Translated from Japanese, "shii" refers to the tree on which these mushrooms originally grew, while "také" simply means mushroom. These little beauties are venerated not just because of their primordial origin, but because of the many health-boosting properties they contain, discovered over centuries of ancient medicine.
Having no roots, leaves, blossoms, or seeds, shiitake mushrooms fall into a special category: fungus. Famous for their rich texture and smoky flavor, they're the second most commonly cultivated edible mushrooms, readily available on market shelves worldwide. Compared with white button mushrooms, shiitakes are purported to have more than 10 times the flavor. This can intensify when they're dried and reconstituted by soaking in water.
Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms
Comparing the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients between foods, shiitake mushrooms are completely unique. Copper figures most prominently, with 65% of the daily value per serving, significant because copper is one of the few metallic elements accompanied by amino and fatty acids, essential to human health. Linoleic acid is one. Since the body can't synthesize copper, our diets must supply it regularly.
Shiitake mushrooms are not common at the supermarket in my neck of the woods. I'm glad I've found dried shiitake online. Long shelf life. As tasty as the fresh ones. Great for Asian dishes.