Did you know that in Asian countries mushrooms are sold the way hotdogs are sold here in America, by street-cart vendors? Shiitake and maitake mushrooms boast of their ability to inhibit tumor growth, boost the immune system, and lower cholesterol levels. White button mushrooms have no medicinal value, however, despite being the most well-liked of the fungus family. They do, however, supply necessary B vitamins and other key nutrients to our bodies. Niacin, one B vitamin, helps your body use fats, keep your tissues healthy, and convert sugars into energy.
At the Market
-For greater nutritional benefits, choose Asian varieties of mushrooms: shiitake and maitake.
-If you don’t plan to use the mushrooms right away, choose whole rather than sliced.
-Avoid slimy or browned skin, along with mushrooms that are withered or blemished.
In the Kitchen
-Nutritionally, as well as taste-wise, mushrooms are better cooked rather than raw due to their water content.
-Refrigerate your mushrooms for 1-2 days in a covered container or plastic bag, but not in the crisper drawer because it’s too moist an environment.
-If you want to freeze fresh mushrooms, blanch, steam or fry, then let cool completely before placing in plastic freezer bags. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Glazed Shiitake Mushrooms
1 lb shiitake mushrooms
1 tsp canola oil
1/3 c defatted reduced-sodium chicken broth (divided)
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp dry sherry
Rinse the mushrooms and pat dry with paper towels. Trim and discard the stems. Cut each cap into 3 or 4 slices.
In a large no-stick skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of the broth. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the mushrooms are hot and star to give off liquid.
In a small bowl, dissolve the corn starch in the remaining broth. Stir in the soy sauce and sherry. Add to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until the sauce is clear and the mushrooms are glazed.
Makes 4 servings.
(Recipe taken from “The Doctors Book of Food Remedies)
What is your favorite way to use mushrooms?