We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Dried Shiitake?

By T. Briseno
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Dried shiitake refers to shiitake mushrooms that have been dehydrated. Mushrooms have a high water content and can spoil quickly, but drying them can increase shelf life while preserving their flavor. Shiitake mushrooms, also called Black Forest or Japanese mushrooms, are an Asian variety, and dried shiitake is common in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisine as well as in some Thai dishes. Technically, shiitake mushrooms are edible sporophores, or spore-making fungus, and they form on the bark of trees.

In its fresh form, a shiitake looks a lot like a common, button mushroom in shape but it is flatter on the top and has a much thinner stem. It is also darker in color, mostly tan or light brown and grayish underneath its cap. Grocery and specialty stores sell dried shiitake whole, as caps or top parts only, or as mixed pieces, and often the dried varieties are shrunken or shriveled-looking from having their water pulled out through the dehydration process. Many cooks find the stems inedible, but others note that they are easier to work with when dried and then rehydrated.

Fresh shiitake is very flavorful and adds texture to soups and salads, among other dishes, and dried shiitake retains its mushroom taste. Often the flavor intensifies, taking on a richer or nuttier quality. Using dried shiitake involves rehydrating or reconstituting the mushroom. Water, wine, and soup stocks are some liquids used to add water back into dried mushrooms, and in addition to reviving the mushroom, the liquid takes on much of the flavors and can be used to enhance a recipe.

Some common dishes made with dried shiitake are pastas, soups, and stir-fries. While the stems of fresh shiitake mushrooms can be tough or chewy in texture, a number of recipes call for adding them as flavoring for gravies and sauces and chopping them finely or discarding them afterward. Most methods of cooking, whether fried, sauteed, or broiled, for example, seem to heighten the meatiness of dried shiitake, giving it a heavier and deeper taste similar to that of portobello mushrooms.

According to the American Cancer Society, dried shiitake may be an ingredient for good health as well. Compounds within the mushroom have been shown to reduce cholesterol, fight cancer, and impede tumor growth in some studies, but results are not definitive. Many Chinese and Japanese practitioners have treated patients with dried shiitake extracts for centuries, and these methods have been gaining ground in Europe and the United States in more recent decades. Whether or not the benefits are conclusive, the shiitake will likely continue as one of the most commonly eaten fungi in the world for taste alone.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.