Recipe by Chef Cindy
Shiitake mushrooms are incredible! Shiitake Mushrooms are touted for their medicinal benefits, and they taste delicious when added to recipes either as a topping or incorporated as a recipe ingredient. But, a favorite way to cook them is to simply Roast Shiitake Mushrooms. Roasting Shiitake Mushrooms brings out a crispy, almost "bacon" like flavor and texture! It is a tasty substitute for bacon when converting to a vegan recipe. It's that easy!
How to Prep Mushrooms
Sometimes prepping mushrooms can become time-consuming, especially when cooking with the known "dirtier" one's portobello, cremini, or button mushrooms. But preparing Shiitake Mushrooms couldn't be easier! I cut off the "dirty" part of the stem and slice them according to the recipe. Yes, you may experience an ick factor by not rinsing the mushrooms, but they cook better when not touched by water. Mushrooms are like sponges and soak up moisture quickly. But if it makes you feel more comfortable, take a damp cloth (or paper towel) and swipe each mushroom cap clean. If you do decide to rinse underwater, do it right before using and dry thoroughly.
How to Roast Shiitake Mushrooms
Once the Shiitake Mushrooms are prepped, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scatter the mushrooms. Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil, sprinkle them with sea salt and then shift them around (I use my hands), to insure that all the mushrooms are covered with oil and salt.
Roast Shiitake Mushrooms at 400° for 20 - 30 minutes or until they are crispy. Remove and set aside, uncovered until ready to use.
How to Store Mushrooms
If purchasing the mushrooms already packaged, store them refrigerated in their original container. When buying them loose, store them refrigerated in a paper bag or plastic bag with a paper towel to absorb any moisture. They will hold well for up to 5 days if purchased fresh.
It is best to use Roast Shiitake Mushrooms the day that they are made. But, if you do have leftovers, refrigerate the cooked mushrooms and incorporate them into another recipe. They will lose their crispiness but not their flavor or medicinal benefits!
Are mushrooms sustainable?
Mushrooms are one of the most, if not the most, sustainably produced foods in the United States! Mushrooms need very little land to grow. Thanks to vertical farming technology, billions of pounds of mushrooms are grown on only a few acres of land. After the mushrooms are collected, the soil can be recycled and used for other purposes because it is still extremely high in nutrients. In addition, mushrooms need very little water to grow. It takes less than two gallons of water to grow 1 pound of button mushrooms which is incredibly low considering other vegetables use ten times that amount. The amount of carbon dioxide generated by mushrooms is also much lower than most vegetables; 1 pound of mushrooms, emit about 0.7 pounds of CO2 equivalent emissions, according to a study conducted by The Mushroom Council. So next time you are trying to decide what ingredient to use to spice up your dinner, reach for the mushrooms... for taste, nutrients, and environmental peace of mind!
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