How to Rehydrate Dried Shiitake Mushrooms for Maximum Flavor
Dried Shiitake can be used in a variety of recipes. By using this method to reconstitute them, you can be sure that you are getting the best possible flavor.
Rehydrating dried Shiitake at a low temperature will enhance their natural sweetness, and maximize the characteristics that give them their umami taste.
Guanylate – the compound found in dried Shiitake that gives them their umami taste – also serves to enhance the umami of other ingredients. As a result, the entire dish will become even more delicious.
Rehydrating them in a resealable zipper bag will give you the added convenience of fitting them in a small space in your fridge.
Use a fairly large quantity of water, so that the Shiitake are completely submerged. You can add more water if needed later. If you have a lot of liquid leftovers, you can use it to make a broth for soup, etc.
To prevent bitterness, strain the soaking liquid with a fine strainer, such as a tea strainer.
Rinse the dried shiitake mushrooms with water to remove any dirt.
Put the rinsed shiitake and water in a resealable zipper bag. Close the bag, making sure to remove the air.
Leave the bag in a refrigerator overnight to allow the shiitake to be fully reconstituted. (Reconstituting at a low temperature will enhance their sweetness.)
Strain the soaking liquid in a fine strainer, such as a tea strainer.
Remove the hard stems of the reconstituted shiitake before using. (Stems can be used later in soups, stews, and sauces to add umami.)