Shiitake mushrooms—earthy, umami, and incredibly delectable when cooked properly—aren’t just for stir-fry recipes. These succulent mushrooms are ready for using in all sorts of dishes you’re cooking up: from breakfast to soups, appetizers and dinner. Here are 5 non-stir fry cooking ideas for using shiitake mushrooms this season.
1. With Eggs
Shiitake mushrooms instantly bump up the sophistication level of regular diner-style eggs, giving an earthy flavor. To use shiitakes in your scrambled eggs, first sauté them lightly in olive oil or butter until softened and gently caramelized. Then, prepare your scrambled eggs as usual, adding fresh herbs and seasonings of choice to your egg batter. While the eggs are cooking in the hot skillet, fold in the sautéed mushrooms and cook until just set.
2. Atop Fall Soup
Crispy, lightly fried shiitake mushrooms are a wonderful topping for seasonal fall soups, especially creamy squash-based soups. Picture a golden orange butternut squash soup garnished with a few slices of delicately fried shiitakes, and perhaps a smattering of fresh parsley. The presentation of it is gorgeous, and the flavor of the earthy mushrooms against the sweet squash is wonderful. Be sure to blot the excess oil from your fried mushrooms before topping the soup with them, or else they may make your gorgeous soup look oily.
3. Pair with Anything Salmon
Shiitake mushrooms with fresh salmon is a simply delicious culinary combination. Try smoked salmon and sautéed shiitakes on toast, or cooked inside wine-infused risotto for an elegant appetizer. For a salmon entrée, shiitakes can be cooked down into a sauce to pour over the cooked fish, or try marinating the mushrooms and salmon together in a soy-based sauce and tossing the whole thing on the grill. An easy seasonal soup idea can be miso soup with ramen or rice noodles, salmon, shiitakes, and mixed greens.
4. Fried over Green Salad
Try crisped shiitake mushrooms arranged over a delicate green salad. Baby spinach, shredded kale, or mixed Asian greens are all excellent starters for this salad idea. Layer it into an Asian-inspired salad by adding baked tofu, fresh cilantro, and a soy-ginger vinaigrette, then finishing it off with shiitakes. Or try a more Mediterranean-fusion with goat cheese, dried fruits, and chopped nuts in the mix. Just pan-fry the mushrooms in oil until they turn golden brown (don’t let them burn!), then remove to paper towels to drain the excess oil while you prep the rest of the salad.
5. Use on Autumn Inspired Pizza
Fall is a great time to experiment with seasonal toppings on your homemade pizzas, and shiitake mushrooms are an easy sub-in for regular button mushrooms. Try sliced shiitakes on a white-style pizza, omitting the red tomato sauce and going for just cheeses and herbs. Fresh herbs like basil, parsley, chervil, or cilantro will all be great on this pizza, as will chopped, toasted nuts, like walnuts or hazelnuts. Lightly sauté the mushrooms in olive oil before you place them on the pizza so that they cook up nice and juicy while baking in the oven.
Image adapted from Lablascovegmenu, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0