Shiitake MushroomThe shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is an edible mushroom native to East Asia, which is cultivated and consumed in many Asian countries. It is considered a medicinal mushroom in some forms of traditional medicine.[1]

The shiitake is ancient mushroom and is enjoying a recent upsurge in popularity. The shiitake mushroom is consumed widely in Asia, where it is prized for its flavor and health-promoting benefits. For centuries the shiitake has been cultivated in China where it is known as “Shiang-gu” or “Hoang-mo.” The Japanese name, “Shiitake,” is taken from the Shii tree, one of the many tree species that it grows on in nature, and “take,” a Japanese word for mushroom.

In many Eastern cultures, mushrooms are viewed as a separate food group with special health-promoting attributes. In these cultures, shiitake is considered to be an “elixir of life.”

The shiitake is a nutritious mushroom. It contains protein, lipids, and carbohydrates, as well as a number of vitamins and minerals. The shiitake has a relatively high nutritional value when compared on a dry-weight basis to vegetables. Shiitake ranks above corn, turnips, potatoes and carrots when both the quantity and quality of protein are considered. The amount of protein in shiitake is less than that found in meat but is comparable to green beans or peas. Shiitake has a protein content of 10% to 29% (dry wt. basis). All nine essential amino acids are present in a ratio similar to the “ideal” protein for human nutrition. Shiitake is rich in the amino acids leucine and lysine. Shiitake contains from 43% to 78% carbohydrate on a dry weight basis and is considered a low calorie food. The total mineral content is from 2.6% to 6.5%. Calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium and potassium are present in significant amounts. The shiitake is a good source of vitamins, especially the B vitamins and has an influence on cholesterol levels.

Recipes   Spinach and Mushroom Quiche with Shiitake mushrooms.

One of my favorite Shiitake recipe is from the cook book The Marriage of Mushrooms and Garlic by Chester Aaron and Malcolm Clark. Published by Zumaya Publications.


The blend of garlic and pepper makes this a simple and tasty dish to make.

2 pounds sliced pork lion

1 pound cut of whole (if size is small) shiitake mushroom

1 tbsp. fish sauce

2 tbsp. Thai soy sauce or maggi sauce

2 tbsp.  chopped fresh garlic

1/2 tbsp.  white ground pepper

1/2 tbsp.  black ground pepper

2 tbsp. of oyster sauce

1/2 c. cooking oil

1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the skillet and cook garlic with oil on medium heat. Stir in the pork and mushrooms, cook 5 minutes or until the pork is cooked through. Add fish sauce, Thai soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper and black pepper. Stir well to combine all ingredients.

Serve on a plate and garnish with fresh cilantro.




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