Shiitake mushrooms are a Japanese superfood that is heavily used in Japanese cooking, for both their taste and ability to boost your immune system!
Dried Shiitake mushrooms have MORE umami flavour and Vitamin D than Fresh Shiitake mushrooms!
What are Shiitake mushrooms?
Shiitake mushrooms originated in China, however, the name was created in Japan. It is available in both fresh and dried forms – which acquire a richer flavour. There are also many different types of shiitake mushrooms which are differentiated by the size of the pileu (the cap part). The mushroom is a central superfood in Japanese cooking and I love incorporating it into my meals as an immune system booster.
How does Shiitake boost our Immune System?
Shiitake is abundant in nutrients, some of which can help boost your immune function, to decrease the risk of infection and combat diseases.
As a strong immune system booster, they contain:
- Vitamin B2, B6
- Antioxidant vitamin C
Lentinan, especially, is said to stimulate the immune system as it increases cell activity that helps fight viruses. Laboratory studies have shown that Lentinan triggers cells to react and slow cancer growth in the body.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition concluded that consuming mushrooms has improved cell effect or function and improves gut immunity. There was also a reduction in inflammation due to mushroom consumption.
Do you want to maximise Shiitake’s health benefits as an immune system booster? Go for Japanese Shiitake!
I must warn you that quite a few dried shiitake mushrooms on the market, both in Japan and outside Japan are not a product of Japan. It is very hard to find authentic Japanese Shiitake.
I use organic shiitake from Japan which is SUN-DRIED, while most dried Shiitake mushrooms are dried with a machine and even the addition of nasty chemicals.
Why Sundried Shiitake is so important? Sundried Shiitake increases the amount of Vitamin D which contributes to a stronger immune system. Drying your Shiitake mushrooms in the sun (2x 6h exposure) can increase their Vit D levels from 110 iu to 46,000 iu for 100grams. So, if you cannot find sun-dried shiitake, you can dry fresh mushrooms for 12 hours!
I use Japanese sun-dried Shiitake mushroom at home and in my cooking classes – full of Vitamin D that contributes to a stronger immune system!
Ready to start having shiitake mushrooms?
How about giving shiitake bruschetta a go, which is super simple!
Shiitake Mushroom Bruschetta
To find out how to incorporate shiitake mushrooms, check out my recipe for Shiitake Mushroom Bruschetta.
For more recipes or information about shiitake and its health benefits, you can take a look at my Japanese Superfood Cookbook.
DO YOU NEED HEALTHY VEGAN COOKING INSPIRATIONS?
Do you know I run a cooking school in Sydney?
You don’t live in Sydney?
Don’t worry, there are two ways to learn Japanese cooking with me.
NEW Japanese online cooking classes coming soon! More information to come, subscribe HERE so you don’t miss out!
ALSO twice per year I run an online Japanese 30 Day Challenge Course!! Focusing on weight loss and improving your health! Drop your email address HERE and we’ll notify you about the next challenge!
Plant Based Cookbooks
If you want to cook more easy and tasty Japanese vegan meals using Japanese superfoods – real key for Japanese health, please grab my vegan cookbook “Japanese Superfoods” or “Top 3 Japanese Superfoods for Natural Weightloss” or even better, you can have “Japanese Superfoods combo deal” to master Japanese Superfoods.