As you may know, there are various types of dashi (soup stock) in Japan.
Dashi made from dried shiitake mushrooms are one of those. It has unique, savory flavor, and is absolutely significant ingredient to upgrade many kinds of dishes.
Even if you are not used to eat Japanese mushrooms, shiitake dashi can be your first step to take. You must like it!
Also, if you are looking for vegan/vegetarian soup stock, this is the perfect one to make.
Here, I would like to introduce some characteristics of shiitake dashi and the best quick recipe for it!
Umami Component in Shiitake Dashi
As you can see above, umami component in shiitake dashi is guanylic acid. It is one of the most common umami component in Japan.
It’s said that the mixed dashi contained both guanylic acid and glutamic acid amazingly boost the umami taste of dishes. So, it’s highly recommended to use shiitake dashi with kombu dashi that contains a lot of glutamic acid.
Guanylic acid is not contained in raw shiitake mushrooms but DRIED shiitake mushroom, so please prepare dried one. You can also buy the sliced dried shiitake mushrooms.
Best Quick Shiitake Dashi Recipe
・0.7 oz (20 g) Dried shiitake mushrooms
・2 cups (500ml) Water
1. Prepare your container. Put dried shiitake mushrooms and water.
2. Put the container in your fridge. Wait for about 10 hours.
If you are completely unable to wait for that long, you can make shiitake dashi with hot water, or shorten the time to keep in the fridge.
Ready to use!
Tips for Making Shiitake Dashi
The most important thing is putting the container in the fridge so that umami substance can be extracted at around 41℉ (5℃) which is the best temperature for making perfect shiitake dashi.
Guanylic acid (umami) contained in dried shiitake mushrooms are not a lot before soaking in water. It actually increases during the cooking process, and guanylic acid can be extracted to the maximum by reconstitution with 41℉ (5℃) cold water.
When you make dashi at room temperature, the color gets darker. However, the taste is much weaker than the one you make in fridge.
Secondly, you should leave it for at least 10 hours. Although the water turns brown color of shiitake mushrooms after 6 hours or so, the flavor and umami taste is pretty weaker than the one left for 10 hours.
Even though you increase the amount of shiitake mushrooms and shorten the time length, the flavor and umami taste will be not as strong as the one left for 10 hours. It is important to spend 10 hours firmly instead of increasing the amount.
Recommended Dishes Using Shiitake Dashi
Shiitake dashi has very rich flavor, and it matches so well with dishes that require strong seasonings, for instance, takikomi gohan (Japanese mixed rice), simmered dishes, and soup for noodle dishes (mentsuyu).
Also, shojin ryori (Buddhist vegan cuisine) often need soup stock made from dried shiitake mushrooms and some other plant-based materials.
That is called shojin dashi, and plays a very important role in lightly seasoned cuisine in shojin ryori.
Interested in the recipe for other type of dashi?
Here is the recipe for Bonito Dashi
3-Minutes Best Quick Dashi Recipe