The most widely known of all the oriental mushrooms. Shiitake are quite mild when bought fresh, but drying concentrates their flavour. They have a firm, meaty texture that becomes slippery when cooked.
Shiitake are now cultivated in Britain and can be bought fresh or dried.
Snip off the hard stems (but don’t discard them – add to soups and stock). Shiitake go well with pork, meat and steamed fish; they can also be mixed with ordinary cultivated mushrooms.
Article by Clarissa Hyman