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”

Any substitutes?

  • 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

Any benefits?

  • 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

Any precautions?

  • Mushrooms are said to be a primary source of gout due to its protein content, so consume in moderation if you have gout

Additional Information?

  • Dried Chinese mushrooms keep very well in a sealed container in dry weather for up to a year

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