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This is the searchable online international food dictionary with 61,500 terms in 302 languages plus 12,690 plurals.

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shiitake (椎茸 / シイタケ)

Language: Japanese - Kanji and Katakana - Romaji

Description: Shiitake mushroom. Shiitake mushrooms are indigenous to the forests of China, containing eritadenine which helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. They are found growing on tree trunks in the Far East and have white stems and brown fleshy caps with white ruffled gills. Mushrooms with the edges slightly tucked under, rather than spread flat, are the best ones. Fresh shiitake are grilled and are used in soups and miso, as well as in deep-fried, nabe and custard dishes. Dried shiitake are darker in colour and have an intense, smoky, 'umami' flavour. They are sometimes sold as "winter mushrooms", which are produced in colder conditions and are especially highly regarded. In Russia they are frequently pickled. (If gathering mushrooms you must be absolutely certain what you have before you eat them as many are very poisonous.)

Shiitake mushrooms, with thanks to CA Crane in Cambridge market

Latin: Lentinula edodes/Lentinus edodes/Armillaria edodes/Lentinus shiitake/Cortinellus shiitake/Cortinellus edodes
Ethnicity: Japanese
Most frequent country: Widespread

Substitutes: cultivated mushroom, portobello mushroom, oyster mushroom, chanterelle

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Database last updated: 21 June 2011 12:23