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These savory shiitake mushrooms sauteed with olive oil, sliced shallots, and garlic are tasty as all get-out. And they’re really easy to prepare! This basic recipe is my tried-and-true method for cooking many types of mushrooms. They turn out with a pleasing texture and are saturated with flavor. Serve shiitakes as a side dish or to accompany pasta, pizzas, and more.
Shiitake mushroom recipes often pair these meaty mushrooms with Asian-style seasonings like soy sauce, ginger, and sesame. You might be surprised that they also taste wonderful simply seasoned with olive oil, shallot and garlic and quickly pan-seared — very much like my favorite plate of crisp-tender sauteed oyster mushrooms.
They really don’t need much! This simple combination of pantry ingredients allows their distinctive texture and flavor to shine.
If your searching for veggie-forward dinner ideas, incorporating more mushrooms into your meal rotation is a perfect place to start.
About shiitake mushrooms
- Cultivation: The word “shiitake” derives from the type of tree they grow on, a variety of evergreen called shii, and “take,” the word for tree in Japanese. Shiitakes don’t grow wild in North America, but are widely cultivated and available in most grocery stores. They’re also available in dried form. This recipe uses fresh shiitakes.
- Texture: With their dense, spongy caps, cooked shiitakes have a toothsome chew and meaty texture. If you’re looking for satisfying vegetarian alternatives for beef or pork, shiitakes are a top choice.
- Flavor: Shiitakes taste like no other mushroom — I think they have an underlying flavor of toasted walnuts and an earthy, woodsy perfume.
- Best ways to cook: Shiitake mushrooms are versatile to took — they’re great in stir-fries, poached in broths or soups, and pan-fried or sauteed.
Basic ingredient list
- Fresh shiitake mushrooms: When shopping for fresh shiitakes, choose mushrooms that look plump and firm (not wet or slimy-looking). The gills should be uniformly white and almost fluffy looking, and the caps should be unbroken and curled under on the edges.
- Shallot: With their subtle, elegant flavor, shallots level-up this very simple dish. I love them! Other types of onion can be substituted, including yellow onion, red onion or scallions (green onion).
- Garlic: Just one clove of thinly sliced garlic perfumes the whole pan and infuses the shiitake with flavor.
- Lemon: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the cooked shiitakes adds a bright-tasting final touch.
Pan-Seared Shiitake Mushrooms with Shallots
- 14-16 ounces (450 g) fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallot, about one small or half a medium-large shallot
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Remove the stems from the mushroom caps by pulling them off gently with your hands (save them to make mushroom or vegetable stock). Slice larger caps into thick slices that are about ½-inch wide, leaving any smaller ones whole if they're less than 1½-inches in diameter.
- Place a 10-12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in one tablespoon of the olive oil and arrange half of the mushrooms in the pan in one layer. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of of the kosher salt over them.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes, without disturbing or stirring the mushrooms, until the mushrooms become golden brown on one side. This step helps develop a good sear. Scrape them into a bowl or large plate.
- Place the pan back over the heat. Repeat the process with the remaining mushrooms, using another tablespoon of the olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt.
- Add the first batch of mushrooms back to the pan along with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the shallot and garlic and cook until the garlic smells delicious and the shallot is softened, about 2 more minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Squeeze the lemon over the mushrooms and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve and enjoy!
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- Depending on the selection in your market, you can use 4-5 packages of shiitakes that are packed into in 3.5-ounce containers, or one-pound of bulk mushrooms.
- Mushrooms shrink quite a bit when cooked. Slicing the mushrooms into thicker pieces (or keeping small caps whole) helps retain their ideal toothsome texture.
- If you’re not using coarse kosher salt, reduce the total amount of salt by half.
- The cooked mushrooms keep well up to 5 days refrigerated.
Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.