This post focuses on another key Japanese dashi stock – Shiitake dashi (干し椎茸の出汁) Its distinctive beautiful aroma and delicate taste enhance any Japanese dish. Shiitake dashi is made by extracting its umami flavour guanylic acid from dried shiitake mushrooms (hoshi shiitake). It has often been used for “Shōjin Ryōri” due to its distinctive characteristics. Also, this dashi is fantastic for vegetarian and vegan dietary requirements.
What is Shiitake Dashi?
Shiitake dashi is Japanese dashi stock made from dried shiitake mushrooms (hoshi shiitake). The liquid used to reconstitute the dried shiitake mushrooms contains high quantities of the umami component; guanylic acid. It has been used for “Shōjin Ryōri” which is the vegetarian (and often vegan) dining style of Buddist monks in Japan.
How to Choose Good Hoshi Shiitake?
Choose Hoshi shiitake mushrooms which are completely dried and the surface of the mushroom’s cap is light brown and glossy. Also, the back of the mushroom cap is light pale yellow and the stem is short. The mushrooms harvested in spring are said to have a good aroma. I usually purchase from a local Japanese grocery store which stock shiitake mushrooms harvested in Japan which are called “Donko”
How to Make This Shiitake Dashi?
Clean the dried shiitake mushrooms by shaking briefly in a bowl of water or wipe with a well wrung damp cloth. Fill a container with water and the dried shiitake mushrooms. Place a weight on the shiitake mushrooms in order to submerge the mushroom completely. Let stand overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the shiitake mushrooms next morning.
Tips to Make Successful Dashi.
- To extract the umami flavour; guanylic acid, steep the dried mushroom in cold water for over 10 hours. Using either room temperature or hot water reduces enzyme activity to make guanylic acid.
- Place a small plate as a weight on top of the mushrooms to completely submerge them.
How to store the Shiitake Dashi?
Same as the other types of Dashi; Katsuo, Kombu, and Niboshi dashi, it will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. You can make it in bulk and freeze them in an ice tray. When it is frozen, take them out and store in a ziplock bag. It will keep for about 3 months in the freezer.
Q: Where can I get hoshi shiitake from?
A: You can purchase from them from Japanese grocery stores or any Asian grocery stores. Or you can also buy Japanese Dried Shiitake from online stores too. Read how to choose good hoshi shiitake paragraph in the above content.
Q: Which Japanese dishes can I make with this dashi?
Q: What to do with the leftover Shiitake mushrooms?
Dashi plays a fundamental role in Japanese cuisine. It ultimately determines the overall taste of the Japanese dishes. Mastering Dashi makes cooking Japanese food more fun and definitely more flavourful! Learn how to prepare 5 different dashi broth .
- Katsuo (bonito flake) Dashi
- Kombu (dried Kelp) Dashi
- Niboshi (dried infant anchovies/sardine) Dashi
- Shiitake (dried shiitake mushrooms) Dashi
- Awase (combined) Dashi
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- 5 dried shiitake mushrooms *1
- 1cup/240ml cold water *2
- Clean the dried shiitake mushrooms by briefly shaking in a bowl of water (not listed in the ingredients list) Or wipe them with well wrung dump cloth.
- Fill a container with cold water and add the dried shiitake mushrooms to steep.
- Place a weight over the mushrooms so that mushrooms are completely submerged under the water. *3
- Let it stand overnight in the fridge.
- Remove the shiitake mushrooms next morning. *4
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