Prized for centuries in the Orient, the shiitake (pronounced she-TAH-keh) mushroom has a hearty flavor and meaty texture. Its Japanese name means "oak mushroom." Shiitakes are valued in Japan for their delicious taste and heralded for their healthful effects. They are believed to help reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure and stimulate the immune system.
Shiitakes are delicious with baked fish, in omelets or in soups and stir-fry dishes. Try substituting rehydrated shiitakes for all or part of the beef in your favorite stroganoff recipe.