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What to do with dried shiitake mushrooms?

Blythe spirit Dec 31, 2011 12:29 PM

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.

  1. a
    AsperGirl Jan 1, 2012 06:08 PM

    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
      Blythe spirit Jan 2, 2012 09:06 AM

      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.

    2. Chocolatechipkt Jan 1, 2012 04:55 PM

      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. s
        superangela Jan 1, 2012 01:25 PM

        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. Barbara76137 Dec 31, 2011 03:43 PM

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: Barbara76137
            Blythe spirit Jan 1, 2012 01:29 PM

            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. t
            travelerjjm Dec 31, 2011 03:35 PM

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

            1. m
              Maximilien Dec 31, 2011 02:48 PM

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

              8 Replies
              1. re: Maximilien
                Blythe spirit Jan 1, 2012 01:20 PM

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

                1. re: Blythe spirit
                  HillJ Jan 1, 2012 01:24 PM

                  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
                    Blythe spirit Jan 1, 2012 01:33 PM

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

                    1. re: Blythe spirit
                      goodhealthgourmet Jan 1, 2012 05:23 PM

                      spice grinder - it does a much better job of turning them to powder.

                      some similar threads:

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                        Blythe spirit Jan 1, 2012 05:53 PM

                        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
                        HillJ Jan 1, 2012 09:36 PM

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

                        1. re: HillJ
                          goodhealthgourmet Jan 2, 2012 07:08 AM

                          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
                            HillJ Jan 2, 2012 08:35 AM

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

                2. iL Divo Dec 31, 2011 02:28 PM

                  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
                    Barbara76137 Dec 31, 2011 03:37 PM

                    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. c
                    caviar_and_chitlins Dec 31, 2011 02:21 PM

                    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. Chemicalkinetics Dec 31, 2011 12:40 PM

                      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. s
                        small h Dec 31, 2011 12:33 PM

                        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
                          Blythe spirit Dec 31, 2011 12:37 PM

                          Sounds delicious, I'll give that a try.

                        2. ipsedixit Dec 31, 2011 12:33 PM

                          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
                            Blythe spirit Dec 31, 2011 12:38 PM

                            Thanks, that gives me a place to start.

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