Soaking it All in

In a world dominated by quick-fix meals, instant entrees, and fast food, it can be hard to deliberately slow down. If there’s a way to cook faster to eat sooner, why deny yourself that immediate gratification? Patience is truly a virtue, yielding even greater rewards to those who can wait. This is true of life in general, and shiitake mushrooms in particular.

Yes, dried shiitake mushrooms need time to fully rehydrate, reviving to their original brilliance with even greater savory depth than before. Most recipes haphazardly plunge them into boiling water for 15 – 20 minutes, rushing through the process just to get them to a generally edible state. Sure, they’ll be soft enough to slice, but so much of their rich, distinctive aroma will be lost that you might as well be using a bland button mushroom instead. These hot shiitakes will be a far cry from the flavorful powerhouses they could have been.

Sugimoto shiitake are dried using a far-infrared drying approach, which minimizes moisture to less than 9% (whereas others are 12% or more) to preserve the highest quality possible. This process breaks the Shiitake’s cell membrane, allowing it to release a greater amount of Guanylate when rehydrated. Soaking for at least 12 hours and ideally 24 hours in cold water slowly, gently coaxes out the full range of savory flavors locked inside. The texture is remarkably better, too, producing plump caps with a juicy yet tender bite.

If you must take a shortcut, there is one way to speed things up; remove the stems first, and you can reduce the overall time to about 8 hours. You do still need to plan ahead of course, but if you start thinking about dinner at breakfast time like me, this trick is an invaluable ace to have up your sleeve. That said, patience is definitely not my strong suit, so I’ve learned to keep soaked shiitake in the fridge at all times, ready whenever cravings might strike.

One of my favorite pasta dishes is mushroom stroganoff, which has evolved considerably through equal parts education and experimentation. It can be thrown together in minutes or raised to new culinary heights given greater advanced planning. Any sort of pasta will do in a pinch, but homemade pasta infused with the deep savory flavor of Sugimoto dried shiitake powder puts it in a whole new category of everyday indulgence.

Garlicky cream sauce bathes the cascading noodles in a tidal wave of luscious mushroom goodness, infusing every element of the dish with incredible amounts of umami and tanmi. Though the original version utilizes rough cuts of beef, thickly sliced shiitake are meaty enough to satisfy without any sacrifice.

It really does pay to slow down, take the long route, and savor every moment. This mushroom stroganoff may take a while from start to finish, but it disappears quickly.

Yield: Makes 2 - 3 Servings

Shiitake Stroganoff

Shiitake Stroganoff

Garlicky cream sauce bathes the cascading noodles in a tidal wave of luscious mushroom goodness, infusing every element of the dish with incredible amounts of umami.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 55 minutes

Ingredients

Shiitake Pasta:

  • 250 Grams All-Purpose Flour
  • 5 Grams Dried Shiitake Powder
  • 90 Grams Aquafaba

Stroganoff:

  • 2.25 Ounces Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, Soaked for 24 Hours
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 3/4 Cup Reserved Mushroom Soaking Water
  • 1/2 Cup Plain, Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
  • 2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • Salt and Ground Black Pepper
  • Fresh Parsley, Minced

Instructions

  1. To make the shiitake pasta, whisk the all-purpose flour and shiitake powder together in a small bowl. Transfer the dry ingredients to your pasta maker with the pappardelle extrusion disc installed*. Slowly drizzle in the aquafaba and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. Do NOT cut the noodles at any point; they're prone to breaking during the cooking process, so you'll end up with shorter strands by the time they're ready to eat.
  2. Gently toss the freshly extruded noodles with additional flour to prevent them from sticking or clumping together. Let stand in a cool, dry place for at least 1 hour for best results.
  3. When you're ready to cook the dish, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for only 30 - 60 seconds, until the noodles begin to float. Quickly drain and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the stroganoff by first draining the mushrooms but reserve the liquid. Remove the stems, saving them for another recipe (such as soups, stews, curries, and more), and thinly slice the caps. Set aside.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and slice shiitake mushrooms, and stir to combine. Continue sautéing for an additional 5 - 7 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and aromatic. Deglaze with the white wine, using your spatula to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Let the sauce simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the reserved mushroom liquid, non-dairy milk, soy sauce, flour, nutritional yeast, paprika, and thyme until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan and stir to combine. Let the mixture simmer for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
  7. Season generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately over your cooked pasta and garnish with fresh parsley, as desired.

Notes

If you don't want to make your own pasta from scratch, you can use 8 ounces of dried pappardelle, fettuccine, or linguine, cooked al dente.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 560Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 440mgCarbohydrates: 95gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 17g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

This post was made possible as a collaboration with SUGIMOTO Co. My opinions can not be bought and all content is original. This page may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting my blog!

5 thoughts on “Soaking it All in

  1. That looks so delicious:) I have a bag of shiitake in my cupboard, and I will surely soak them for 24 hours, thanks for the tip Hannah.

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