Kitchen Tips

Getting to Know Asian Mushrooms

The effect that mushrooms can have on health are varied, but they are mostly known for their immunity-boosting properties. They are an excellent source of antioxidants and they are widely used in Asian cuisine. The dishes made with the different types of Asian mushrooms are likely to whet your appetite. These are some of the commonly available Asian mushrooms in Australia that you can find in markets or Asian grocers.

Getting to Know Asian Mushrooms:

1. Chinese or Shiitake mushrooms

Chinese mushrooms, or Shiitake mushrooms, are the most commonly used mushrooms in Asian dishes, as they are grown across China and Japan. Their unique flavour can replace other varieties of mushrooms in any dish. They have a pleasant flavour and can absorb the taste of the other ingredients in the dish. They are available in both dried and fresh forms, and are great additions to stir fries and hot pots. To prepare the dry mushrooms for cooking, they must be soaked in water first. Chinese mushrooms are very popular in Asian cuisine. Check out our recipe for Braised Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots.

shiitake Asian mushrooms

Image Courtesy: Liliana Fuchs used under the Creative Commons Licence

2. Enoki or Straw mushrooms

These needle-like mushrooms get their name from their straw shaped appearance. There are many varieties that have different colours and sizes including pale white, brown and even gold. They have an earthy and mild flavour and can be used to impart flavour in a recipe. They can be used like other mushrooms but are especially delicious in soups. Because of their delicate shape, they take much shorter to cook than larger types of mushrooms.

enoki - Chinese or Shiitake mushrooms

Image Courtesy: chotda used under the Creative Commons Licence

3. Oyster mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are fan-shaped mushrooms with a fleshy texture. They have a peppery, robust flavour and are used in salads, soups or stir-fries. They are easily available in local markets and can be a great addition to your curries and soups too.

Enoki or Straw mushrooms

Image Courtesy: Leslie Seaton used under the Creative Commons Licence

4. Shimeji mushrooms

These mushrooms are popular in Japan where they are added to hotpots, soups and even steamed together with rice. They are also can be sautéed with some oil to be a dish on their own. They must be cooked before consuming if not, they will have a bitter taste.


Shimeji mushrooms

Image Courtesy: Emran Kassim used under the Creative Commons Licence

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