7 most popular Japanese mushrooms & their delicious recipes

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 7, 2020

Japanese mushrooms have made a name for themselves throughout the world because of their appearance and great taste.

They have thousands of categories in which some wild mushrooms are edible, while some are poisonous.

The edible mushrooms are further subdivided into multiple types. Each one of them has its unique and distinctive characteristics.

Different types of Japanese mushrooms

Also, their taste is quite different so that they can be enjoyed in multiple ways. They are cherished as a full course meal as well as a side serving in many dishes.

Several traditional and regional recipes use these mushrooms, and you can see if the mushrooms grow in a particular region depending on that region using them in their (authentic) dishes.

They are also used in the popular Hibachi style cooking. Restaurants, as well as street food vendors, have their special cooking style and technique for their preparation.

This is how they farm mushrooms in Japan, and it’s great to see how:

In this article, I want to give an overview of all of the Japanese mushrooms used in popular Japanese food dishes:

Just a quick heads up. My posts may contain affiliate links, and if you buy something that I recommend through one of those links, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

So, if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like, I’m glad my blog could help you make your decision. Learn more

Types of mushrooms in Japan

There are probably many more types of mushrooms in Japan than we can know of.

They grow in several varieties but not all of them serve a purpose, at least not for us. Let’s have a look at some of the widely used edible mushrooms in Japan and how they are prepared.

Shiitake Mushroom

Japanese shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are probably the most well known Japanese mushrooms and one of the most consumed mushrooms in the world.

They have enormous hats on top as the result of the hardwood tree decay.

They are flavorful and they pack significantly more punch when they are dried and dehydrated.

Shiitake covers a huge amount of copper consumption, which is a basic element for heart wellbeing.

Specialists say a lot of people don’t get the necessary measure of copper in their eating habits.

Shiitake can fill this gap. Because of its protein enrichment properties, they are ideal for vegetarians and vegans.

It also has properties of curing infections, swelling, and tumors because of pantothenic acid and selenium.

CRISPY JAPANESE SHITTAKE MUSHROOM RECIPE

Crispy Shittake mushrooms are extremely appetizing and are regularly used for tempura. Dried Shiitake can be rehydrated to prepare a vegan soup, and they are regularly combined with Kombu to make a solid vegan broth, which is a great option to use instead of the Bonito fish flakes in dashi.

To make crispy and delicious Shittake Mushrooms, the following basic ingredients are required:

Course

Side Dish

Cuisine

Japanese Cuisine

Keyword

Mushrooms

Prep Time

2 Minutes

Cook Time

15 Minutes
Total Time

17 Minutes

Servings

4 Servings
Author

Justin -- Teppanyaki Enthusiast

Cost

$5

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat
  2. Add mushrooms and cook them. Turn and shake them over every so often, until they get a delicate brown color. Continue this step for eight to ten minutes
  3. Add two tablespoons of water to the mushrooms and cook them. Toss the mushrooms in between until the water is completely evaporated and the mushrooms become tender
  4. Repeat tossing for around two minutes longer
  5. Move the mushrooms to a medium bowl and add teriyaki and oyster sauce
  6. Serve right away with some green onions to garnish your dish and give it a little crunch

NOTES

Since the Teriyaki sauce has enough salt already, do not sprinkle additional salt.

Japanese ingredients in this recipe you might not have:

JAPANESE OYSTER SOY SAUCE:

Asamurakasi

purchase on Amazon

JAPANESE TERIYAKI SAUCE:

Mr. Yoshida’s

purchase on Walmart

Get your quick start in enjoying Japanese cuisine here with our top recommended tools

Check out all of the authentic ingredients I use in all of my dishes here in my Japanese ingredients list.

Check out all of the authentic ingredients I use in all of my dishes here in my Japanese ingredients list.

Maitake Mushroom

Japanese maitake mushrooms

In Japanese, Maitake means dancing. These mushrooms got this name because of their curly appearance. It’ also called “Hen of the woods” because their top looks like a fluffy chicken.

Maitake is said to have medicinal properties as it is filled with cancer prevention agents, nutrient B, nutrient C, copper, potassium, amino acids, and beta-glucans.

It’s good for the immune system and maintaining cholesterol and glucose levels in the body.

PAN-FRIED MAITAKE RECIPE

Maitake is extraordinary with a tempura crust when pan-fried. It has a gritty texture that almost every Japanese person loves. It is also a perfect side dish and can easily be made using various styles.

It takes around thirty minutes to prepare this recipe. Here’s one simple way you can prepare them:

INGREDIENTS:

A list of all the ingredients for a single serving is given below:

PREPARATION METHOD:

Matsutake Mushroom

Japanese matsutake rice recipe

Matsutake mushrooms grow underneath trees and usually have long shapes. You can even eat them raw without any processing.

Because of their scarcity and slow growth rate, they are considerably more expensive than other mushrooms. They also have a special fragrance with which you can identify them.

Matsutake contains copper, which is the base for your body to create red platelets. It provided a great source of protein and other nutrients as well. It is viewed as in a similar class as truffles.

MATSUTAKE RICE RECIPE

Matsutake is most often cooked in rice, which gives the rice a hearty and zesty flavor. You should eat them not long after you harvest them from under the trees, or they may lose their flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

To make two servings in one hour and ten minutes, consider the following ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Rinse the rice under running water a few times until the water is translucent and clear
  2. Trim the base of the mushroom stems
  3. Blot the mushrooms with a sodden towel or paper towel. Try not to wash the mushroom
  4. Cut in the length of the mushroom into thin one-eight inches of slices
  5. Put the rice and seasoning in a rice cooker and include Dashi
  6. Place Matsutake Mushrooms on top of your rice. Do not mix them initially. Then, start cooking
  7. At the point when the rice is cooked, mix it gently
  8. Garnish with Mitsuba before you serve

If you don’t have any cooking sake yet, be sure to check out my post here. It has a lot of helpful tips and the best brands to give umami to your dish.

Shimeji Mushroom

Shimeji Mushrooms

Raw Shimeji mushrooms have a harsh taste, therefore, they are only eaten when cooked. After cooking it with multiple sauces and ingredients, they develop a delicious flavor.

Shimeji mushroom is a decent source of protein making it an ideal element for veggie lovers. They contain copper, nutrient B, potassium, and zinc.

Shimeji Noodles Recipe

Raw Shimeji mushrooms have a harsh taste; therefore, they are only eaten when cooked. After cooking it with multiple sauces and ingredients, they develop a delicious flavor.

Shimeji mushroom is a decent source of protein, making it an ideal element for veggie lovers. They contain copper, nutrient B, potassium, and zinc.

SHIMEJI NOODLES RECIPE

Shimeji mushrooms are usually cooked with noodles in Japan. They are regularly presented with soba, in pan-sear, or hot pot.

INGREDIENTS:

To make two to three servings of Soba Noodles with Shimeji Mushrooms, the following ingredients will be required:

PREPARATION METHOD:

  1. Heat a large pan of water to the point of boiling and cook the noodles as indicated on the package
  2. In the meantime, heat the oil in a skillet over low heat and add the garlic cloves.
  3. Sauté for thirty seconds until fragrant
  4. Turn up the heat and include the Shimeji mushrooms
  5. Sauté until the mushrooms are delicate
  6. Lower the heat again and include some cooking water from the noodles, soy sauce, and miso paste. Mix until the miso is broken up well
  7. After adding salt and pepper according to taste, let the sauce boil
  8. Mix the noodles well and add the sauce
  9. Mix well to cover each noodle and present it with parsley

King Oyster Mushroom

Yakitori king oyster mushroom recipe

The King Oyster Mushroom is also a great source of protein, and it contains numerous other nutrients and minerals as well.

King oyster Yakitori Recipe

As a result of the gritty flavor of these mushrooms, these are frequently eaten without anything else.

For instance, the Yakitori cafes in Japan will serve them on sticks with a lot of margarine and salt, which is all that is important to draw out its characteristic flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

To prepare two to four servings of this recipe, it takes around thirty-five minutes. The ingredients are listed below.

PREPARATION METHOD:

  1. First, cut King Oyster mushrooms vertically in two halves. Then make sure to cut them into four millimeters thick parts
  2. Add soy sauce, Japanese Sake, and sugar in a little bowl. Blend the mixture well
  3. Tablespoon of sauce for the top of the mushrooms. Blend it in using chopsticks until the mushrooms are uniformly covered in sauce. Marinate it for fifteen minutes
  4. Add one tablespoon of peanut oil to a non-stick pan and heat over medium heat until warm
  5. Include two teaspoons of green onion and mix a couple of times
  6. Cook mushrooms in groups. Spread them over the skillet without covering them with each other. Of course, when doing traditional yakitori, you can each put them onto skewers and put them on your grill next to each other
  7. Save the marinating sauce for later use
  8. At the point when the base side turns brown, flip them with your chopsticks to flame broil the opposite side
  9. Continue flame broiling and flipping, until the two sides turn a bit darker, with marginally scorched edges
  10. Move the first batch of mushrooms to a plate and let them rest
  11. Include the leftover one tablespoon of oil and two teaspoons of green onion. Keep on cooking the rest of the mushrooms gradually until all are done
  12. At the point when the last bunch of mushrooms are cooked, add the past batches to the skillet just to heat them again
  13. Pour the marinade over the mushrooms. Continue cooking over medium-low heat until the fluid is consumed, for two to three minutes
  14. Add the mushrooms onto the steamed rice and serve

Nameko Mushroom

Nameko mushroom noodle soup recipe

Nameko originally means slimy mushrooms since they are covered with a thick surface. They are mostly grown at home. In the markets, they are sold in dried form.

They have a crispy flavor and are used in many dishes.

They are said to strengthen the immune system, and like many other mushrooms, they have malignant growth battling properties and cancer prevention agents.

NAMEKO NOODLE SOUP RECIPE

In Japan, it is famously taken with miso soup or with soba noodles. The taste is nutty and can even be perfect with chocolate!

INGREDIENTS:

To prepare four servings, it takes about thirty minutes. For that, the following ingredients will be required.

PREPARATION METHOD:

  1. Open the Nameko bundle and wash them in running water. Drain them well
  2. Take the tofu from its package and cut it into little squares
  3. Slice the scallion
  4. Put the Nameko mushrooms in a little pot. Include mirin, water, soy sauce, and bonito flakes
  5. Blend well and bring them to boil over medium heat, while keep stirring it now and again
  6. Reduce the heat to low and include the tofu. Cook for an extra three minutes
  7. Mix it with a light touch so you won’t break up the tofu
  8. Garnish with scallions to serve

Enoki Mushroom

Enoki mushroom from Japan

I love these! They’re my favorite Japanese mushrooms, so cute and the taste is great!

Enoki is the thinnest and longest of all the edible mushrooms. It is consumed with soups and salads and is very popular in Japanese culture.

They are high in nutrient B, and nutrient D. Known to reinforce immunity, they help lose gut fat, improve stomach and gut wellbeing as they are high in fiber.

It also helps advance the creation of insulin, which is helpful for individuals with type 2 diabetes.

BAKED ENOKI MUSHROOMS RECIPE

Enoki mushrooms have a light taste and are used in a wide range of dishes to add a chewy texture without overpowering the dish with flavor.

They are frequently eaten in soups, and I love them in Korean army stew, for example, and they’re also often wrapped in bacon at yakitori eateries.

To cook two to three servings of baked Enoki mushrooms in about twenty minutes here’s what required:

INGREDIENTS

PREPARATION METHOD:

  1. Wash and trim the edges of the mushrooms. Simply remove the part of the stem that is somewhat harder
  2. Separate the individual strands by delicately pulling on them
  3. In a little bowl, join a tablespoon of Japanese sake, a tablespoon of miso paste, a tablespoon of soy sauce and a half teaspoon of vegetable oil
  4. Blend until the miso has disintegrated
  5. Take a bit of foil and overlap it into equal parts. Line a little bowl with the foil to shape a pocket in the bowl’s round form. Lay down the enoki mushrooms and sauce on the inside of the bowl and give it a decent mix to blend them
  6. Fold the top parts of the foil, so the whole bundle of mushrooms and sauce are covered in foil
  7. Stick it in the stove at four hundred Fahrenheit (400°F) for between fifteen to twenty minutes

Serve hot as an exquisite side dish, or as a garnish for plain Japanese rice or pasta.

HOW TO CLEAN MUSHROOMS BEFORE COOKING

Did you know that one of the best ways to clean your mushrooms is not actually cleaning them at all? Confusing, I know. Mushrooms are naturally full of excess moisture. This means that when not cooked correctly, that excess moisture can cause our otherwise delicious Japanese mushrooms to become slimy and mushy and even off colored. Not appealing.

Mushrooms are very porous, which means that when you introduce too much liquid at a time, they will readily soak it all up. When this happens, it will be hard to crisp them up for your favorite recipes and get them tasty because they will just be water-logged and gross.

If you see that your fresh mushrooms are dirty, instead of drowning them in water, grab a dry cloth or paper towel. You can also use a pastry brush if you have one handy. Use these items to brush away the dirt on the mushrooms as mush as possible.

Once clean, they can be stored in the refrigerator in a paper bag. When plastic is used, there will be condensation while in the refrigerator. Again, this leads to excess moisture, and we want to avoid this when cooking with mushrooms.

If the mushrooms are really dirty, then you can quickly swish them around in lukewarm water and then immediately drain them in a colander and blot them with a paper towel or dry cloth. They should then be cooked right away. Once they are washed, they will not last that long in your refrigerator. So, wait to wash your mushrooms until you are ready to use them.

For more on how to properly clean your mushrooms before making the delicious recipes below, watch this video:

MUSHROOM FAQ

Here are a few of the more commonly asked questions when it comes to eating and cooking with Asian mushrooms.

WHAT KIND OF MUSHROOMS GO IN JAPANESE MUSHROOM RICE?

When it comes to the type of mushrooms you can use in Japanese mushroom rice, there really is no right or wrong formula to fall back on. Kinoko Gohan, for example, is an easy Japanese mushroom dish that contains rice, vegetables, and meat. The mushrooms used are cooked in the rice and absorb all the flavor in the broth. It gives the rice a delicious, earthy flavor.

Most recipes call for Shiitake mushrooms, but oyster mushrooms or really any other Japanese mushroom will work just as well in this recipe.

ARE ALL MUSHROOMS EDIBLE?

All mushrooms fall into three categories. These categories include those that are edible, poisonous, and inedible. If you are not 100 percent sure what kind of mushroom you found, then you should not eat it. Edible mushrooms often have a narrow stem base, while many poisonous mushrooms have a noticeably thick stem base.

WHAT IS A JAPANESE MUSHROOM CALLED?

Japanese mushrooms are called “kinoko” キノコ in Japanese.

CAN MUSHROOM STEMS BE EATEN?

Yes. Most mushroom stems are edible. Smaller shiitake mushrooms, for example, are easy because you can simply pull off the stem and separate it cleanly from the cap of the mushroom. Other times, more care is needed, or you will find that while removing the stem, you damage the mushroom.

WHY ARE JAPANESE FOODS OFTEN FERMENTED?

Japanese culture is filled with a long history of eating fermented foods. This has a lot to do with the Japanese climate. They often marinate their foods in vinegar and sake. Bacteria and mold used for fermenting food and is safe for consumption are only in Eastern Asia.

SHOULD YOU WORRY ABOUT CONDENSATION ON YOUR TUPPERWARE LIDS WHEN STORING MUSHROOMS?

When there is too much moisture or condensation, your mushrooms can become slimy and mushy. To avoid this, do not use any kind of plastic for storing your mushrooms. Instead, ensure they are dry and store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Never wash the mushrooms until you are ready to use them.

Get your quick start in enjoying Japanese cuisine here with our top recommended tools

HOW DO YOU FIND THE BEST FRESH SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS?

When looking for the best Shiitake mushroom, the smell should be crisp and sharp. They should be rich in scent. If they are larger, this may also mean they have come from a very well-nourished tree, which ultimately means they may also taste better. The mushrooms should also be eaten within a year of their harvest or the fragrant smell goes away and they can become moldy.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.