Glossary - Ingredients

Shimeji mushrooms


Versatile mushrooms that grow in a cluster from a single stalk

What is shimeji mushrooms?

Shimeji mushrooms are firm and separated in bunches. Their uniquely mild flavor and aroma are further enhanced during cooking, making these mushrooms suitable for use in a variety of dishes such as soups, simmered dishes, deep-fried foods, "nabe" (refers to a variety of communal hot-pot meals), and seasoned rice. They even go quite well with Western cuisines such as pasta or stews. Shimeji mushrooms are in season during autumn in the northern hemisphere, but currently the majority are commercially cultivated and available year-round.

Nutrition facts

Dietary fibers found in shimeji mushrooms help to prevent sharp increases in blood sugar levels, stave off obesity, and also relieve constipation. They also contain high levels of vitamin B2, which aids in the metabolism of fats, and vitamin D, which is essential to building strong bones.

How to storage: not to waste the ingredient

Refrigerate after wrapping the mushrooms in plastic wrap. Best if consumed quickly. Can also be frozen by slicing off the root and separating into small bunches in freezer bags.


There are many different varieties of shimeji mushrooms, from the difficult-to-cultivate and widely prized hon-shimeji, to the rounded buna-shimeji, the flatter hatake-shimeji, and the completely white shirobuna-shimeji. It's said that while matsutake mushrooms may have the best aroma, shimeji mushrooms have the best flavor. However, this saying refers to the hon-shimeji variety.

(From left to right) hon-shimeji, hatake-shimeji and shirobuna-shimeji


Shimeji mushrooms do not keep well under humid conditions, so make sure purchased mushroom packages do not have any moisture on the inside. These fungi will also need to be removed from the package before storage as moisture may form inside packages placed as is into a refrigerator.

Cooking Basics

Shimeji mushrooms - cutting off the hard base

Many of the shimeji mushrooms available in stores have been cultivated in mushroom beds, causing the roots to be tighly squeezed together. To some the chaff is attached, so be sure to cut away this hard base before using.

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