Natural Habitat and Biology
The general term "Shimeji" refers to about 20 species of mushrooms which contributes to a great deal of confusion among both mycologists (mushroom scientists) and chefs. The hon-shimeji is referred to as the true shimeji and is highly esteemed in Japan where cultivation techniques were first developed. In nature, hon-shimeji grows on wood, often on beech trees hence the common name Beech Mushroom.
Keep refrigerated. Hon-shimeji has a relatively long shelf-life of up to 10 days. Occasionally under storage conditions of high-humidity, a white fuzzy growth will occur on the stems. This is natural for the mushroom and is an expression of its vitality. The fuzz will disappear with a light misting of water.
Flavor, Preparation and Cooking
The rich-flavored hon-shimeji mushroom is regarded as one of the most "gourmet" of all the oyster-like mushrooms. Firm textured and possessing a mildly sweet, nutty taste, this mushroom can be incorporated into a broad range of recipes from soups and sauces to stir-fries. The creative cook or chef will find this superior mushroom to be highly versatile. If packaged in a cluster format, cut off and discard the base of the cluster. The mushrooms are grown & packaged under very hygienic conditions, but if desired, just before using the mushrooms may be lightly rinsed or brushed, but do not soak in water.
The mushroom may be either used whole or sliced. Uncooked, hon-shimeji has a disagreeably strong flavor and is difficult to digest, but cooking transforms the flavor and renders its nutritional components available for assimilation.
EDULIS FOOD GROUP offers Shimeji year-round.
A recent unpublished report from the National Cancer Institute of Japan indicates that hon-shimeji mushrooms contains medicinally active ingredients with strong anti-tumor activity. Additional studies are currently being conducted.
Not documented. Nutritional analyses currently being conducted. Will update when completed