Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (1 oz)
The shiitake mushroom is one of the traditional mushrooms of many Asian cuisines. Originally wild-harvested in Japan and Korea, shiitake mushrooms have been farmed by the Japanese for over 600 years, and are now cultivated around the world.
Dried shiitake mushrooms reconstitute very well and are frequently preferred over fresh in many dishes. The meaty flesh of the shiitake imparts its distinctive full-bodied, woodsy flavor to any dish. The convex, cinnamon brown, thick fleshy caps make a wonderful meat substitute for vegetarians. The meaty flesh of the shiitake is frequently substituted for other "wild mushrooms" in many dishes, but this versatile fungus is suitable for almost any cooking method from grilling to simmering and stir-frying.
Use shiitakes in traditional Asian dishes, in hearty mushroom soups or in savory sauces for meat and poultry. Excellent in risottos, omelettes, and quiche.
Reconstituting Dried Mushrooms
There's no great mystery to using dried mushrooms. In fact, reconstituting dried mushrooms is a very simple process.
As a rule of thumb, dried mushrooms will reconstitute to 6 - 8 times their dry weight.
Just follow these easy steps:
1. Place your mushrooms in a bowl large enough to accommodate all of them. Remember, dried mushrooms will reconstitute to 6 - 8 times their dry weight.
2. Cover them with warm water, wine or stock.
3. Let them sit in the liquid for 15 - 20 minutes. Gradually, they will absorb the moisture and "plump out."
4. Drain the mushrooms in a colander; be sure to reserve the flavorful soaking liquid for use in stocks, soups or sauces. Strain or carefully "decant" the mushroom liquid to avoid any remaining sediment or grit.
5. Chop or slice your mushrooms and use in your favorite recipe!