Shiitake ….. if you love mushrooms, you love shiitakes!

Organic C4 Shiitake Mushrooms
Organic C4 Shiitake Mushrooms Almost Ready for Harvest

The Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinus edodes) is one of the most popular of the gourmet culinary mushrooms. Shiitakes have been harvested in Asia for over 1000 years. The name “shiitake” is derived from the Japanese word for tree, “shii” and mushroom “taki”.

Shiitake Mushrooms are medium-sized and have tan to brown caps. They are best when the cap edges are curled inwards and they typically have a whitish underside and stem.

Recently Harvested Organic C4 Shiitake Mushrooms
Recently Harvested Organic C4 Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitakes can also grow to very large sizes. The large ones are prized by chefs for their thick, meaty texture and intense umami flavor.

Colossal C4 Shiitake Mushrooms
Colossal C4 Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitakes are so flavorful and nutritious, the Japanese consider them “the elixir of life” and, during the Chinese Ming Dynasty, the Shiitake Mushroom was reserved for the Emperor and his family.

Because of their rich taste, Shiitakes will enhance the flavor of almost any dish. Typically, they are sauteed or stir fried. They can also be added to soups and sauces to increase their richness and flavor.

C4 Shiitakes in a Ginger Glaze over SalmonC4 Shiitakes Sauteed with Fresh Green Peas
C4 Shiitakes in a Ginger Glaze over Salmon (L) and Sauteed with Fresh Green Peas (R)

In addition to being low in calories, Shiitake Mushrooms are also high in fiber and other essential nutrients. For centuries, Shiitake Mushrooms have been used as a natural remedy in alternative medicine. Some beneficial effects attributed to Shiitake Mushrooms include:

  • Reduces prostate cancer risk
  • Improves heart health
  • Promotes oral health
  • Improves immunity
  • Excellent source of zinc