Can I use dried shiitakes in place of fresh?  

Brussels Sprouts and Shiitake Lo Meinenlarge

Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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According to the folks who sell dried shiitakes, it takes a full pound of mushrooms to yield just 3 ounces of dried. But just as sun-dried tomatoes are much more intensely flavored than fresh, dried mushrooms yield much stronger flavor.

Dried shiitakes are hydrated, one way or another, before you eat them. They may be hydrated in a slow-simmering soup, or soaked in water before they go into the dish. Even when hydrated, though, dried shiitakes will be chewie–or, some would say meatier–than fresh.

This Brussels Sprouts and Shiitake Lo Meinrecipe is a great example of how to rehydrate dried shiitakes.

For more information on cooking with mushrooms, see 7 Ways with Mushrooms.

Marge Perry
Feb, 2012
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