All about Mushrooms
How to cook?
It is said that mushrooms have existed no less than 100 million years ago. And Chinese regard mushrooms as precious foods for longevity, particularly Shiitake mushrooms that are rich in nutrients, minerals, vitamins, amino acids and more. Thus, mushrooms are one of the most frequently used ingredients in Eastern & Western cuisine.
What goes well with mushrooms?
- Mushroom grows in damp place and are generally ‘cool’ in property, especially fresh mushroom. Therefore, adding some ginger or ‘warm’ spices into the mushroom dishes could neutralize its ‘coolness’.
- The combination of mushroom and meat make the dishes more flavourful, healthier and less greasy.
- Dried shiitake mushrooms are rich in guanylic acid. When paired with glutamic acid-rich kombu in stock preparation, the stock would have umami flavour- the fifth taste. Therefore, this combination is often used for making vegan-friendly Japanese Dashi stock.
Japanese Vegan Dashi stock
Shiitake mushrooms 4-5 pcs
Soak kombu and shiitake mushrooms in water for 20-30 minutes, and boil on low heat. Strain the stock. The stock can then be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Medicinal values of mushrooms:
In addition of being used as food ingredients, mushrooms are well-known for their medicinal value. In traditional Chinese medicine, different mushrooms also have different functions. Generally, they are beneficial for ‘qi’, spleen & stomach-nourishing, and are suitable for all ages. Modern medical research has also found that mushrooms could boost immune system and improve body resistance to virus.
Folk Remedy-Shiitake Antipyretic Tea
In Japan, shiitake mushroom tea has been used as folk remedy to reduce fever, relieve cold symptoms and calm spirits. It is suitable for both adults and children. Use with caution for those who have purine metabolism disorder.
1-2 shiitake mushrooms
1 cup of water
A pinch of salt
Soak shiitake mushrooms in water for 15 minutes. Then boil the water together with the shiitake mushrooms and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Neutral & sweet in property, associated with stomach & liver meridians.
- Have the functions of strengthening spleen and stomach, invigorating ‘qi’ and reducing phlegm
- Improve chronic fatigue, chronic hepatitis, fatty liver, high blood lipids, high blood pressure and so on.
- Modern research has also found that mushrooms are rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, as well as polysaccharides, all of which can strengthen the body’s immune system possess anti-tumour property.
- Sun-dried mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D, which helps preventing loss of bone mass.
- Neutral & sweet in property, associated with stomach, liver & heart meridians
- From ancient times, hericiums are expensive foods, as they have the strengthening effects on spleen and stomach, and are kidney-nourishing.
- Also have mind-calming effect, great for people with nervous breakdown and mild insomnia.
- Also contain polysaccharides that helps in gastrointestinal cancer prevention.
- Modern research has found that Hericiums may help improving cognitive function and preventing dementia
- Cool & sweet in property, associated with spleen & large intestine meridians
- Have the function of replenishing ‘qi’ and invigorating the body, thus are suitable for those who are weak and with ‘qi’ deficiency
- Also known as ‘Intelligence mushrooms’ as they are rich in lysine which helps promoting children’s intellectual development
King oyster mushrooms:
- Neutral & sweet in property
- Spleen& stomach-nourishing, able to reduce phlegm and moisturize intestines.
- Rich in dietary fiber, which increase satiety, thus reducing calorie & fat intake
- Also help promoting gastrointestinal motility and defecation
- Firm & springy in texture, thus having longer shelf life than other mushrooms
- Neutral & sweet in property, associated with stomach & large intestine meridians
- Rich in iron, blood-nourishing and prevent iron deficiency anaemia
- Possess anticoagulant properties- Reduces blood clots formation, prevents thrombosis, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease occurrence
- Pectin in black fungus helps absorbing and excreting impurities out of body, thus also have functions of moisturizing lungs and cleansing stomach & intestines
- Neutral and sweet in property, associated with lungs and stomach meridians.
- Nourish ‘yin’, lungs, stomach and intestines; also great for beauty
- White fungus soup is extremely great for ‘heaty’ individuals with ‘yin’ deficiency, who may display symptoms like dry cough, constipation during hot weather
- Also great for children or ‘heaty’ individuals who couldn’t take medicinal herbs or warm tonic
- Excellent food ingredients that clear body heatiness
Zenxin’s Shiitake mushrooms are sourced from Qingyuan, Zhejiang, China- the birthplace of the earliest Shiitake mushroom cultivation with more than 800 years history. Qingyuan is surrounded by green mountains and river, with endless stretch of tall and precipitous mountain peaks, and forest coverage rate up to 86%. In addition, Qingyuan has no extremely cold weather in winter or severe heat in summer, but short frost-free period, and great day and night seasonal temperature difference, all of which are conditions suitable for growth of mushrooms and other fungi. In Song Dynasty, Wu Sangong, a farmer who lived in Longyan Village, Qingyuan County, Zhejiang Province, was the first to invent the method of ‘wood chopping’ for mushroom cultivation, which earned him the title of “Mushroom God”.
Written by: Ms Theresa Kok from Ori Kitchen