Shiitake mushroom, also known as koshin shiitake, is a type of edible mushroom that originated in East Asia, particularly in Japan, China, and Korea. It is meaty, earthy, and full of umami and is commonly used in various cuisines around the world.
The shiitake mushroom has a brown, umbrella-shaped cap with white gills on the underside. It typically grows on deciduous trees, such as oak and beech, and is usually harvested in the late summer or early fall.
Shiitake mushrooms are highly nutritious and are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are also known for their medicinal properties, and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat various ailments, such as colds, flu, and liver disease.
In culinary use, shiitake mushrooms can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried. They are often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan dishes, and are also commonly added to soups, stews, stir-fries, and noodle dishes for added flavor and nutrition. Dried shiitake mushrooms are also used to make a popular Japanese soup stock called dashi.