Our organic shiitake mushroom growing kit is the perfect introduction to growing mushrooms at home. Learn all about this kit, including how to use it, and get yours today
Shiitake mushrooms are the gateway to specialty mushrooms, and you can use our shiitake mushroom growing kit to grow them fresh at home. Shiitakes have a strong umami flavor that helps them stand out in culinary dishes. The stems of shiitakes are typically discarded or made into stock and the caps are cooked. Shiitakes have a high protein content around 18% dry weight. Shiitake mushrooms also have a complete profile of amino acids.
Shiitakes are one of the most popular mushrooms in the world, only second to the common button mushroom. In Asia, shiitake is the most popular mushroom. The shiitake mushroom can add a lot of flavor and texture to a meal.
Learn more about our shiitake mushroom growing kit below!
Ideal growing conditions for our shiitake mushroom growing kit:
Once your shiitake mushroom kit arrives and it has the brown “shiitake bark”, you can begin the process of using your kit. We recommend placing your shiitake kit in refrigeration before you begin misting the kit with water. The cool temperature is a method of “shocking” the kit into fruiting. If the temperature outside is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, then you can keep the shiitake kit outside for 24 hours before starting.
The ideal range for fruiting this shiitake mushroom growing kit is 45-70 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 80-85%.
Preparing your kit: Remove the plastic bag from the shiitake block. Leave the plastic on the bottom so mushrooms will not fruit out the bottom of the block. It is best to put the shiitake block on a plate or baking sheet to catch any excess water once you begin spraying the kit.
Light: Place your shiitake kit in a lighted area. Shiitake mushrooms need light to fruit, but a lot of light is not required, and it should not be direct sunlight. If you can comfortably read a book in the area where your shiitake mushroom growing kit is located, then it is receiving enough light to grow properly.
Humidity: Begin misting your shiitake mushroom growing kit two or three times each day with water so the humidity level is high enough for the shiitake mushrooms to fruit. As mentioned above, a relative humidity around 85% is ideal. You will see little shiitakes forming within two weeks, and that is what we call the pinning stage. After about four more days of misting these baby mushrooms will be full size and ready to harvest.
You can place a loose transparent bag over the shiitake block to increase humidity if needed. You can also use a small open bin, too. If you do choose to use a humidity tent like a plastic bag or small open bin, make sure the kit receives fresh air as well or the shiitakes won’t grow correctly.
CO2 and Airflow: You need to have fresh air flow for the shiitake mushroom growing kit or the mushrooms may end up growing poorly. If you notice the fruiting bodies looking abnormal, then you probably need more fresh air exchange where the kit is located. Adjusting the amount of airflow will help the mushrooms normalize in shape during the fruiting stage.
When shiitake mushrooms are ready to harvest
Shiitakes should be harvested while the cap is still slightly curled in or just as the partial veil breaks away. Mushrooms that are harvested before the cap margin becomes flat or flipped up have a better texture and store much better. When harvesting, cutting with scissors or a knife is the best. Harvesting the shiitakes flush with the block reduces possible contamination for future flushes. After harvesting, place your shiitake mushrooms in refrigeration for storage.
Allow the shiitake mushroom growing kit to rest after your first harvest
After your first harvest of fresh shiitake mushrooms, you need to allow the block to rest for two or three weeks. During this rest period you will refrain from misting the kit with water, and instead, let it sit in an area where it can dry out. A location that is cool, dry, and with air flow is ideal.
After two or three weeks, once the block has dried, you can initiate a second flush by submerging the block in water for five to ten hours. You will need to use a brick or another similar object to keep the block submerged. Once the kit has been soaked, return it to the plate or baking sheet where you produced the first flush. Resume misting the block twice a day. Mushrooms should begin forming again within one week.
After this harvest, allow the block to rest again for a couple of weeks and repeat this process over again. You should be able to do this at least three times. The amount of fruiting mushrooms will decrease each time you submerge it. The shiitake kit will eventually begin breaking apart, at which time you can place it in your garden or compost area to fruit some additional mushrooms sporadically.
Understanding the shiitake mushroom from a culinary perspective
When mildly cooked, shiitake mushrooms are rich and buttery with a meatier texture than many other mushrooms. The flavor is smoky, nutty, and earthy when dried. The shiitake is also known to have the umami flavor due to its constituents.
Shiitake mushroom benefits are more significant than people realize. Most shiitake eaters are interested in the flavorful taste and desirable texture. They do not always realize that these delicious mushrooms are also good for our health. If you are looking for ways to support the health of your immune system or your dental health, then shiitake may be a great mushroom for you to grow at home.