Mushrooms: Maitake and Shiitake

portabello, maitake and shiitake mushrooms
Pictured above, from left to right, are a portobello, maitake, and shiitake mushroom. I bought these at a local Asian supermarket on Route 27 in Edison called H-Mart.

Why use these special mushrooms? Why not just stick to white button mushrooms? In addition to the excitement of having something new in one’s soup, maitake and shiitake have medicinal benefits. Here’s a post on the health benefits of maitake (slows tumors, protects healthy cells from becoming cancerous, may reduce the need for insulin and more). This post on the health benefits of shiitake mushroom is on Susun at Planet Thrive writes about medicinal mushrooms in general.

maitake mushrooms
Here are a bunch of maitake mushrooms.

shiitake mushroom
This is a shiitake mushroom. Sometimes I put a shiitake mushroom in a mug of hot water and drink it the way someone would a cup of tea.

I’m going to use them in mushroom barley soup tonight. If I have leftover mushroom barley, sometimes I stuff it into my Friday night chicken. I’ve also made mushroom lentil soup. Here is another mushroom with shiitake soup.

Do you have any favorite mushroom recipes?

7 thoughts on “Mushrooms: Maitake and Shiitake

  • This morning on the radio they mentioned that in some regions people go and look for boletus at this time of year. One woman said how she just put the chopped mushrooms in a frying pan with olive oil, a little garlic and parsley. I wonder whether you can do this with the mushrooms you have just bought.
    May I ask what you do with the shiitake mushroom once you have drunk all the hot water? Just eat it?

    • I’m sure sauteed mushrooms with olive oil, parsley and garlic would be delicious. It so happens that I often can get my kids to eat the broth of mushroom soup, so I tend to make it about once a week.

      Yes, I eat the shiitake mushroom – first, I let the mushroom steep in the hot water, the way one would a tea bag, then I sip the broth, then I eat the now cooked mushroom. The stem is tough, so I usually don’t eat that.

    • I had to google “boletus” to find out what it is. My mother had a friend who was an expert at wild mushrooms. I feel safer buying in a store.

      • I feel safer buying in a store.
        So do I! The only person I trusted with mushrooms was my grandfather. He was a pharmacist and as such had learnt about mushrooms during his training. Besides he also enjoyed mushroom picking.

  • The shitakes are in season here (morels have already come and gone).Our favorite local restaurant is featuring them in dishes all week.

    • I didn’t know they have seasons! Makes sense, I suppose. I often see the shiitakes at the supermarket – wonder if they vary the source at different times of the year.

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