Simmered Shiitake Mushrooms
Dried shiitake are packed with umami flavor. Prepare a big batch of simmered shiitake and store in the fridge to mix with rice or to use as a topping for noodles.
Photographed by Taku Kudo
Calorie count is per serving.
Excludes time needed to reconstitute the shiitake.
- 20 dried shiitake mushrooms (medium)
- 5-6 pieces carrot (cut into preferred shape)
- 200 ml dashi
- 200 ml shiitake soaking liquid
- 1 1/3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
Reconstitute the dried shiitake by soaking in a bowl full of water for 1-6 hours. Lightly squeeze out the excess moisture and remove the stems. Retain 200 ml of the soaking liquid. Parboil the carrots.
The time needed to reconstitute the shiitake will vary according to their size and thickness. Ones with thick caps will take more time, especially around the base of the stem, so you need to squeeze them to see if they're properly rehydrated all the way through.
Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a pot placed over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the reconstituted shiitake.
Once evenly coated with oil, add [A] and place a drop-lid (or a circle of parchment paper with a hole in the center) on top. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45-60 minutes. When the broth has been reduced to about 1/4 of its original volume, add the parboiled carrots.
The shiitake soaking liquid is fragrant and full of umami and is often used on its own as dashi. However, adding an equal amount of dashi made with skipjack shavings and konbu boosts the umami flavor of the shiitake.
When the broth has been reduced so that it barely covers the bottom of the pot, drizzle 2 tbsp of sesame oil over the pot's contents in a circular motion and turn off the heat.
Adding sesame oil right at the end enhances the aroma and luster of the dish.
The simmered shiitake will keep in the fridge for about a week if stored in an airtight container. They will also keep for about a month when frozen in a food storage bag.