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The stems of the rehydrated Shiitake mushrooms are tough, even after rehydration. In the recipes that I checked it was advised to cut and throw the stems and keep the head of the mushroom.

I want to understand why the stems of Shiitake are not eaten. Are the stems edible? Are they usable in any way? Is there any actual known (perhaps documented) use of the Shiitake mushroom stem? Like for example a dish in Japanese Cuisine that uses stems of Shiitake Mushrooms.

  • They can be powdered in a spice grinder (spinning blade) and used as a thickening agent. Tastes mushroomy. – Wayfaring Stranger Feb 13 at 1:23
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If they are so tough that they are unable to be cut, or unpleasant to eat, I use them in stocks and soups (they would have to be removed before serving).

  • Thank you for your answer. Did you ever find Shiitake stems that were tender and suitable for eating? Or the Shiitake stems are always tough and most certainly need to be removed? – Spyros K Feb 12 at 11:57
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    @SpyrosK They're edible if thinly sliced, but plenty of things are edible if thinly sliced. Even young, small shiitakes have tough stems. The texture of the dish is better if only the heads are eaten. And as moscafj said, that doesn't mean the stems are wasted -- you can use them for stock. – Sneftel Feb 12 at 12:34
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    It really depends @SpyrosK, you may get a batch with stems that are reasonably tender, or they may be very tough. You have to rehydrate them and see. – GdD Feb 12 at 14:45
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    To add to the stock idea: pulverize the (dry) stems in a spice/coffee grinder. The powered version does not need refrigeration and can be added to water for broth or used as a thickener en mass, or use as an alternative to wheat flour to coat foods in some cases. – joynoele Feb 12 at 17:45

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