How to use Shiitake stems in the tastiest way possible
The most delicious part of Shiitake mushrooms is the stem. Wild monkeys are known as messy eaters of Shiitake, and the way they eat it is to pull the stem off the cap and chew the base of the stem—the most delicious part—and throw away the rest.
I wonder how many of you throw away the stems? The Guanylate uniquely present in Shiitake can make the Umami taste of other ingredients more potent. The process of drying and rehydrating Shiitakes results in Guanylate's production, which is not present in fresh Shiitakes.
- How to use stems after rehydrating
Use them finely ground in a food processor. Used as an umami seasoning, the resulting powder leaves a delicious aftertaste on the tongue.
- How to use dried stems (1)
Use in stews while still dry, in the same way as you use cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, star anise, cloves, nutmeg, and other spices. The Guanylate in dried Shiitake has the effect of strengthening the Umami taste of the whole dish.
- How to use dried stems (2)
Using a spice grinder or equivalent, grind into Shiitake powder and use it in various dishes. You can find over 20 recipes using Shiitake powder on my cookpad pages.
- How to use dried stems (3)
Yuka Hirayama—who appears on Japan's national TV, NHK's show "Kyo no Ryori" ("Today's Dish") and has a vast knowledge about Japanese cuisine—has discovered how to make the perfect dashi strength for cooking.
10g dried Shiitake stems
Dried Shiitake stems
Place the dried Shiitake stems in water for a while and remove any dirt when it becomes soft.
Place the stems in the water mentioned in the ingredients and leave in the fridge overnight.
Strain using a tea-strainer or equivalent, and use in cooking.
Dried Shiitake produced in Japan are pesticide-free, so Shiitake stem dashi will last as long as an opened carton of milk.