Shimeji or shimeji mushrooms have grown wildly in Japan for a very long time. Nowadays most of them in the markets are artificially cultivated.
It’s written 占地 or 湿地 because the mushrooms grow in the wetlands like they occupy the ground. If you know the meaning of these kanji, you might find it’s interesting like me. The first kanji means ”the occupation of the land” and the second kanji means ”wetland”. Actually, shimeji is hardly written in kanji.
There are two kinds of shimeji mushrooms 本しめじ (Honshimeji) and ぶなしめじ (Bunashimeji).
It said that Honshimeji is the most delicious mushroom.
These are one kind of the Honshimeji called “Daikoku Honshimeji”. They are so delicious and look cute! I love them!
However, most of the mushrooms in the market are Bunashimeji and Honshimeji is rare and expensive. Of course, Bunashimeji is also delicious.
The Nutritional Value
Shimeji has vitamin B2, niacin, iron, and dietary fiber. It also has a rich umami element called guanylic acid.
The ideal way of preservation is to wrap them with a kitchen towel and store them in an airtight bag such as a ziplock. They can be preserved the way they come for 2 to 3 days when keeping them refrigerated.
How to cook
As I mentioned before, in other articles, you don’t need to wash Japanese mushrooms. I especially don’t recommend washing shimeji because these mushrooms absorb moisture easily. However, if you want, quickly rinse them right before you cook it.
Shimeji has just a touch of an earthy and rich flavor, and it’s often used for stir-fried and simmered dishes. It’s also good when making rice made with seasoned dashi stock and various ingredients.
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