Shimeji Japanese Mushrooms
Traditional Chinese Name:
日本蘑菇 (rìběn mógu)
Video on “How to Prepare Mushrooms for Chinese Cooking” on YouTube.
- This is a mushroom native to East Asia and is a group of mushrooms which are widely cultivated
- There are a variety of mushrooms that belong to this family (Mycorrhiza, Saprotroph, Hatake-Shimeji)
- As a raw mushroom, the taste is slightly bitter
- The texture is firm and slightly crunchy with a slightly nutty flavor when cooked (which ultimately translates into the soup taste)
- Commonly used in stir-fried foods, soups, stews and sauces
- This is also available as a dried product where you’ll need to rehydrate before usage
How do I prepare it?
For fresh shimeji mushrooms, cut off the stems where the bunch begins to grow, rinse in cool water, and use directly as is. Be sure to be using fresh shimeji mushrooms. They should be firm and dry to feel. You’ll know they’ll begin to outlast their shelf life when they either dry out, shrivel and become wrinkly, or have a wet film around them (which is a sign they may begin to mold).
For preparing and using mushrooms, both dried and fresh, you can watch our video on “How to prepare and use mushrooms in Chinese cooking“.
There’s also an amazing section below on preparing and using mushrooms as a meat substitute.
Where can I buy it and cost?
- You can purchase these from most Asian supermarkets prepackaged (dried shimeji mushrooms)
- They are also sold fresh in supermarkets and wet marts
- You can also purchase this in bulk from specialty stores (online herbal shops)
- Be sure that you’re buying from a reputable source
- These mushrooms aren’t very expensive at all! For a pack of 2 bunches, they cost $3-4 CAD.
- Shimeji mushrooms are amazing source of fiber, including Vitamin B
- They are known to contain equivalent amounts of amino acids as meat, making them great substitutes for meat
- The taste of dried shimeji mushrooms are acquired, but pack a punch in flavour when added to soups and stews
- They are immune boosting and have antioxidant properties
- You can use these in a variety of soups and stews and can be found in many recipes
Be sure you are buying these from a reputable source as there are cases where they are fake
I like to soak them and then rub them a bit to ensure they’re clean. This is to remove any potential drying agents or additives that are added as part of the drying process.
- Be sure to soak them for at least an hour until they are soft or they’ll be hard to digest
Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?
Check it out in my video to learn more!
They are much more commonly known in China as 真姬菇 (zhēn jī gū) or 玉皇菇 (yù huáng gū). I’ve never heard them being called 日本蘑菇 (rìběn mógu) which just means Japan Mushrooms.
Another version is the Jade Gill Mushroom (海鲜菇 hǎi xiān gū), a type of shimeji which does not grow in clumps, bt which grow individually.