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JaneStarr
08-23-2002, 09:20 AM
I have a big bag of dried shitakes that I got over 1 year ago at one of the warehouse club stores. They are still sealed up and have been keep in a dry, room temp pantry. I have some questions for you:

1) Are they still good? I can't imagine what could've happened to them since they are dried to begin with, but I figured I should ask.

2) What weight of dried mushrooms translates into the fresh weight/volume listed in most recipes? (I do have a food scale, so weighing them would be easy.)

3) What is the best way to reconstitute them?

4) Recipe suggestions?

5) Anything else I should've asked?

Thanks for your help! These dried mushrooms were very reasonably priced; that's why I bought them without have the foggiest notion what to do with them. I put them in my pantry and promptly forgot about them :rolleyes:

Jane

wallycat
08-23-2002, 09:31 AM
Not sure how many questions I know answers to, but here are my thoughts ....

1.Your mushrooms should still be fine.
2.I knew conversions once, and now can't recall them...I'll try to find a site that has the info. I toss in how ever many I feel like because they're good for you :)
3. I use really, really hot water or water off the boil and let them soak at least 15-20 minutes. I strain (sometimes :D ) and use the flavored water in my recipe for added flavor.
4. I toss them in with my stir-fry dishes and occasionally soups like mushroom barley.
5. A tip that fine-cooking paid me for was this....if you don't care what shape the 'shrooms are in (perfectly sliced or something), I break them up into a bowl before I add the water to reconstitute them. This saves me time later on from slicing slippery 'shrooms. It's also easier to break off any of the hard stem, if they have one.

JaneStarr
08-23-2002, 09:35 AM
Thanks. I love that tip since I have a "mushroom-adverse" 12 yo son and sometimes use my immersion blender to sneak veggies into sauces.

I'm actually making a simple Chicken Cacciatore in my crockpot today for my oldest DD's "last supper" before heading back to college. I'm going to stick some crumbled shitakes in with the rest of the ingredients.

I forgot to ask about the stems. I have used fresh shitakes in the past, so I knew that the stems are too tough to eat. I didn't realize that the dried ones came with the stems still on. I'll have to go look them over.

Thanks again :)
Jane

tuff2000
08-23-2002, 09:53 AM
I can't really answer too many questions. But this recipe we have from the BHG recipe center is one my favorites. As a matter of fact, I just made it last night:

Asian Primavera Stir-Fry
(Fettucine, ginger, and sugar snap peas come together with chicken, carrots, and dried mushrooms for a satisfying meal that delivers on taste and nutrition)

1 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tbsp cornstarch
6 oz dried fettucine
12 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces

2 tbsp dry sherry
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup sugar snap peas (strings and tips removed)
8 oz tiny whole carrots with tops (about 12), trimmed
4 green onions, bias-sliced into 1-inch pieces
Green onion strips (optional)

1. In a small bowl combine dried mushrooms and 1 cup warm water; let stand for 15 minutes. Drain mushrooms, squeezing out excess liquid; reserve liquid. Slice mushroom caps; discard stems. Stir cornstarch into reserved mushroom liquid.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; keep warm.

3. In a bowl stir together the chicken, sherry, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic; set aside.

4. Lightly coat a wok or large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Stir fry sugar snap peas and carrots for 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp and tender. Add green onions and stirfry for 1 minute more. Remove vegetables from wok; set aside. Add chicken mixture to wok. Stir fry for 2 to 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Push chicken from center of wok. Stir cornstarch mixture; add to center of wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

5. Return vegetables to wok. Add mushrooms and pasta. Stir to coat with sauce. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until heated through. If desired, garnish with green onion curls.

Makes 4 servings.
333 calories
3 g total fat
48 g carbs
25 g protein.

We make this all the time. And I actually marinate the chicken mixture over night sometimes. It really adds depth to the flavor. Enjoy!:)

JaneStarr
08-23-2002, 10:08 AM
Yum ... this is just the type of recipe that I love!

(And I can use my new microplane that you guys convinced me to buy on the ginger and garlic:) )

Thanks.

Jane

JenZen
08-23-2002, 10:30 AM
How ironic. I just rehydrated porcini mushrooms last night. I found some really good wild rice/wild mushroom recipes on www.epicurious.com. The one I'm making for tonight has wild rice, the porcini muchrooms, onion, carrots, button mushrooms, thyme and majoram in it. It sounds really good.

In the past, I've made a wild rice/mushroom soup with shitake. It was very good after resting a day.

Try epicurious. I'm sure you'll find some great stuff.

Oh, the recipe I used last night said to boil 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, remove from heat and soak the shrooms for 30 minutes.

JaneStarr
08-23-2002, 10:40 AM
Thanks!

Oh...rehydrating in chicken broth sounds like a great idea.

I just thought of another question:

Why do some recipes tell you to strain the soaking liquid? Are the mushrooms dried without being cleaned?

Jane

wallycat
08-23-2002, 10:48 AM
I think that they suggest straining because mushroom harvesting isn't a sanitary situation...and they don't wash them I am assuming because it would take longer to dry and could contribute to mold or uneven drying....

on the "ewwww what icky things did you find in your food" post, I noted that one batch of shitake's I had floated little dried red ants to the top :eek: :eek:

JaneStarr
08-23-2002, 11:11 AM
According to the ingredient yields and substitution chart in Mastercook:

3 oz dried mushrooms yields 1 pound fresh

This is very helpful info to me. Now I can use any recipe that calls for fresh shitakes. We can even use it to compare prices between fresh and dried mushrooms!


Yuk about the little red ants!

Do dried mushrooms taste as good as fresh in everything? I would think they would be great in sauces and soups but not as good in stir-fries.

Jane

CKL
08-23-2002, 11:41 AM
One thing my Mom does is to wash them in a slurry of cornstarch and water after they've been reconstituted - she always said it helped to wash out the dirt and pick up icky bicky bits lodged in the corners of the mushroom.

I've done this out of habit but admittedly never looked closely to see if it is indeed doing a better job of cleaning them out... so YMMV.

MishT
08-23-2002, 11:51 AM
For the stem: we always cut them off after soaking them in hot water....