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The Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) (from Japanese 椎茸, シイタケ (Shiitake)) is an edible mushroom native to East Asia, which is cultivated and consumed in many Asian countries, as well as being dried and exported to many countries around the world. It is a feature of many Asian cuisines including Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai. In the East, the shiitake mushroom has long been considered a delicacy as well as a medicinal mushroom.[1]
Contents [hide]

1 Taxonomy and naming
2 Cultivation history
3 Culinary use
4 Shiitake research
4.1 Shiitake dermatitis
4.2 Shiitake isolate AHCC
4.3 Shiitake lentinan
5 Other
6 See also
7 References
7.1 Cited literature
8 Further reading
9 External links
[edit]Taxonomy and naming

Shiitake comes from its Japanese name, shiitake. listen (help·info) (kanji: 椎茸; literally "shii mushroom", from "shii" the Japanese name of the tree Castanopsis cuspidata that provides the dead logs on which it is typically cultivated).
In Chinese, it is called xiānggū (香菇, literally "fragrant mushroom"). Two Chinese variant names for high grades of shiitake are dōnggū (Chinese: 冬菇, "winter mushroom") and huāgū (花菇, "flower mushroom", which has a flower-like cracking pattern on the mushroom's upper surface); both are produced at lower temperatures.

Other common names by which the mushroom is known in English include "Chinese black mushroom", "black forest mushroom", "black mushroom", "golden oak mushroom", or "oakwood mushroom".[2]

In Korean it is called pyogo (hangul: 표고), in Thai they are called hed hom (à ¹€à ¸«à ¹‡à ¸”à ¸«à ¸­à ¸¡, "fragrant mushroom"), and in Vietnamese they are called nấm hÆ°Æ¡ng ("fragrant mushroom").

The species was formerly known as Lentinus edodes and Agaricus edodes. The latter name was first applied by the English botanist Miles Joseph Berkeley in 1878.
[edit]Cultivation history

Shiitake are native to Japan, China and Korea and have been grown in all three countries since prehistoric times.[3] They have been cultivated for over 1,000 years. The oldest record regarding the shiitake mushroom dates back to AD 199 at the time of Emperor Chūai in Japan.[4] However, the first written record of shiitake cultivation can be traced to Wu Sang Kwuang in China, born during the Sung Dynasty (AD 960-1127).[5]

During the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644), physician Wu Juei wrote that the mushroom could be used not only as a food but as a medicinal mushroom, taken as a remedy for upper respiratory diseases, poor blood circulation, liver trouble, exhaustion and weakness, and to boost qi, or life energy.[6] It was also believed to prevent premature aging.

The Japanese cultivated the mushroom by cutting shii trees with axes and placing the logs by trees that were already growing shiitake or contained shiitake spores. Before 1982, the Japanese variety of these mushrooms could only be grown in traditional locations using ancient methods. In 1982, Gary F. Leatham published an academic paper based on his research on the budding and growth of the Japan Islands variety; the work helped make commercial cultivation possible in United States.[7]
[edit]Culinary use

Pyogo muchim (표고무침), a Korean dish of sauteed Shiitake

Fresh and dried shiitake have many uses in the cuisines of East Asia. In Chinese cuisine, they are often sauteed in vegetarian dishes such as Buddha's delight. In Japan, they are served in miso soup, used as the basis for a kind of vegetarian dashi, and also as an ingredient in many steamed and simmered dishes. In Thailand, they may be served either fried or steamed.[citationneeded]

Shiitake are often dried and sold as preserved food in packages. These must be rehydrated by soaking in water before using. Many people prefer dried shiitake to fresh, considering that the sun-drying process draws out the umami flavour from the dried mushrooms by breaking down proteins into amino acids and transforms ergosterol to vitamin D. The stems of shiitake are rarely used in Japanese and other cuisines, primarily because the stems are harder and take longer to cook than the soft fleshy caps. The highest grade of shiitake are called donko in Japanese.[citation needed]

Today, shiitake mushrooms have become popular in many other countries as well. Russia produces and also consumes large amounts of them, mostly sold pickled; and the shiitake is slowly making its way into western cuisine as well. There is a global industry in shiitake production, with local farms in most western countries in addition to large scale importation from China, Japan, Korea and elsewhere.[citation needed]

Because they can now be grown world wide, their availability is widespread and their price has decreased.[citation needed]
Like all mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms can produce high amounts of vitamin D upon exposure to sunlight or UV light.[8][9]
Sun dried Shiitake mushrooms[citation needed]
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 191 kJ (46 kcal)
- Sugars 0.8 g
- Dietary fiber 37.7 g
Fat 2.1 g
Protein 17 g
Thiamine (vit. B1) 1.00 mg (87%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 1.00 mg (83%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 10.0 mg (67%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 5.2 mg (104%)
Vitamin D 46000 IU (7667%)
Iron 10.4 mg (80%)
Sodium 0.01 mg (0%)
Percentages are relative to
US recommendations for adults.
[edit]Shiitake research