The shiitake is a staple in traditional Asian cuisine and has become a more acknowledged mushroom in North America over the last decade. These are known for their earthy and umami flavors as well as dense texture.
If used in a soup, dried shiitakes can be added directly to the broth, where they'll soften as the soup simmers. Otherwise, dried shiitakes need to be rehydrated and soaked in hot water before they're used in a recipe. The stems are too tough to eat, but can add good flavor to stocks and stews; just discard them before serving.
Store dried mushrooms in an airtight container until ready to use. Must be reconstituted and can never be eaten raw. Reconstitute in warm water, stock or wine.
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