Dried Gourmet Mushrooms: The Benefits of Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
Discover how dried shiitake mushrooms can fuel your body and support immune function all year long. Trust us, you'll be happy you didFresh mushrooms aren’t always desired; sometimes people want dried gourmet mushrooms. Why? Because dried gourmet mushrooms store well and can be used whenever the culinary interest arises.
The benefits of dried shiitake mushroomsThere are a number of reasons to eat dried shiitake mushrooms. For instance, shiitake mushrooms contain eight essential amino acids, which are needed to form proteins in our bodies. These essential amino acids are not formed in the body, so it’s necessary to get them through the food we eat. A 2015 study showed the efficacy of shiitake mushrooms for improving human immunity. The study, entitled Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults, concludes that shiitake mushroom consumption “resulted in improved immunity, as seen by improved cell proliferation and activation and increased sIgA production.” sIgA is responsible for inhibiting inflammation in mucous membranes and protects immunoglobulin.
Dried shiitake mushrooms against blood pressure increase and cancerA study from 2006, entitled Inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in human cancer cell lines by an ethyl acetate fraction from shiitake mushrooms, suggests that shiitake mushrooms help induce apoptosis and inhibit the growth of tumor cells. Apoptosis is the natural process of cell death that is necessary in the growth and development of organisms. When apoptosis fails to take place, that’s when cancerous cells develop. A study from 1987, entitled Effect of shiitake (Lentinus edodes) and maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms on blood pressure and plasma lipids of spontaneously hypertensive rats, showed that “ Shiitake feeding resulted in a decrease in VLDL- and HDL-cholesterol”. Overall, the study suggests that “dietary mushrooms prevent blood pressure increase in hypertension.”
Dried shiitake mushrooms and vitamin DShiitakes are a great source of vitamin D. Interestingly enough, if you expose the shiitake mushrooms to sunlight with the gills up, their vitamin D levels increase significantly. The increased levels of vitamin D have been shown to be more than 1,000 times greater after eight hours of exposure. That’s why our dried shiitake mushrooms are sun dried for at least eight hours and then finished off in low heat.
Reconstitution of dried shiitake mushroomsHave you ever reconstituted dried gourmet mushrooms before? It’s really simple! In case you haven’t, here is a step-by-step process for you:
- Place your dried mushrooms in a large bowl. Use a large bowl because as they reconstituted they will get much larger than their current size.
- Add water, stock, or wine until the mushrooms are covered.
- Allow the mushrooms to sit for 15 - 20 minutes until they become plump.
- Drain the liquid out. Keep the flavorful liquid for use in soups, curries, sauces or stocks.
- You’re done! Get to cooking!
Cooking with dried shiitakes: Soups and stir friesSince we just mentioned a method for reconstituting dried shiitakes, let’s take a look at how to use those newly rehydrated mushrooms to their utmost benefit. One of the first methods to consider is making a soup. The shiitakes are already moist so you won’t have to drain any excess water inside them. You will get this great umami flavor by keeping the water intact. Shiitakes pair well with ginger, garlic, and scallions. Try making a soup with these ingredients and use some miso to build the broth. You can also add some spinach, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes to enhance the flavor and nutrition. For a simple saute slice shiitakes, saute onions for 10 minutes on medium heat with a small amount of oil. Place the shiitakes into the pan and cover with a top and allow this to cook for 8 minutes, stirring once. Then remove the top, and add a small amount of oil if needed. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for another 12 minutes, stirring every 4 minutes or so. Shiitakes have a high protein content around 18%, and a complete profile of amino acids.
Storing dried mushroomsFresh mushrooms do not last too long. On the other hand, dried mushrooms can last for years if they are stored in a dry place. Putting them in the refrigerator is an option as well. Interested in other ways to store mushrooms? Check out this article on a variety of methods, including freezing.
Resources for this article:
- Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults
- Inhibition of growth and induction of apoptosis in human cancer cell lines by an ethyl acetate fraction from shiitake mushrooms.
- Effect of shiitake (Lentinus edodes) and maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms on blood pressure and plasma lipids of spontaneously hypertensive rats