, soy and chili. They can be sautéed, roasted, skewered and grilled …or boiled by adding to a soup or hot pot.
Lindale Gourmet Mushrooms grow facts:
- We grow our delicious mushrooms indoors in hanging bags on Oak hardwood, the mushrooms natural habitat, using Soy as nutrition
- Locally produced on the Kapiti Coast
- No chemicals used in production
- Highly sustainable production, very low water use and environmental impact
- We use our harvested grow bags as mushroom compost for our vegetable patch.