This nOde last updated June 3rd, 2001 and is permanently morphing...
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New in many American supermarkets, shiitake (she-tah-kee) mushroom has been a staple in Asian diet for centuries. It is reputed as a tonic, a stimulant, and an aid in the prevention of cerebral hemorrhagic strokes in Japan and China. Now shiitake is the second most-consumed mushrooms in the world.
In recent 2 years, unlike traditional shiitake mushroom, flower shiitake that has crackle on its cap looking like a blooming flower, with its longer freshness duration, much better flavor and thicker caps, starts to dominate the shiitake mushroom market.
From tan to dark brown.
Broad, umbrella shaped caps, wide open veils and tan gills. The best shiitake, flower shiitake has crackle on its cap and looks like a blooming flower.
Steak-like, rich, pungent flavor with a meaty texture when cooked.
It can be fried, BBQed, baked, boiled, sauted or even raw. In a gourmet restaurant, you can find it in soups, entrees, stir fries, pastas, and side-dishes.
The healthy part of shiitake (Mushrooms & Health):
Low calorie count, having all amino acids, rich in protein (18%), fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Here is its detailed nutritional value from _American Health Magazine_, May 1987.
100 grams (about 3 1/2 oz) shiitake contains
15 to 35% protein
Less than 1 gram of fat
7.3 g. carbohydrate
0.8 g. crude fiber
0.8mg. thiamine (53% mdr)
0.5mg. riboflavin (29% mdr)
rich in Vitamin D2(200iu. 50%)
B2 and B12
Anti-tumor (cancer), anti-virus, lower cholesterol,
and regulate blood pressure. Also, Researchers S. Suzuki and Oshima
found that a raw shiitake eaten daily for one week lowered serum cholesterol
by 12%. Concentrated forms of lentinan, a shiitake extract, have been used
to treat cancer, AIDS, diabetes, fibrosystic breast disease and other conditions