Food - Drink
Why You Should Save Your Shiitake Mushroom Stems
Shiitake mushrooms are popular in Asian cuisine for their earthy, woody taste when raw and their rich umami flavors that develop when cooked. These versatile mushrooms can be sautéed, boiled, fried, grilled, roasted, or even microwaved, but no matter which method you choose, don't jump the gun and throw away your shiitake stems.
After running shiitakes under water to prep them for cooking, most people discard the tough and fibrous stems. However, Food52 says that if your shiitake mushrooms are very fresh, you can eat the stems by finely chopping and then cooking them, and even if your stems are a bit too old to eat on their own, they still have many uses.
Place at the Table recommends using shiitake stems to make rich mushroom broth for sauces, risottos, soups, and stews; you can even dehydrate the stems for a bolder, richer flavor (but strain the dried stems out before using the broth). Cookpad suggests drying out the stems and grinding them into a powder to use as a seasoning.