An Ultimate Guide To Shimeji Mushrooms
Image Credit: Unsplash

Shimeji mushrooms are a type of edible fungus called Hypsizygus tessellatus that is native to East Asia but is grown in North America, Europe, and Australia as beech mushrooms. They feature little circular heads and long, slender stems that develop from a base that is linked. They are frequently found growing among dead or rotting beech trees, hence their name, as well as cottonwood and elm trees. The most common shimeji mushrooms are the white shimeji, also known as white beech mushroom, white clamshell mushroom, or Bunapi-shimeji, and the brown shimeji, also known as brown beech, brown clamshell, or Buna-shimeji mushrooms. The colours are similar to white button and brown cremini mushrooms.

Shimeji mushrooms, like parmesan cheese and anchovies, have a crisp texture and a savoury, nutty, umami flavour due to the high quantity of naturally occurring amino acids known as glutamates they contain. While wild shimeji mushrooms grow on fallen hardwood trees, professionally cultivated shimeji mushrooms grow on a bed of grain, sawdust, and other organic materials. They are tough and bitter when raw, but boiling softens them and removes the bitterness. They're frequently served as a side dish with roasted meats and wild game, as well as in stir-fries and soups. They're also common elements in hot pots, rice and noodle meals, tempura, omelettes, stews, and sauces.

Taste Of Shimeji Mushrooms

Shimeji mushrooms have a savoury, nutty, umami flavour with hints of sweetness and butter. The brown varieties are slightly richer, while the white varieties are milder, but both are packed with mushroom flavour.

How To Cook Shimeji Mushrooms?

The first step in cooking with shimeji mushrooms is to clip away the base of the mushroom bundle and then separate the stalks so they cook evenly. Shimeji mushrooms can be prepared using both high-heat and slow, low-temperature cooking methods, as well as moist-heat and dry-heat methods.

Then, place them in a dish of cold water and swish them around to clean. Any dirt that falls to the bottom will sink. Drain the mushrooms in a colander and, if required, repeat the cleaning process in a fresh basin of water. They're ready to use once they've been cleaned.

Most mushrooms do not overcook; instead, they lose moisture and shrink in size. Shimeji mushrooms are rather distinctive in this sense because they have a little crunchy quality that can be lost by overcooking. They cook quickly, so check after 3 to 4 minutes of stir-frying or sautéing to ensure they don't lose their crunch.

Shimeji mushrooms go well with pizza, salads, and omelettes, and you can prepare a nice mushroom dip by pureeing them with cream cheese and seasonings of your choosing.


Some shimeji mushrooms are packaged in plastic, which is normally bad for mushrooms because it increases condensation, which can lead to rotting. Shimeji mushrooms, on the other hand, are wrapped loosely in plastic, which keeps them fresh without turning slimy. Place the unopened package in the fridge. After removing the plastic, wrap the mushrooms in paper towels or keep them in a paper bag in the crisper drawer for up to 5 days.