There are dozens of cookbooks devoted to the bounty and flavors of Lentinula edodes, not to mention hundreds of tempting recipes available online. Shop with care when purchasing dried shiitakes, since there are many grades and prices. The caps may be thick and fleshy or thin, large or small, cracked on top or smooth. The very thick, cracked-topped donko types are expensive, but worth the price. They are meaty and can stand up to any food flavors.
Because shiitakes grow on wood or other coarse cellulose materials, the fresh mushrooms are very clean. Brush the caps lightly. As a rule, the stems are tough, so cut them off using a knife or scissors. The stems can be used to add flavor to a stock.
- 24 large dried shiitakes, stems removed
- 1/2 pound ground lean pork
- 1 green onion, sliced fine
- 1 small slice fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dry sherry
- 1 egg white, slightly beaten
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Prepare these mushrooms in a container that fits into a steamer.
Save the rich juice and pour it over white rice.
Soak the mushrooms for 15 minutes in hot water to cover.
Drain and squeeze dry; reserve the soaking liquid.
Mix the pork, green onion, ginger, soy sauce, sherry, egg white, and cornstarch.
Mound the stuffing into the mushroom caps.
Place in a heatproof dish that will fit into your steamer.
Steam for 20–25 minutes.
Toss the cilantro on top.
Serves 12 as an appetizer.
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