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Dried Shitakes


snowangel
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I was given a 1.5 pound bag of dried shitakes.

There are a couple of lame recipes on the back of the package -- one for a soup that uses boullion cubes (!) and one for a chinese stir fry thing.

What would you do with these?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Heh--I'm trying to visualize how big a 1.5 lb bag of dried shiitakes must be.

I use dried shiitakes for just about anything I'd use any sort of dried mushroom for, whether it's an Asian dish or not. They're terrific for reinforcing a quick broth/stock for soup or rice/grain dishes. You can either soak them in advance and add both the shrooms and the soaking liquid to the recipe, or just throw them in if there's a lot of liquid and it's going to simmer for a long time. I break them into pieces and add them to my congee at the beginning of cooking; after a couple of hours, they're nice and tender but still with a bit of chewiness to them. I also used shiitakes the other week to add some bottom-note umph to a batch of vegetarian borscht--those I soaked in advance, so I could cut the shrooms into thin slices to match the cuts of the other vegetables.

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I'd reconstitute them in boiling water and then cut them up and use them along with some nice fresh mushrooms and make a mushroom risotto. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, use barley instead of Arborio rice. It's absolutely delicious.

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I recently bought a small box of dried shitakes too, snowangel.

After re-hydrating, the first thing I did with them, was to use them to stuff an omellette. It was alright...

Anyway, Epicurious has quite a few good recipes using shitake. Using them to make a sauce sounds good. Also, a bit of a strange clash but how about utilising them as a pizza topping?

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I have a great recipe for a fancy lasagne somewhere in my file--it was from one of the food mags--the sauce was tomatoes, reconstituted mushrooms, bacon, a lot of rosemary, lots of olive oil, lots of red wine--the sauce was magnificent--i've made it over the years and used it plain on pasta--for the lasagna you used fontina for a large proportion of the cheese--it really was a super recipe for a dinner party--just needed a good salad and bread--ummmm--I'd love some right now.

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Here's a recipe I made just the other day:

Marinate some chicken thigh, leg and/or wing pieces in a mix of five spice powder and salt for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Sear the pieces in some hot oil until well browned.

Toss in a big handful of diced spring onions, and about 1 tbsp of minced ginger and saute for 30 seconds.

Add a big splash of dark soy and cook for 30 seconds and then deglaze the pan with a little chicken stock and add salt and five spice powder to taste.

If the mushrooms are gritty, first soften in some boiling water and then add to the pot, if they're fine, add them to the pot dried. I prefer to add them dried as they soak up the braising stock and the flavour penetrates deeper.

Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes and then add in some wide cellophane noodles or rice noodles.

Cook for another 10 minutes until noodles are cooked to your desired consistency.

Add a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken.

At the last second, stir in some fresh cilantro and the green parts of the spring onion.

Serve over white rice.

It's fairly simple and really really good.

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I was given a 1.5 pound bag of dried shitakes.

There are a couple of lame recipes on the back of the package -- one for a soup that uses boullion cubes (!) and one for a chinese stir fry thing.

What would you do with these?

That really depends on the type of shiitake you were given.

Was it donko (caps closed), koshin (caps open), or presliced (cheapest)?

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. .  . If you're feeling particularly adventurous, use barley instead of Arborio rice. . . .

When you use barley in lieu of arborio for risotto, are you still doing hte same long stirring/adding stock process? or is the barley a little easier?

Barley should take twice as long as rice, but it not necessary to stir continuously.

Whether it's rice or barley, you can check it's progress every few minutes, adding hot stock as needed. Constant stirring is for OCD fussbudgets.

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For something a little different there is a recipe in one of the Jean-George cookbooks I have where he grinds dry mushrooms into a coarse powder and uses it to 'bread' a lamb loin that is then lightly seared and roasted. I've made it and its pretty good.

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I use them (pre-soaked) to help deepen flavour in beefy dishes such as soups and stews, I simply toss in a couple finely chopped. Also, I sometimes make a starter type dish out of them, soaked in water, chopped and then fried with bacon and some other stuff, and with a splash of sherry and a drop of balsamic vinegar. Nice with some toast or a handful of fresh green peppery salad leaves.

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I very often do mushroom-cursted beef. Shitakes, morells, porcini, etc.. (in dried form) work lovely when ground up and used as a spice-rub on beef (somewhat flavourless) tenderloin. Works well with venison and other game as well (as mentioned above).

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  • 6 years later...

Just making a large pot of ramen stock and don't want to throw out the dried shitake mushroom in the stock. I've taken them out and sliced them as they're big mushrooms. I will probably have ramen for lunch today so I will toss some of those slices in some soy, sesame oil, etc. and use it as a ramen topping. But what to do with the rest? I've pickled them in the past and they turned out fine. However, since hubby doesn't like pickles, I'm wondering if I can freeze them? If I portion them, then I can take a portion out and add them to ramen or for other dishes when needed. I worry that the texture may be weird though.

Any suggestions? Are there other ways of preserving them other than pickling?

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I presume you tossed in dried shiitakes into the pot when making the stock, not that they are dried shiitakes after making the stock. :-) [They should certainly be hydrated and swollen after making the stock, heh]

How long did you simmer the stock for - do the now-hydrated still have much flavor left in them, as Plantes wonders? I've kept a few of the shiitakes when making similar stocks (and sliced them to use for the immediate bowl(s) of whatever I was making) but usually I toss the remaining shiitakes.

Of course, when making soups and braises with shiitakes in them meant to be eaten with the other stuff that would be a different issue.

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