what’s in the brown bags??
shiitake in a sack, for you!!
After a few more years of growing these shiitake, and enjoying them all along, I’m going to update our experience with the stems.
yep, the stems
Don’t worry much about them at all. Chop them with your knife. Slice them thin. Even throw them in whole. No sweat, we feel. They’re delicious. The “excessive chewiness”, is not excessive. Don’t worry ’bout it.
Many people’s critique of mushrooms is their mushy-ness, their squishiness, their texture. The stems lend a nice chew, we think.
this is what we’d said before, largely based upon hearsay and other’s experience: I still think it’s great advice and guidance. We’re just not nearly as concerned about the stems being “excessively chewy”.
Shiitake stems should be removed from caps. Simply break them away. If you feel any “cleaning” of these mushrooms is necessary, use a mushroom brush or a very soft, never-used-for-painting paint brush (that’s what we use. very soft. very fast). The stems are very tastey, but very tough. Don’t discard so much taste! You can immediately chop the stems, fresh, in your food processor. Let the machine deal with the toughness, not your mouth! Then include in your mushroom prep, or store separate to use later in soups or stocks or teas (the stems are diced, of course, and work really well in a soup or stock, or eggs!).
For some fantastic information,
some great recipes,
check out the Mushrooming Together blog.
Here’s some valuable information I will share with you. The source is Field & Forest Products
Putting Up Your Harvest:“Too Many Mushrooms!” This happy complaint is always followed by a request for advice on the best way to preserve them… All mushrooms keep their freshest taste when sliced or chopped, sauteed with a bit of butter or oil, and then placed in the freezer. Freeze in amounts that you’ll most frequently use for one dish, usually 1-2 cups. Experiment with additions: Shiitake sauteed qwith onion, garlic and a pinch of salt, add a dash of soy sauce; Oyster mushrooms with onion and chopped red pepper; Wine Caps with walnut oil and thyme. A cup of these mushrooms thawed and heated can make a delicious, quick meal when used as a burrito filling, a topping for eggs or meats, or when blended to make soup.
….Most mushrooms can also be dried, but many often lose much of their flavor once rehydrated. Exceptional successes can be achieved with both Shiitake and Maitake. Shiitake can be dried as whole caps or slices; stems can also be dried and pulverized for adding flavor to stews and soups.
Medicine and Mushrooms:The western world is slowly discovering what Asian herbalists have known for thousands of years… that, apart from their nutritional value, mushrooms are good for you! In Asia, mushrooms have traditionally been prescribed in conjunction with chemotherapies and other therapies we label “alternative”. In recent years western medicine has taken a more serious look at the potential medicinal properties of various mushroom species. Though studies are ongoing, some promising results have surfaced which link mushroom components with aiding treatments for cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and Alzheimer’s disease….
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes), is prized for anticancer effects, immune system boosting and reducing cholesterol. It is also a good source of protein.
Here’s some interesting info too, from Eden Foods
Mushrooms are the only source of Vitamin D in the vegetable kingdom
Mushrooms convert UV light into Vitamin D, as does the human body
All mushrooms contain Vitamin D2
Mushrooms grown outdoors (all of ours are), exposed to natural UV light, are higher in Vitamin D
Dried mushrooms have higher Vitamin D than fresh
Vitamin D is a powerful immune enhancer
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin we humans acquire from exposure to sunlight or from foods containing it.
(source Eden Foods)