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Old 10-23-2021, 01:47 PM   #1
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Question Questions about shitake mushrooms

I want to make this Vegan Stir Fry or Oyster Sauce, but I don't have any dried shitake mushrooms. I can get fresh shitake mushrooms with my produce+ basket, and they are on special this week. If I had the time to make this now, I would probably just use the fresh shitakes, but I won't have time until about a month from now.

What would be the best way to preserve those 'shrooms?
  1. Dry them? I have a dehydrate setting on my toaster oven. Any tips on drying them?
  2. Freeze them? How should I prep them for freezing? Can they be frozen raw?
  3. Any other suggestions for storing them for a month or more?

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Old 10-23-2021, 01:54 PM   #2
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If it were me, I'd dehydrate them, then rehydrate when time to used them ( but after rehydrating, kinda squeeze out the excess moisture before sir frying).

Ive never froze them before, so Im not sure how that would work. Maybe someone has frozen them in the past and can comment on that .

I actually made a similar " oyster sauce" in the past. Obviously doesn't taste like oyster sauce, but as the site mentions, its a good way to add umami too a dish.

(Coincidentally, I literally just walked inside after picking 55 shiitake of my log, and now thinking what im going to do with all of them).
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Old 10-23-2021, 04:23 PM   #3
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I have frozen shiitake and they are fine, of course you will want to squeeze the water out, I would save the squeezed water to replace water in the recipe or refreeze for soup. As for dehydrating them - stem and place the caps in a paper bag, fold over and place on the counter. Shake the bag a coup;e times a day till desired dryness, only takes a few days. Less chance of over drying in the dehydrator or oven.

I always buy the "old" mushrooms, of any type, and dry them or put in the freezer. Good for soups on the fly.
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:22 AM   #4
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PF, do you also dry the stems after they are taken off the caps?
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Old 10-25-2021, 02:18 PM   #5
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taxy, zip over to the Asian market place we went to. You can buy a huge bag of dried shiitake for pennies! Far less expensive than the fresh.

I wanted some for a recipe and while in the grocers nearly choked when I saw the price, $4.50 compared to $1.80 for white or crimini. I came home and finally found my dried ones buried in the pantry.

I've since used them all up but am planning a trip to the market soon (I hope).
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
PF, do you also dry the stems after they are taken off the caps?
Yes and powder them to shake into soups, meat dishes.
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Old 10-30-2021, 03:16 PM   #7
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If it were me, I'd dehydrate them, then rehydrate when time to used them ( but after rehydrating, kinda squeeze out the excess moisture before sir frying).

Ive never froze them before, so Im not sure how that would work. Maybe someone has frozen them in the past and can comment on that .

I actually made a similar " oyster sauce" in the past. Obviously doesn't taste like oyster sauce, but as the site mentions, its a good way to add umami too a dish.

(Coincidentally, I literally just walked inside after picking 55 shiitake of my log, and now thinking what im going to do with all of them).

55 mushrooms, they must be starting to pay for themselves? It's so cool that you are getting more of them.
I want to hear 250 mushrooms next time.....an unrealistic dream I had.



My take on shiitake and button mushrooms:

If you buy 100 lbs of mushrooms with 85-95% water content, then you are drying them, you have more or less 10 lbs of dried mushrooms. (moisture content of powder effects that more or less) So if you wanted to buy some dried shiitakes, they might cost about



$25/lb. In fresh mushrooms that would be about 10 lbs of fresh. So if you can get fresh shiitakes at $2.50/lb or less, then go for it. Otherwise buy dried, right? (well if you want to waste money, go you! this is probably not the post for you.)



In my part of the country, mushrooms rarely go, any type, for $2.00/lb or less. So I always buy dried. Except when mushrooms are on sale. These are usually white button, usually not sliced. They are usually not washed, they are very good though. And we like button for the texture and flavor and we make mushroom lasagna.



The canned mushrooms are actually a good value. If you can them yourself they will be more expensive than buying canned (you must have cans on hand, use time and energy on yourself and your stove).



If you can put up with the salt content of canned mushrooms. You'll still have to shop and see the prices and decide, but 79 cents for 8 oz, is equivalent to a half lb of mushrooms that are cooked, so make a choice and decide for yourself. I don't know what sale prices for canned foods are for other parts of the country.



4 lbs of fresh button mushrooms unsliced and unwashed, will go on sale for $2.00/lb. When cooked down about 60 oz. Equivalent to 7.5 cans, similar price, in cans, less work for us so we buy canned. It's one of the only vegetables we buy canned, for now.


Prices change, shipping changes, economy changes, diets change, covid ... I...won't...even...go there and how it changed money for everyone.
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Old 10-30-2021, 03:52 PM   #8
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I bought locally grown shitake mushrooms. The dried ones available online don't usually say where they were grown.

I tried drying them in a large paper bag. By day three, some of them were growing a bit of mould. So, I put the rest of them in the toaster oven on dehydrate. It didn't take very long. A few were still a bit soft, so I let those air dry until they were no longer even a little bit soft. Yes, they did shrink down to about 10% of the fresh weight.

When I have let white or brown "regular" mushrooms dry out in a paper bag, they have never grown mould. They just dried out nicely.
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Old 10-30-2021, 03:53 PM   #9
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HEAR HEAR for blissful!!!
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Old 10-30-2021, 04:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by blissful View Post
55 mushrooms, they must be starting to pay for themselves? It's so cool that you are getting more of them.
I want to hear 250 mushrooms next time.....an unrealistic dream I had.
Up to 100 and now with todays rain, I see 5 more starting . Im getting there.

dry any mushroom that got pushed to the back of the fridge and started the process without me.

Normally I mix the bunch and have an assorted mushroom powder.
I blend them up into a powder, then sift them and separate the little pieces from the powder itself .
I store them separately as sometimes I just want powder and other times I like the little bits and pieces ( and sometimes both).

Since I have an over abundance to shiitake at one time, I clipped off the stems prior to drying the heads. I dried them separately.
I will save the dried heads and leave them whole.

The stems Ill powder up and keep a separate jar of shiitake powder, since it has a more distinct flavor, I may want to use it solely as shiitake powder.
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Old 10-30-2021, 04:31 PM   #11
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Have to admit, I may have seen fresh shiitakes at some stage, but it was a long time ago. I usually buy the bags of dried in the Chinese market then rehydrate - without the stems.
Dehydrated fresh mushrooms, as Blissful so rightly pointed out, produce less than 10% . In fact , a few weeks ago I had 2 kgs of button mushrooms and dehydrated half. It only gave me 50 gms. Shiitake are meatier, so they´d probably give you more than that.
However, dried mushrooms are more intense in flavour, so that might be the best route for you, Taxlady. as for freezing them - I´ve never done it but can only imagine the (unfrozen) mushrooms would lose some of their texture.
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Old 10-30-2021, 04:35 PM   #12
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Coincidentally, I literally just walked inside after picking 55 shiitake of my log, and now thinking what im going to do with all of them.
Larry… so does this just happen to be a natural occurrence in your neck of the woods (envy), or did you do something to promote this?
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Old 10-30-2021, 05:26 PM   #13
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Larry… so does this just happen to be a natural occurrence in your neck of the woods (envy), or did you do something to promote this?

He's my most purposefully trying to grow mushrooms person. He should be famous, or at least, someone to admire for his trying so hard to grow them.
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Old 10-30-2021, 05:28 PM   #14
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Up to 100 and now with todays rain, I see 5 more starting . Im getting there.

dry any mushroom that got pushed to the back of the fridge and started the process without me.

Normally I mix the bunch and have an assorted mushroom powder.
I blend them up into a powder, then sift them and separate the little pieces from the powder itself .
I store them separately as sometimes I just want powder and other times I like the little bits and pieces ( and sometimes both).

Since I have an over abundance to shiitake at one time, I clipped off the stems prior to drying the heads. I dried them separately.
I will save the dried heads and leave them whole.

The stems Ill powder up and keep a separate jar of shiitake powder, since it has a more distinct flavor, I may want to use it solely as shiitake powder.

I do the same, I dry them, crush them, process them sift them, store chunks and powder separate, and use that when I'm looking for umami.
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Old 10-30-2021, 09:09 PM   #15
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Larry… so does this just happen to be a natural occurrence in your neck of the woods (envy), or did you do something to promote this?
The quick simple answer is, no, these mushrooms dont normally grow in my area.

I go to a website and buy specific mushroom spawn ( in the shiitake's case) inoculated wood dowels. I then find an appropriate log ( each mushroom variety requires a certain type of wood or substrate too grow in). The shiitake do best in oak, and due to the misfortune of a bad storm last year, I took advantage of some fallen trees and acquired some oak logs. Holes are then drilled, the dowels are hammered into the hold, and wax is is melted then placed on the exposed part of the dowels and the ends of the log, to keep the log hydrated. Then its just time. takes 6 months to a year. kept primarily in shade in a place the sprinklers can hit it and keep the moisture up. And then one day, usually when least expecting it, mushrooms appear. the will theoretically produce several flushes of shrooms before going dormant. Then will do the same year after year , up to 5 years.

I have been growing ( trying to grow) mushrooms for years. I started with Button Mushroom kits. Then Cremini mushrooms. Tried my hand at lions mane. I did a few shiitake Log kits indoors, but didnt have much luck. The outdoor version worked out much better. And now, im doing oyster ( indoors).

I tried also doing morels which didnt work out, But, now after a little experience , a little older, and hopefully a little wiser, I may give it a go again. Im planning on ordering a morel mushroom garden kit, and Wine cap mushrooms ( they have like a Burgundy cap). Both are for outdoor growing. Wont cost much and will give me something to do. also, a nice way to use up shady areas of my yard, where no other veggies will grow.

If I have any luck with the morels or wine cap, Ill start a thread on my success ( or failure).
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Old 10-30-2021, 10:21 PM   #16
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Have to admit, I may have seen fresh shiitakes at some stage, but it was a long time ago. I usually buy the bags of dried in the Chinese market then rehydrate - without the stems.
Dehydrated fresh mushrooms, as Blissful so rightly pointed out, produce less than 10% . In fact , a few weeks ago I had 2 kgs of button mushrooms and dehydrated half. It only gave me 50 gms. Shiitake are meatier, so they´d probably give you more than that.
However, dried mushrooms are more intense in flavour, so that might be the best route for you, Taxlady. as for freezing them - I´ve never done it but can only imagine the (unfrozen) mushrooms would lose some of their texture.
Losing texture would be irrelevant for my use. It's for a stir fry sauce that is a vegan substitute for oyster sauce. They are going to be chopped, sautéed, and then blended with the other ingredients until smooth. I have frozen regular mushrooms. I sauté them in butter and then freeze them. That works just fine, but wouldn't be right for this recipe and it's more work than I had hoped to have. We are in a time crunch moving books and clearing space to let an electrician get access to all our electrical outlets and ceiling fixtures.

I don't know if it's true, but I read that dried shitake mushrooms have more umami than fresh ones. I do have to wonder if the person stating that was comparing a reasonable amount of dried to the fresh. I don't think there's any doubt that 5 grams of dried 'shrooms will have more umami than 5 grams of fresh ones.
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Old 10-31-2021, 02:45 AM   #17
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Taxlady , I made this ' vegan ' oyster sauce from the following link a few years ago. It definitely was filled with umami flavor. Not sure if its similar to the recipe you will be using.

https://woonheng.com/vegan-stir-fry-sauce/
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Old 10-31-2021, 05:18 AM   #18
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Taxlady , I made this ' vegan ' oyster sauce from the following link a few years ago. It definitely was filled with umami flavor. Not sure if its similar to the recipe you will be using.

https://woonheng.com/vegan-stir-fry-sauce/
That's pretty similar. It's the same one. What did you think of it beyond having lots of umami? Was it too sweet, not sweet enough? Do you still use it? Do you change anything in the recipe?
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Old 11-01-2021, 12:09 PM   #19
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I only made it the one time. Due to the amount of shiitake's in it, it obviously has a shiitake flavor, but in liquid form, so it spreads out through the whole dish.

I remember liking it, although I did only make it the one time ( a few years ago) so I dont remember the sweet/ salt aspect. Most times I make a recipe for the first time, I follow it exactly , so I didnt make any changes.

All that being said, since I never made it again, I either wasnt very crazy about it, didnt find much of a use for it, or it was too much effort for the result. I dont remember which.

Or, could have just forgot about it

I would make it again, but would have to pay more attention to it.
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Old 11-01-2021, 12:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
I only made it the one time. Due to the amount of shiitake's in it, it obviously has a shiitake flavor, but in liquid form, so it spreads out through the whole dish.

I remember liking it, although I did only make it the one time ( a few years ago) so I dont remember the sweet/ salt aspect. Most times I make a recipe for the first time, I follow it exactly , so I didnt make any changes.

All that being said, since I never made it again, I either wasnt very crazy about it, didnt find much of a use for it, or it was too much effort for the result. I dont remember which.

Or, could have just forgot about it

I would make it again, but would have to pay more attention to it.
I'm trying to avoid the weird stuff in commercial oyster sauce, which I also find overly sweet.

Thanks for mentioning the shitake flavour spreading to the entire dish. DH isn't a fan of mushrooms, but doesn't mind a bit. When I make this, I will try to remember to use it in a side dish. That way I won't ruin an entire meal for DH, if he hates the pervasiveness of the shitake flavour.
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