How to Reconstitute Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
Dried shiitake mushrooms are highly nutritious. Fresh shiitake mushrooms are 90% water, but drying them makes them more nutritious and concentrates their distinct flavor.
Photographed by Takeshi Noguchi
- 1 bag dried shiitake mushrooms (small)
- 600-800 ml water
Rinse the dried shiitake with plenty of water and drain.
Put the shiitake in a bowl and cover with a generous amount of water (600-800 ml per pack of 20 small shiitake). Place a plate or small lid on top to keep the shiitake under water. Store overnight (around 8 hours) in the fridge. The reconstituted shiitake should be plump and lustrous so that they look fresh. They should be about 5-6 times heavier. The soaking water will have become brown.
Do not discard the soaking water. It is rich in umami and can be used as dashi.
Remove 2-3 shiitake at a time and squeeze to drain.
Using the tip of your knife, remove the stems and discard.
When using whole shiitake caps, shallow incisions will help shorten the cooking time and allow the shiitake to better absorb the seasoned liquid.
When cutting in half, lay the blade at an angle and draw it towards you to cut in sogi-giri. The increase in surface area will allow the shiitake to better absorb flavors.