Before you go out buying Japanese mushrooms to make your favorite dish – learn about the types of Japanese mushrooms that are available!
The well-balanced diet that the Japanese follow is known to have a positive effect on your health, longevity, and slimness. Mushrooms are a huge part of Japanese cuisine, and there is not just one variety of it.
There are so many different types of Japanese mushrooms, which are all equally healthy. I have put together some of the most common types of Japanese mushrooms in this guide.
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Types of Japanese Mushroom
The name ‘Shiitake’ has been taken from one of the mushroom trees ‘Shii’ and ‘take’ means mushroom, which makes it Shiitake or Shii mushroom. They are found in different colors like tan to dark brown, and white stems.
For people who want an alternative option of meat, this mushroom can be a great choice as in terms of texture, shiitake mushrooms are hard and have a smoky and meaty flavor which even helps enhance different dishes. Their unique taste and essence work magically in soups and stir-fries, so get ready to enjoy them.
I absolutely loved the mushroom dish cooked with different vegetables which even developed the flavor in a much better way.
I soak the dried mushrooms for several hours to get the best taste in the dish as when they are rehydrated, the flavor pops out beautifully. To cook the fresh ones, just keep a check on its stem’s tenderness as they can also be used in soups.
Eating mushrooms can have a great impact on improving heart health as it balances the intake of copper in the body. It also helps in curing viruses, tumors, and inflammations.
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We all have seen mushrooms with large brown caps, but have you ever heard about this type from Japan? This mushroom type, which is named as ‘Maitake’, is known for its funny shape and is also known by the name of ‘dancing mushroom’. These delicious mushrooms are found in the forests of Japan, China, Europe, and North America.
I just love the texture of these mushrooms as they are extremely soft and have feathery leaves that just make the mushroom look like a flower. Either you remove them or just cook the mushroom in the same form, it is still going to taste delicious.
These mushrooms are great antioxidants and also contain vitamins D and C. Intake of these mushrooms helps in lowering down blood sugar and also boosting the immune system that keeps you away from virals and other health problems. For the ones fighting cancer and diabetes, it’s a great natural cure!
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This one is the King mushroom of all the varieties available in Japan. Its availability in different regions has made it popular across the country. Also having a rich and royal flavor to it has made it a favorite. Talking about how this mushroom looks, it is the largest oyster mushroom that has a meaty texture with a small brown cap with a white stem.
Preparing the dish from these mushrooms is not at all a complex process. Broil, grill, or cook with your favorite veggies and enjoy their rawness. Also, it is only after cooking this mushroom when you get an amazing aroma and flavor.
It is extremely beneficial to health as it contains high amounts of energy, vitamin D, carbohydrates, and Niacin, which eventually prepare your body to fight infections, tumors, skin-related issues and also improves blood circulation. Being a good source of protein, this is also the best option for vegan and vegetarian people.
Enoki mushroom is a cluster-like mushroom that doesn’t have a strong taste but when added to different dishes, it adds a touch of fungal delicacy to it. These look different from the usual look mushrooms.
When I first held these mushrooms, it felt like a bunch of white flowers. They are thin, long, and tender. Since they do not have a very strong flavor to them, they are mainly eaten in hot pot dishes which are very famous in Japan.
With other vegetables and meats, these mushrooms are added to enhance the flavor with their crunchy and fruity flavor. At the same time, they are healthy and are high in proteins and minerals with the goodness of vitamin B and D attached to it.
Since they also have a good amount of fibers, they help in improving the digestive system and hence very beneficial to the whole body.
If you want to taste the culture of Japan, then you must not go wrong with the mushrooms! This Japanese mushroom ‘Matsutake’ is a very famous and known mushroom from all the others.
With a spicy and earthy flavor attached to it, it makes the dishes extremely flavorful and tasty. Matsutake mushrooms are mostly preferred with rice as their spicy aroma and raw taste just enhance the taste beautifully.
While keeping its healthy characteristics in mind, they are very helpful to people suffering heart-related issues. This also is full of copper and vitamins that make the immunity stronger and helps fighting chronic disease.
Most of the healthy things don’t taste really good and you may think that this type of mushroom would be just like that. But believe me, it is not true.
Have you ever tried mushrooms with chocolate? I bet you haven’t. This mushroom is most compatible with chocolate dishes because of its slimy and slippery texture. Other than that, they are great with miso soups and Oden. They taste a bit nutty that brings out an amazing combination with other ingredients.
They contain all the healthy characteristics which you need to strengthen your immunity system. These act like great antioxidants that eventually helps in fighting cancer disease too.
Shimeji mushrooms are found in the form of the group which has different shapes and color to it. They are tender and have a small cap on top.
With different health benefits attached to them, they are also very versatile in nature. You name any Japanese dish and you will find these in that. I personally liked them in miso soup and kya hot pots as their earthy and raw flavor modify the flavor to a great extent.
Although they do smell bad when in their raw form but taste absolutely delicious and crunchy when cooked properly. For an amazingly delicious soupy snack, get your hands on these and enjoy the treat!
What are Japanese Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are an essential part of Japanese cuisine and are loved by all because of their nutritious properties and healthy characteristics. I love dishes prepared with mushrooms. There are multiple types of mushrooms that you must know about. Other than that, it’s not at all complicated to cook a dish from mushrooms. Before starting to know about Japanese mushrooms, you must know that ‘take’ means ‘Mushroom’ in Japanese.
Mushrooms in Japanese cuisine
Mushroom is known as ‘kinoko’ in Japanese. It forms quite an essential part of the Japanese cuisine. Most of the types of mushrooms that we know about have stems and caps. There are also some that have little frills on the underside of the cap.
It is the umami of the mushroom that we need to look for. So, what does Umami mean? It simply means ‘deliciousness’. This umami flavor is distinct by its rich and savory flavor.
Japanese mushrooms are simply delicious, but they are also known to be extremely healthy and they also have nutritional benefits. I love consuming Japanese mushrooms when I am on a diet. These mushrooms fulfill my nutritional needs and make sure that I am not consuming too many calories.
Mushrooms are also known as low-cholesterol food. And you can add these Japanese mushrooms to your diet to add some variety.
Tips on buying and preserving mushrooms
Japanese mushrooms are available all throughout the year, irrespective of the season. These are available in a sealed bag. When you are out selecting mushrooms, try to look for the ones that feel firm when you touch them. They should also be free of bruises or blemishes. You must also stay away from those that are starting to release moisture or look withered.
Never wash your mushrooms until you are ready to cook them. I have made that mistake and regretted it. Instead, keep your mushrooms in a sealed bag and keep them inside the refrigerator.
But I have found out that the best way to preserve them is by drying and dehydrating them. You can also keep them in a plastic container and cover them with plastic wrap. Make sure to poke a few holes in the plastic.
Ready for some mushroom-y delight?
I make sure that I include Japanese mushrooms in my diet. They are extremely beneficial and I always feel positive changes happening because of them. They also make sure I am not short on nutrients. I also get the right amount of calories with them. What else? They are extremely delicious and quite easy to prepare. I hope you found this guide informative and you are already looking for these Japanese mushrooms.
Erika is the main author of the website. She is obsessed with Japanese products and always looks for an opportunity to share her love for Japanese products with everybody around her! She combined her love for writing, research and testing products to create Best Japanese Products. When she’s not reviewing latest Japanese products, you’ll find her pampering her cats. Erika is the definition of ‘The Crazy Cat Lady’.