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Oct 6, 2012 10:41 AM

shiitake vs crimini mushrooms

I usually use crimini mushrooms, but for some reason, I grabbed some shiitake mushrooms. I would like to saute and add to pasta sauce. Any comments on the difference in taste between these two varieties?

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  1. Easily interchangeable.

    1. Portabellas have a somehwat firmer texture and slightly stronger flavor but they're actually the same mushroom, harvested at very different sizes.

      3 Replies
      1. re: MikeG

        Criminis are small portabellas. Shiitakes are a completely different variety of mushroom. But that being said, they do taste different, but I think you could easily interchange them. In my area, shiitakes are 2-3 times the cost of criminis.

        1. re: gmm

          Yeah, that's what I get for posting while I'm watching TV!

        2. re: MikeG

          Criminis also are large button mushrooms, same thus as 'normal' mushrooms. Shitaki , at least the ones from Japan have a textural component that add a lot for me to a dish.

        3. Are these fresh shiitake mushrooms, the type commonly found in Western supermarkets? Or the other fresh type often found in Chinese groceries? Or dried shiitake mushrooms (to be rehydrated in water)? [There are various grades/varieties]

          The tastes are different between the three (less so between the last two) and definitely different from crimini mushrooms. I do not consder them interchangeable., I would personally think of them as substitutable w/ a change in flavor profile - especially if you use the latter two shiitakes I asked about.

          3 Replies
          1. re: huiray

            They are whole fresh shiitake from H Mart (Korean grocery store)...and um what is with the smell?

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              OK. They're maybe 1/2 in ch thick and maybe 2-3 inches in diameter on average, right? Mostly with a slightly "rough" or slightly patterned cap top, fairly "open..and not thick caps w/ a "smooth" dark brown cap top?

              I'm not sure what you mean when you ask about the smell. The thicker, smoother-capped ones with a more pronounced "under-curl" like what I just described *would* have a stronger, wet wood/fungus-y smell (depending on what exactly was being offered that day) than the thinner, rougher-capped ones and would definitely imbue your dish with that stronger smell. Definitely not a straight substitute for crimini. :-) Is that what you are referring to?

              1. re: huiray

                Yes, they match your description with thick stems. They just seem to have more of an aroma than cremini so I was just wondering. It was definitely noticeable in the car on the way home.