Glossary - Ingredients

Shiitake mushrooms


Shiitake mushrooms are log-grown mushrooms and a staple in Japanese cooking. These mushrooms are in season twice annually, between March and May and September and November.



Shiitake mushrooms are low in calories and high in dietary fiber, B vitamins and ergosten (converted to vitamin D when exposed to sunlight and UV rays). Glutamic acid, one of the amino acids that provide umami flavor, contained in shiitake mushrooms promotes metabolism to prevent aging. Furthermore, these mushrooms also contain the amino acid eritadenine which acts to remove excess cholesterol from the blood stream. Shiitake mushrooms also contain components that boost immune function and are otherwise highly nutritious.


Select shiitake mushrooms that have thick and half-opened caps, with light-colored undersides. Wrap in plastic (or place into a lidded vegetable storage container) and store in a refrigerator.

Cooking tips

Shiitake mushrooms are especially well-suited for grilling, boiling and for use in hot pots.

Cooking Basics

Shiitake mushrooms - removing the hard base

The hard base, called "ishizuki" in Japanese, is the blackish tip at the end of the stem. Use a knife to cut or scrape off this portion.

Shiitake mushrooms - removing the stem

The stem can be easily removed by folding it over and pulling it off at the base, where it is attached to the cap. You can also cut it off from under the cap with a knife.

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