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+ servings
5 from 8 votes
Simmered Shiitake Mushrooms on a plate.
Simmered Shiitake Mushrooms
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Rehydrating Time
6 hrs
Total Time
30 mins

Made from dried shiitake mushrooms, Simmered Shiitake Mushrooms is a typical make-ahead dish that can be kept in the fridge or freezer for a long time. It is a handy side dish when you need to add one more dish to the meal.

Total Time does not include time to rehydrate shiitake mushrooms. Servings is assuming it is served as a small side dish.

Recipe Type: Sides
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Dried Shiitake, Shiitake Mushroom, Simmered Shiitake
Serves: 6
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 100g/3.5oz dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1L/2.1pt water
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  1. Fill an air tight container or a bowl with 1L/2.1pt water and soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in it. Cover and leave it overnight (6-7 hours+) in the fridge (note 1).

  2. Remove the stem of the rehydrated mushrooms, discard the stems and place the mushrooms in a saucepan. Do not discard the mushroom liquid as it is the shiitake dashi.
  3. Put the shiitake dashi through a sieve and get rid of black bits in the liquid.
  4. Measure 600ml/1.3pt (note 2) of shiitake dashi and add to the saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and heat over medium heat.
  5. When it starts boiling, scum (whitish bubbly substances) surfaces quite a lot. Remove the scum using a ladle as much as possible (note 3).
  6. Place a drop lid on (note 4) and cook for 15 minutes.

  7. Remove the drop lid and cook further 5-10 minutes until only a small amount of liquid remains (note 5).
Recipe Notes

1. It’s ok to leave it in the fridge up to 3 days.

2. If the amount of shiitake dashi is not enough, add water.

3. When removing scum, I use a bowl filled with water and rinse the ladle in it each time after scooping the scum from the pot. I do this because the scum tends to stick to the bottom of the ladle and it goes back to the pot next time when you try to scoop new scum.

4. A drop lid is called 'otoshibuta' (落し蓋) in Japanese. It is a round lid that is slightly smaller than the opening of a saucepan. It is traditionally made of wood but I have a stainless-steel lid. It is placed on top of the ingredients in a pot to ensure the heat is evenly distributed, ingredients cook faster, and stay in place without breaking apart. It also stops the liquid from evaporating quickly.

If you don’t have a drop lid, you can make one with aluminium foil. Cut a square in foil, fold the edges to make it a round shape with the diameter slightly smaller than the pot. Then poke the foil with a knife or a chopstick to make holes in several places.

5. If you are intending to serve Simmered Shiitake Mushrooms as a side dish, you may leave more liquid so that the dish looks nicer with some liquid in it. If making this dish for bento for example, you may not want to leave too much liquid.

6. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a couple of months. When defrosted, you don’t find that the flavour and texture are compromised at all. Defrost in the fridge or outside if not too hot.