Ingredient Name: Chinese mushrooms (dried) also known as black mushrooms or Chinese black mushrooms or shiitake
Traditional Chinese Name: 冬菇 (dōng gū)
What is this?
- An edible type of food common to East Asia
- The dried versions are frequently speckled with a round top and an end stump
- The fresh versions (also known as shiitake) are black and very soft and often have long stems
- The Chinese often used the dried version in soups, stews and dishes
How do I prepare it?
- If using dried Chinese mushrooms, soak in cool water for at least an hour
- Wash the mushrooms and remove the stump
Where can I buy this?
- You can purchase mushrooms by bulk from most Asian speciality stores
- You can also purchase dried mushrooms that are prepackaged in most Asian supermarkets
What is the cost?
- The cost of mushrooms varies depending on the quality and size of the mushroom
- More expensive ones have a large round top and are slightly curved and are referred to as “flower mushrooms”
- It is difficult to substitute the flavour of dried mushrooms, but for soups, you can consider putting more conpoy or dried scallops if dried mushrooms are not readily available
- Chinese mushrooms are known to reduce cholesterol and lower high blood pressure
- They also help boost your immune system and inhibit the growth of tumors
- They are very high in protein and contain Vitamins B2 and B12
- Due to the drying process, dried Chinese mushrooms are very flavourful and eliminate the need to salt or season your soups and dishes
- Mushrooms are said to be a primary source of gout due to its protein content, so consume in moderation if you have gout
- Dried Chinese mushrooms keep very well in a sealed container in dry weather for up to a year