Flower Top Shiitake Caps
Known for the decorative, flower-like white cracking pattern on their brown surface, whole dried Flower Top Shiitake Caps are an exotic, visually appealing addition to any recipe.
Remove stems from mushrooms by snapping them off the base of cap. Rinse mushrooms under cold running water to remove any possible debris. To hydrate prior to use quickly, place desired amount in a bowl, and cover with boiling water. Let soak for at least 90 minutes, then rinse well. Or for a longer soak place mushrooms in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 12-24 hours, then rinse well.
Shiitake Mushrooms (Lentinus edodes) (sometimes called “Chinese Black Mushrooms” or “Forest Mushrooms”) are among the most commonly eaten mushrooms in the world. Native to Asia, they are a versatile and affordable part of many traditional Chinese and Japanese dishes, in which they are used in either fresh or dried forms.
Shiitakes are known by their Japanese name, which is appropriate since Japan is the world leader in production of shiitakes. The name comes from a Japanese word meaning "oak fungus," as they are discovered most frequently growing at the base of Japanese oak conifers called "shii trees."
Many people believe that shiitake mushrooms are wild, because they are often included in “wild mushroom” mixes at the supermarket. However, they are actually the second most cultivated edible mushroom in the world, behind the common white button variety. Shiitake mushrooms have dark brown, broad, flat caps that curve down slightly at the edge toward the long, narrow stem. The gills underneath the cap are tan.
In many Asian countries, shiitake mushrooms are considered a symbol of longevity and health, and have been used medicinally for thousands of years. They are often served at Chinese celebrations, such as birthdays, weddings and Chinese New Year parties.
Shiitake Mushroom stems are typically very woody. Most recipes recommend removing the stems, but do save them, as they’re great added to homemade stock for an extra boost of umami-packed mushroom flavor. These umami-rich mushrooms have a hearty, meaty flesh and a rich, full-bodied, earthy flavor that lends it self to numerous cooking applications. Their deep flavor means they can stand up to other strong flavors. They are particularly good with ginger, soy, and chiles.
Our dried Flower Top Shiitake Mushrooms capture the meaty, almost smoky flavor of fresh Shiitakes. They’re cultivated for us, harvested, then sorted by quality. These Flower Top Shiitake Caps are prized for the elaborate, flower petal-like pattern of off-white cracks that naturally form on their caps.
This cooked salad highlights the large, meaty caps, intense flavor and beautiful appearance of our Flower Top Shiitake Mushrooms, alongside several other varieties often found in Japanese cuisine. The variety of sizes, shapes and flavors makes for a visually appealing salad, and the bold, bright dressing perfectly contrasts the earthiness of the mushrooms.