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Shiitake mushrooms: useful and medicinal properties, recipes

Plate mushrooms shiitake, called in our regions shiitake, is an exotic product. But this woody mushroom has already managed to win great popularity in a variety of areas: cosmetology, pharmacology, cooking. The name derived from the shia tree, on the dead wood of which the mushroom grows, is not the only one. It is also called the "black forest" or "Japanese" mushroom, and the scientific name sounds like Lentinus edodes.

Shiitake has a light brown cap with fringes around the edges. The surface of the cap is studded with whitish plates. The stem reaches a height of 2 centimetres and a diameter of 25 centimetres, but more often mushrooms with 5-10 centimetre caps are picked. The fibers of the base, which have a cream color, turn brown when pressed. The cap has a milky colored flesh.

Where do shiitake mushrooms grow

Shiitake is found in southeastern Asia. The mushroom is found everywhere in China, Korea, Japan and some small countries of the region. In the Asian part of Russia, the mushroom was found in the natural environment of the Far East and Primorsky Krai.

The benefits and harms of shiitake

The history of shiitake cultivation for food purposes goes back more than 2 thousand years. Over time, the production of the crop has spread around the world. Today the scale of shiitake cultivation is about half a million tons annually, with more than 30% of all production coming from mainland Europe. The leader, however, is Japan, which produces mushrooms for export and for domestic use.

Traditional medicine has recognized shiitake as the "elixir of life": it can not only strengthen the body, but also to rid it of a number of specific diseases, from which a large proportion of humanity suffers.

Composition and calories

Shiitake mushrooms are comparable to cepes or mushrooms in taste, and due to their unique composition they are considered a delicacy and are used for cooking soups, side dishes, salads, and also consumed raw and extracted.

Shiitake mushrooms are distinguished by their unique rich composition, which has high nutritional value for the body. The main components of the product are:

  1. Copper - a trace element, the content of which in this species of mushrooms is held at more than 80%. It is important for metabolic processes in the body, in which takes part iron, which provides oxygen supply to organs and tissues.
  2. Selenium - contained at a level of 45%, affects the condition of the skin and hair, as well as the deep nutrition of cells.
  3. Pantothenic acid (B5) - contains about 70%. It is important as a participant in cholesterol metabolism, all cycles of conversion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and as a catalyst for the absorption of amino acids in the intestinal sections.
  4. Choline is a substance that provides nutrition to brain cells and is involved in the metabolism of all organic compounds that come into the body with food. It is contained in shiitake at the level of 16%. This fact accounts for the wide use of mushrooms in the rejuvenation and health direction.
  5. Zinc is an important element for metabolism; it is about 11% in the mushrooms.

Shiitake also has a high level of fiber, B vitamins and A vitamins. Among macronutrients and trace elements are phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, iron.

Nutritional value of shiitake is from 34 to 56 kcal per 100 grams, depending on how the product is prepared.

Protein, fat and carbohydrates in each mushroom are distributed in the ratio 1/0.1/7.7.

Useful properties of shiitake mushrooms

The beneficial effects of shiitake mushrooms are multifaceted because they:

  1. Fit perfectly into any diet because they are a low-calorie product.
  2. Improve nerve fiber conduction and help resist stress.
  3. Reduce the content of cholesterol in the blood.
  4. Contribute to the acceleration of metabolic processes, increasing the enzymatic activity of liver enzymes, and as a consequence, improve their ability to break down.
  5. Participate in the removal of decay products and toxins from the body thanks to a choleretic effect.
  6. Recommended for people with diabetes, because they reduce blood sugar levels.
  7. Treat infectious diseases (in Chinese medicine).

Important! Long-term positive effect from the use of shiitake is felt only with the principles of proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle.

The benefits of shiitake for weight loss

Shiitake is a key component of the popular mushroom diet known as the Yamakiro System, which is used to achieve rapid results, as well as in a number of fundodiettes (in which mushrooms are the main component of the menu).

The main purpose of using this type of mushrooms for weight loss is to normalize metabolic processes in the body, as well as stimulating the ability of the liver to remove toxins and detoxes.

Nutritionists recommend combining the use of shiitake with additional physical activity and following a diet regime for a long period of time. In this case, you can achieve a noticeable and stable result, as well as saturate the body with nutrients and raise the immune system.

For weight loss shiitake is used both raw and in powder form, which is added to main dishes or used to prepare drinks.

Video: Proper nutrition for weight loss Expand

Shiitake medicinal applications

Shiitake mushrooms are famous not only for their nutritional value but also for their pharmaceutical properties, which has led to their popularity as a medicine. In European countries such as Germany, France, Great Britain, as well as in Japan, a number of drugs based on these mushrooms have been patented and are used to treat viral and cancerous diseases.

Medical Uses of Shiitake

The most active substance isolated from the fruiting body of shiitake is known. It is lentinan, a polysaccharide that has the ability to suppress the development of tumors and stimulate the body's immune response.

This type of mushroom is able to raise the activity of interferon production in the body, which is associated with its antiviral properties. In addition to the fact that shiitake has no cholesterol, the consumption of these mushrooms leads to a decrease in its concentration in the blood. This, in turn, prevents atherosclerosis and stabilizes blood pressure. It is possible to treat hypertension with "Eritadenin" - a medicine based on lentinacin, derived from shiitake.

How to prepare a tincture

The mushrooms can be infused, thus obtaining a product with all the nutrients contained in the original product in a concentrated form. Shiitake is used to make an oil or alcohol tincture. The raw material is normally mushrooms ground into a powder.

Before using the tincture, contraindications for its use should be considered:

  • pregnancy and breastfeeding;
  • tendency to be allergic to the constituents;
  • age less than five years.

Shiitake tincture is often used to stabilize blood pressure or normalize blood sugar levels.

The recipe for preparing the mushroom infusion is as follows:

  1. Take 10 grams of shiitake powder (about 6-7 teaspoons).
  2. Mix the raw material with 0.5 liters of strong alcoholic beverage (brandy or vodka).
  3. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Put in a cool place for 2 weeks.
  5. At the end of the extraction period, pass the mixture through a filter or gauze.

It is recommended to take shiitake tincture half an hour before a meal, 1 teaspoon.

The duration of treatment is 1 month, after which you need to take a break for 2 weeks.

Shiitake mushroom tincture can be used as an antitumor agent. Included in its composition of trace elements stimulate the production of the enzyme perforin, production of which in the body decreases with age. Normal levels of this enzyme ensure the timely destruction of cells affected by the mutation.

Alcoholic tincture is also used for the prevention of cancer. The ingredients are mixed in the proportions of 750 ml of alcohol per 50 grams of shiitake powder. Let the mixture stand in the storage area in the refrigerator for two weeks. After that, you should take the remedy, pre-shaken, before meals, 10 grams (1 tablespoon). The tincture can be treated from the first day of preparation, remembering to keep it in a cold place.

Shiitake extract

Mushroom extract is obtained by taking the stalk of the mushroom, as it is in it is concentrated more useful substances. The extract is used as a single remedy, added to food or combined with other medicines. Known use of the extract in ancient times, when it was used to enhance the medicinal properties of medicinal herbal gatherings.

Shiitake in cosmetology

Shiitake in cosmetology

In the last decade, cosmetology has made great advances in the use of natural ingredients. Cosmetic conglomerates worldwide are increasingly incorporating into their products shiitake extracts, which are rich in lentinan. This substance stimulates cellular repair, has anti-inflammatory, soothing and nourishing effects. Also creams, lotions and tonics based on shiitake are known for their rejuvenating effect.

Harms and contraindications

Before consuming shiitake, you should examine possible contraindications. Like any product containing a cocktail of highly active substances, these mushrooms can cause harm.

For fresh shiitake, the rate of consumption per day is 200 grams, and for dried shiitake - 18 grams. In addition, mushrooms are difficult to digest, so the first few days of use should be careful, watch the reaction of the body and start with small portions.

Frequent use in large quantities can contribute to the development of an allergic reaction to shiitake. This is especially susceptible to the unprepared body.

Women in the position and children should abandon this nutritious product, because the effects of the digestive and immune system can be unpredictable.

How to choose and store shiitake

Japan is the leader in the consumption of shiitake. Its inhabitants revere this mushroom and like to eat it both raw and dried. The widespread culture of shiitake consumption is also due to its unpretentiousness to storage conditions. Dried mushrooms are a favorite of national and industrial consumption. Raw shiitake mushrooms are consumed worldwide in 20% of the total volume.

These mushrooms should be stored at 0-2 degrees Celsius and the humidity should not exceed 95%. Under these conditions, the mushrooms will keep for several weeks.

Dried mushrooms can be kept for many months in the absence of high humidity and critically high temperatures. Dried shiitake mushrooms should be soaked for use in cooking.

To choose the best mushrooms, you should pay attention to the cap. If it has cracks or a pattern, you can safely take them - these mushrooms are the tastiest.

Shiitake mushrooms with a cap diameter of up to 5 centimeters are considered the most delicate. The best mushrooms have a 70% opening of the cap and a velvety surface that has a dark shade of brown.

How to cook shiitake mushrooms: recipes

Japanese chefs often use shiitake for everyday dishes such as miso soups and broths. Thai cuisine is dominated by stir-frying as a way to cook these mushrooms. Steamed mushroom dishes are also popular.

How to cook shiitake mushrooms

In China, shiitake is most appreciated because it is the basis of the national dish, a favorite of monks who fill Buddhist temples. The mushrooms are combined with other exotic ingredients. No one has ever been able to replicate the "Buddha's Delight" dish outside of the country.

The maximum benefit can be obtained by eating shiitake raw, but not everyone is able to appreciate their original taste. Most often the mushrooms are roasted over a quick fire with salt and served with rice or vegetables. Shiitake mushrooms can also be stewed in a sour cream sauce.

To boil shiitake use a small amount of water, they are thrown into boiling water with dill seeds and garlic. Duration of treatment - 3 minutes, after which you should remove the pot from the heat and let the mushrooms stand under a closed lid.

Note! Long heat treatment deprives shiitake flavor and makes them tough. Therefore it is important not to overcook them.

After boiling the mushrooms you can use the broth as a base for soups with a unique, rich flavor.

If you use dried shiitake, soak them before cooking. Most often the stalks are cut off and the caps are poured over with water and left to swell for 12 hours. You can soak the mushrooms in a marinade made with soy sauce, garlic, pepper, lemon juice and sesame oil. When braising shiitake, you can add the marinade during cooking or use it as a component of the sauce.

Marinated Shiitake

To prepare marinated shiitake, you should take:

  • fresh mushrooms - 500 grams;
  • salt - 2 tablespoons;
  • mustard in seeds - 2 tablespoons;
  • cloves - about 5 pieces;
  • dill - 5 umbrellas
  • bay leaf - 1 pc;
  • wine vinegar - 4 tablespoons.

Marinate mushrooms without stalks. Beforehand they must be boiled in two liters of water for a quarter of an hour. In another container, prepare the marinade by mixing the remaining components in boiling water. Then mix the boiled mushrooms with the marinade in a glass or plastic container, depending on the planned storage period. The marinating process takes three days, but the most intense flavor and aroma shiitake acquire after a week.

The legs that remain after the preparation for marinating can be used to make soup.

Video: Shiitake mushroom appetizer recipe Expand


Shiitake mushroom chips are a flavorful and savory treat. To prepare them, you should take large mushrooms. They are cut into plates, salted and sprinkled with spices to taste. Chips are fried in batter, as which you can use an ordinary batter of liquid consistency. The plates are fried separately after dipping them in a deep fryer. Before serving, the chips should be blotted to remove excess oil.

Shiitake Pilaf

Pilaf with shiitake is a spicy oriental dish. To make it, you need to take 2 cups of rice, preferably round rice, carrots and onions, salt, oil and a dozen shiitake in dried form. Add spices to taste, mixing at least 3 different ones. Before cooking, wash the mushrooms and soak for a few hours in cool water. The pilaf can be cooked in a wok or a pot with a thick bottom. Pour in the rice and cook it separately first. Carrots, onions and mushrooms cut into thin strips or slices. In the rice with water, which boiled in the pot, add the vegetables and mushrooms one by one, wait for boiling, and then add spices and salt.

Wait for the water to boil over a strong flame, and then simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. When ready, set the pan aside and let stand for another 10 minutes. Stir before serving.

Can I Eat Raw Shiitake?

Many experienced raw eaters eat fresh shiitake mushrooms daily. However, you should be guided by your body's reactions when using these mushrooms. You should not immediately switch to a mushroom diet; you should accustom your body to shiitake by consuming minimal portions. Nutritionists recommend that newcomers to eating mushrooms eat them cautiously for the first few months.

Can I Eat Raw Shiitake

The rich vitamin composition of shiitake, which is maximized through consumption in its raw form, has the potential to build strength. Nevertheless, prudence is the main key to developing a healthy body response to shiitake.

Interesting facts about shiitake

  1. Shiitake grown on rice husks are not suitable for use in the preparation of medicines. The scarcity of the growing substrate prevents the crop from reaching its maximum nutritional potential.
  2. In spite of the fact that Japanese shiitake mushrooms contain a large number of active components, they have no influence on the reproductive or genitourinary systems.
  3. Due to the chitin content, shiitake mushrooms are very difficult to digest in the stomach. So you should not expect to fill up on mushrooms alone.
  4. Shiitake mushrooms were a secret ingredient of cosmetics for ancient geishas. Powder of these mushrooms was added to creams, lotions and even hair products. Thanks to this component, the priestesses kept their skin and body supple and their hair silky.
  5. Vitamin B6 contained in one mushroom is half the daily norm for the body, and B5 content exceeds the daily requirement four times.
  6. Shiitake contains a large amount of vitamin D (more than 30% of the daily norm).
  7. Shiitake has surpassed chicken liver and wheat sprouts in the content of the antioxidant L-ergothionein, whose activity has not yet been discovered. Researchers are still trying unsuccessfully to find a source of ergothioneine that would supplant the Japanese mushroom.
  8. Kojic acid is a substance formed during the metabolism of mushrooms. Since the early 2000s, it has been part of cosmetic cream from the fashion house Chanel. It is noteworthy that the product is wildly popular and has a noticeable lifting and nourishing effect.
  9. Chinese folk herbalists equate shiitake with ginseng root in importance, thus recognizing its tremendous healing potential.
  10. The history of shiitake use goes back more than 2 millennia, and in many Asian regions ancient recipes are still used today.
  11. Cultivation of the mushroom in artificial conditions began in the 1940s of the 20th century. Before that time, all mushroom stocks were represented by forest cultures collected by humans.
  12. Even with a meager diet, you don't have to worry about vitamin deficiencies if you consume shiitake. Their rich composition is able to maintain normal body functions for a long time.
  13. Oil tinctures based on mushrooms can be used by most people who are allergic to the alcoholic counterpart.
  14. Asia currently produces only 20% of the world's shiitake supply.
  15. Canada and the northern part of the United States also include themselves as lovers of the mushroom culture. This may be due to the climate, because in the conditions of prolonged winters it is extremely important to enrich the diet with foods of high nutritional value. From this point of view, shiitake is an excellent source of health maintenance.
  16. The use of shiitake is also popular in Australia. Dry mushrooms and powder, which is used for cosmetic purposes, account for a large share of consumption.
  17. The Japanese extreme diet based on the mushroom diet allows you to lose weight by 3-5 kilograms in a week. However, so that the lost kilograms do not return, nutritionists recommend stopping at a more gentle diet and exercising.

Ancient traditions and recipes for the use of shiitake have reached modern times in almost pristine form. This consistency may be evidence that the nutritional and therapeutic properties of the crop are unquestioned. More and more health enthusiasts are introducing shiitake into their diet. Large manufacturers of food and cosmetic products are also not lagging behind.

«Important: All information on this site is provided for informational purposes only. for educational purposes. Consult a health care professional before applying any recommendations. specialist before applying any of the recommendations. Neither the editors nor the authors shall be liable for any possible harm caused by materials."

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