Mushroom are known as an autumn food in Japan as it the time of year that they are at their best. Restaurants usually change their menu to include mushroom dishes at this time of year.
Mushrooms are eaten more often in Japan than in England. There are about 5000 kinds of mushrooms in Japan and about 100 of them are known as edible. The following list is comprised of the most popular and ooishi Japanese mushrooms:
Probably the most well-known Japanese mushroom in the world. Shiitake is used in many dishes, especially in sukiyaki.
Shiitake can be used in rice dishes, soups, fries, sauces, it is cooked in many ways in Japan.
They contain the vital umami taste too, so they are used to take dashi.
Shiitake can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. β-glucan from shiitake is already used to prevent cancer.
It has a weaker taste when compared with shiitake.
It is often mixed with rice to produce takikomi gohan, or often used for Japanese flavoured spaghetti.
Contains vitamin D, B1, B2 and Niacin,
Enoki is white and has long, thin stems and is small in comparison to shiitake or shimeji.
A popular way of cooking this mushroom is to wrap it with bacon, which is called enoki bacon.
Enoki helps intestine regulating function.
The shape of maitake is quite unique.
Maitake is used like other mushrooms, cooked with rice, used for tempura, but the texture is different so other mushrooms.
Research suggests that maitake can prevent cancer as it contains β-glucan like shiitake but in larger quantities. It is also said that it can support your immune system.
Nameko is used in miso soup or used as a topping for soba noodles.
It is slightly slimy, but the slime contains umami.
This slime is mucin, and it protects cells and mucous membrane in our bodies.
6 Eryngii (king oyster mushroom)
Eryngii are eaten in France and Italy and some other European countries. Japanese farmers started to harvest them only from 1993, but they have become a popular dish in Japan recently.