In the past, shitake mushrooms were familiar to many primarily in their dehydrated form. Tekoa Farms began cultivating shitake mushrooms in 1992 making them available in fresh form as well.
Fresh Shitake is aromatic and wonderfully tasty and will upgrade any dish with its rich flavor and aroma.
Shitake mushroom cultivation originated in Japan. The meaning of the name is "the mushroom of the shi tree" (shi in Japanese is a type of hardwood tree and take means mushroom). In nature, shitake actually grows mainly on oak trees while cultivated shitake is grown on a mixture containing sterilized hardwood sawdust.
Shitake is the most popular mushroom in Asian markets and has gained increasing popularity in western kitchens as well.
Health Benefits- in traditional Chinese medicine shitake mushrooms are known to have a wide range of health benefits.
Shitake mushrooms contain the compound lentinan which has been found to have immune-potentiating properties. In Japan, shitake extract was approved as a medicinal drug for treatment of certain cancers.
Shitake contains high levels of phenols which make it highly anti-oxidant. It also contains 7 essential amino acids, is rich in iron, dietary fibers, and vitamins and is an excellent source of protein.
Various studies have proven that shitake is effective in reducing high cholesterol levels and in controlling blood pressure.
Preparation- Shitake mushrooms are not recommended to be eaten raw. They can be cooked , grilled or stir fried. Before cooking, the mushroom stem should be removed as it is hard and takes longer to cook. The stem may be used in dishes that require long cooking such as soups.
Recommended uses- Shitake is excellent with pastas, meat, chicken and fish dishes as well as omelets and quiches.