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Dec 31, 2011 12:29 PM

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.