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Re-hydrating and Storing
Shitake Mushrooms

Chinese dried Shiitake Mushrooms (also called Black Mushrooms) have an intense meaty flavor that add to the flavor of soups, stir-fries, and Asian or Chinese dishes. However, the dried mushrooms must first be rehydrated.  This is how I how you can store and enjoy them for 6 months to 25 years, with some fun information about Shiitake Mushrooms.

Rehydrated Shiitake Mushrooms

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Discover the Art of Mushroom Rehydration: Unlock the secrets to perfectly rehydrating mushrooms with our comprehensive guide. Our step-by-step instructions will demystify the process, ensuring your mushrooms are plump, flavorful, and ready to elevate your dishes. Learn the precise soaking times, water temperatures, and essential tips to store them to achieve the best results.

How to Rehydrate Shiitake Mushrooms

  1. Prepare the Mushrooms:

    • Measure the amount of dried shiitake mushrooms you need (about 2 cups) and place them in a bowl.

  2. Cover with Boiling Water:

    • Bring water to a boil, and then carefully pour the boiling water over the dried shiitake mushrooms in the bowl. Make sure all the mushrooms are fully covered by the hot water.

  3. Seal with a Zip Lock Bag:

    • Place the bowl with the mushrooms and hot water inside a gallon-sized zip lock bag. Slide the bowl in while the bag is open.

    • Seal the zip lock bag tightly, locking in the steam and heat. This process will help the mushrooms rehydrate more efficiently.

  4. Soak for 1 to 2 Hours (or Longer):

    • Allow the mushrooms to soak in the hot water for 1 to 2 hours. You can even soak them for up to 24 hours in advance, starting in the morning or the night before.

  5. Remove the Stems:

    • After the mushrooms have rehydrated, carefully take them out of the water. The stems of shiitake mushrooms can be tough and chewy, so it's recommended to remove them. You can use kitchen scissors to cut the stems out.

  6. Slice the Mushrooms:

    • Lay 2 to 3 rehydrated mushrooms on top of each other and slice them thinly. This will create thin slices of shiitake mushrooms that you can use in various dishes.

  7. Use the Broth:

    • The water you used to rehydrate the mushrooms will now be a flavorful mushroom broth. You can use this broth in soups, stews, or other dishes to add a rich, meaty flavor.

  8. Cook and Enjoy:

    • You can sauté the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms as a side dish or add them to stir-fries, pasta dishes, ramen noodles, and more.

Remember that rehydrated shiitake mushrooms can have a strong and distinct flavor, and they also offer health benefits. They can add depth and umami to your meals.

How To Store shiitake mushrooms properly 

Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms

Short-Term Storage (Up to a Week):


  1. Do Not Wash: Avoid washing the mushrooms before storing them, as excess moisture can cause them to deteriorate quickly.

  2. Paper Towel: Gently wipe any dirt or debris off the mushrooms using a slightly damp paper towel. Be gentle to avoid damaging the delicate caps.

  3. Breathable Container: Place the cleaned mushrooms in a paper bag, a breathable produce storage bag, or a partially open container lined with paper towels. This helps absorb excess moisture and allows air circulation.

  4. Refrigeration: Put the container or bag in the vegetable crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Shiitake mushrooms can stay fresh for up to a week if stored this way.


Long-Term Storage (Dried Shiitake Mushrooms):

  1. Keep Dry: Dried shiitake mushrooms have a longer shelf life and more intense flavor compared to fresh ones. Store them in a cool, dry place in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight and moisture. You can store them in quart jars with oxygen absorbers to keep them for long term storage.

  2. Rehydration: To use dried shiitake mushrooms, follow the rehydration process mentioned above. After rehydrating, you can use them immediately or store them in the refrigerator for a few days. 

  3. For long-term storage:  it's advisable to store them in a cool, dark place. This helps preserve their flavor, quality, and shelf life. Airtight containers placed in a cool, dark pantry or cupboard are ideal for keeping dried shiitake mushrooms in optimal condition. Make sure the storage area is dry and well-ventilated as well. This method helps prevent exposure to light, moisture, and temperature fluctuations, which can degrade the mushrooms' quality over time.


Remember that freshness is key when it comes to mushrooms. If you notice any signs of spoilage, such as a slimy texture, off smells, or discoloration, it's best to discard them.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Shiitake Mushrooms:

  1. What are shiitake mushrooms? Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) are edible fungi known for their distinct flavor and health benefits. They have a meaty texture and are often used in various culinary dishes.

  2. How do I cook with fresh shiitake mushrooms? Fresh shiitake mushrooms can be sautéed, stir-fried, added to soups, stews, risottos, and more. Remember to remove the tough stems before cooking.

  3. What if I have dried shiitake mushrooms? Dried shiitake mushrooms offer intense flavor. Rehydrate them by soaking in hot water for 1-2 hours, then remove the stems and slice. The soaking liquid can be used as a flavorful broth.

  4. Are shiitake mushrooms good for you? Yes, shiitake mushrooms are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They're believed to boost the immune system, support heart health, and provide anti-inflammatory properties.

  5. Can I eat the shiitake mushroom stems? While the stems are edible, they can be tough and chewy. For better texture, it's recommended to remove and discard the stems, or use them to enhance broths.

  6. What is umami, and do shiitake mushrooms have it? Umami is one of the five basic tastes, often described as savory and rich. Shiitake mushrooms are known for their strong umami flavor, which can enhance the taste of various dishes.

  7. Do shiitake mushrooms have any health benefits? Shiitake mushrooms are believed to have various health benefits due to their nutritional content. They contain compounds that may support the immune system, lower cholesterol, and reduce inflammation.

  8. Can shiitake mushrooms be used in vegetarian or vegan dishes? Absolutely! Shiitake mushrooms are a popular choice for adding depth and umami to vegetarian and vegan dishes. They can replace meat in many recipes.

  9. Are shiitake mushrooms safe to eat raw? While shiitake mushrooms are typically cooked before consumption due to their tough texture and strong flavor, some people do enjoy them raw in salads and other dishes. However, cooking can enhance their flavor and make them more digestible.

  10. How can I incorporate shiitake mushrooms into my meals? Shiitake mushrooms can be used in a variety of dishes, such as soups, stir-fries, risottos, omelets, pasta, and even as toppings for pizza.

  11. Can I grow shiitake mushrooms at home? Yes, shiitake mushrooms can be cultivated at home using logs or mushroom-growing kits. It's a rewarding way to have fresh mushrooms at your fingertips.

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