- The variety used is characterised by large, well-developed caps, which makes them easy to reconstitue and use in everyday cooking
- The word Shiitake means (shii - oak tree, take - mushroom) that have a long history of use
- Shiitake are packed with essential vitamins and minerals many of which are not present in vegetables
- They are:
A good source of B vitamins which are beneficial to the immune system and brain functions, including vitamin B12 which is only present in fungi and bacteria
- Rich in: dietary fibre, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium
- They also contain iron, vitamin C and calcium and all eight amino acids at a ratio which is close to the ideal balance of proteins necessary to the human diet
Shiitake mushrooms* (100%) *Organically certified
To prepare Clearspring Shiitake:
- soak for 15 minutes in warm water
- remove any hard stems
- slice if desired
- cook with grains, stir-fries, vegetables and soups.
For a flavourful broth, boil a few shiitake and their soaking water with some kombu sea vegetable for 15 minutes, then season with shoyu or tamari and mirin to taste.
Health benefits of Shiitake
For thousands of years shiitake have played an important role in Asian cuisine, being known both for their deep umami taste and wide ranging culinary uses. Their value does not stop there though; known as ‘miracle mushrooms', shiitake are nutritious and filled with health giving properties.
Origins and cultivation
Shiitake, which originate from China, have been cultivated for over a 1000 years and eaten in Asia since prehistoric times. In Japan they still use traditional cultivation methods in which they are grown on certain logs in the humid forests of southern Japan, then hand-harvested and dried. This is a natural method which does not use pesticides.
In newer cultivation methods, shiitake are grown inside in controlled environments on chemically fertilised sawdust. Pesticides are used in the growing rooms, so the shiitake are by no means organic and some claim that they are inferior in taste and health benefits. At Clearspring the shiitake we use are cultivated in the traditional way. Find out more here.
Shiitake are packed with essential vitamins and minerals many of which are not present in vegetables.
A good source of B vitamins which are beneficial to the immune system and brain functions, including vitamin B12 which is only present in fungi and bacteria.
Rich in: dietary fibre, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium.
They also contain iron, vitamin C and calcium and all eight amino acids at a ratio which is close to the ideal balance of proteins necessary to the human diet. (1)
Dried shiitake mushrooms have been a part of traditional Chinese medicine for more than six thousand years being attributed with energising powers. In Asian folk medicine they have been used to treat measles, stomach aches, bronchitis, headaches, faintness and the common cold. In ancient Japan members of the court even regarded them as an aphrodisiac, closely guarding their cultivation sites.
More recently shiitake have been the focus of various scientific studies that have identified substances in them that may play a role in curing and preventing heart disease, cancer and AIDS (2).
Eritadenine which significantly lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in blood and thus helps in the fight against heart disease.
Lentinan which is said to boost the immune system, leading to the possible regression of cancerous tumours, and viruses (including HIV).
Cortinelin which has natural antibiotic qualities that fight fungal infections.
(1) John and Jan Belleme, Culinary Treasures of Japan, New York, 1992
(2) Chang R., Functional properties of edible mushrooms, Nutr Rev 54 (11 Pt 2): 591-3 (1996)
The Clearspring goal is to get organic food back on the dining table, so that you can enjoy the same quality of foods as your grandparents did. By developing the demand for organic foods and encouraging the cultivation of organic crops by farmers today, we can ensure that your grandchildren, too, can enjoy the great taste of good food.?
You will find that each of our food products has a distinct flavour and quality that comes from using the finest quality ingredients and respecting local food traditions.
Clearspring Brand Promise:
Organic/premium quality Japanese and European foods skillfully prepared by artisan and professional producers.
Prepared according to authentic, traditional recipes and our own original recipes developed for present day market needs.
100% vegetarian/vegan foods and ingredients.
Wholesome, easy-to-prepare, great tasting daily foods for optimum nutrition.
No artificial additives, MSG, colourings, preservatives or refined sugars.
Ethically sourced foods which support producer communities.
Made using environmentally sustainable and non-GM ingredients.
Good foods to be enjoyed globally.