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What to do with dried shiitake mushrooms?

On an impulse, I bought 6 oz. of dried shiitake mushrooms at Costco. I'm not that familiar with dried mushrooms - any good ideas out there? I cook all the time and have tons of cookbooks but I'm not sure where to start with these.

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  1. Rehydrate in some water and use just as you would regular Shiitakes. Reserve the soaking liquid for stocks, soups, broth, rice, pasta, etc.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Thanks, that gives me a place to start.

    2. It's not the most exciting idea, but I use dried shiitakes (and fresh white mushrooms) when I make mushroom barley soup.

      1 Reply
      1. re: small h

        Sounds delicious, I'll give that a try.

      2. Soak them in warm water.... the time can vary depending on your dried shiitake as well as the temperature of water. Soak them until they are soft.

        Then you can do whatever you usually do. Cook them as wholes, or sliced them or diced them....etc. You can stir-fry, braise, make soup .... really anything you can think of. Now, if you are going to going to cook them in dry heat like pan fry or stir fry, then they have to be absolutely fully hydrated. You can find out if they are fully soften when you slice them with a knife. For making soup or braising, the requirement is a little bit more relax because cooking process will give you another chance to incorporate the water.

        Dried shiitake mushrooms have an unique favor compared to fresh mushrooms.

        1. Dried shitakes, rehydrated and chopped fine are my secret ingredient in lasagna. I also use them in wild mushroom risotto.

          I rarely keep them whole (or in large slices/pieces), almost always find a way to mince and add as a layer of flavor than a featured ingredient.

          1. I buy then in large bag quantities at Serfa's in LA or in West Edmonton at the super huge Asian market. I use them after soaking in hot water then drain through cheesecloth so grit if any leaves the good broth behind. they're my go to in stroganoff, pasta sauce (red), green beans, casseroles.

            1 Reply
            1. re: iL Divo

              If you don't have cheesecloth a paper coffee filter will work as well. You definitely want to drain them, but don't toss that broth because it has so much great flavor.

            2. Pulse into powder and mix with butter!!! on bread, pasta, rice ... even meat and fish

              8 Replies
              1. re: Maximilien

                That's a novel idea - does it taste similar to truffle butter?

                1. re: Blythe spirit

                  I'm with maximilien on powder (I do the same to dried porcini). I add the powder to egg dishes, dips, risotto, meatballs, def. rice, pasta, butter as mentioned and in place of anchovy in caesar salad.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    I'm intrigued. Do you use a coffee or spice grinder? Or the food processor?

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Wow, thanks for the information. I have tons of ideas now. Just by chance it seems that my new cookbook, The Essential Pepin , also has a few tips and recipes. No more trepidation when I open the cupboard door and see a huge container of unused dried mushrooms!

                      2. re: Blythe spirit

                        One of those whirly gig coffee grinders is all you need; small batches.
                        And a good rinsing/wipe afterwards.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          And a good rinsing/wipe afterwards.
                          i've found that a quick whirl with a small handful of dry rice also helps remove any lingering odors and stubborn 'shroom dust.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            Great tip, ghg. so does a tiny amt. of baking soda.

                2. I crumble them coursely and put into soup. The soup rehydrates them with its flavor.

                  1. everyone has given great suggestions. Be careful of the stems, because they can be extremely tough.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Barbara76137

                      Thanks Barbara, I'm going to keep that in mind as I search for a good soup recipe to use them in. I usually use fresh shiitakes in stir fries or pasta dishes - but I can see how the toughness from having been dried might make parts of these mushrooms more suitable for soups or lasagnas (as some posters suggested ). I really appreciate all the helpful tips from everyone.

                    2. Reconstitute in water, slice up and use in Korean Jap Chae. Without the mushrooms, the noodles lack a richness of flavour. With the mushrooms, delightful!

                      1. Rehydrate as others have described. Chop up, minus the stems and add to risotto. You can add the soaking liquid too, but leave the last bit behind to avoid any sand/grit. I also used them in the beef bourguignon tonight. I used fresh creminis too, but the (reconstituted) shiitakes cooked along with the beef and wine etc as a yummy (IMO) addition to the base flavors.

                        1. You know, the broth that develops from steeping the dried mushrooms in water is really good.  Some recipes call for using the broth and discarding the mushrooms (or reserving them for another purpose).

                          In Momofuku, David Chang talks about where he uses the mushroom steeping liquid that dried shitakes are soaked in, for his noodle bar broths and sauces.  He worked out a way to use the large volume of rehydrated mushrooms left over from the process, by pickling the soaked shitakes.  The recipe is in the book Momofuku, but some people have posted adaptations of the recipe online.


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: AsperGirl

                            Thanks, that sounds like a great idea. Another post suggested almost the same thing but I know very little about making Asian noodle dishes - I appreciate the link.