Shiitake, Maitake, Brown Beech, and more: mushrooms are an important part of Japanese cuisine. There so many ways to enjoy these delicious mushrooms! Read on for some awesome Japanese Mushroom recipes and how to identify the different kinds in the supermarket.
I’ve been playing around with Japanese mushrooms lately. Look at these babies! From left to right, these are White Beech Mushrooms (Bunapi Shimeji), Brown Beech Mushrooms (Buna Shimeji), Maitake Mushrooms and King Trumpet Mushrooms (Eryngii)
These are organic and grown in the United States (the ones sold in US are grown in California) and even cultivated on recyclable material with no chemicals or additives. Japanese mushroom farm at Hokto Kinoko:
About Japanese Mushrooms
I took some time to give each mushroom variety a glamor shot – these were really fun to photograph. I hope you enjoy them!
Japanese Brown Beech Mushroom
Shimeji Mushroom is the third most popular mushroom in Japan, after shitake and enoki. They are called “beech mushrooms” because they often grow on fallen beech trees. These have a white base and cracked, speckled brown caps white are so very pretty. Surprisingly, they have no aroma! But their texture once cooked is smooth, crunchy. Shimeji mushrooms are buttery and nutty. You must cook Shimeji mushrooms, do not eat raw. Perfect to pair with noodles! The first recipe below is my Japanese Noodles with Shimeji Mushrooms Recipe.
Japanese Mushroom Recipes – Shimeji Mushroom
Vegetarian Japanese Shimeji Mushroom Omelet
A simple vegetarian omelet that’s savory, cheesy and healthy. The original recipe came from a health spa in Mexico, Rancho La Puerta.
15 Minute Japanese Mushroom Flatbread
It’s the quickest gourmet-y appetizer ever and I love using naan flatbreads as the base. It’s pre-baked, which is a fantastic shortcut for when I don’t have time to roll out my own pizza dough.
15 Minute Udon Miso Noodle Soup with Japanese Shimeji Mushrooms
Fast food Japanese style! Start to finish, this healthy and light Japanese Udon Noodle Soup with Miso takes less than 15 minutes.
Japanese Noodles with Shimeji Mushrooms Recipe
A 20-minute easy Japanese mushroom noodle dish that’s as delicious as it is simple
Truffled Potatoes with Shimeji Recipe
For this recipe, a small spoonful of truffle cream is stirred through the finished dish where the heat does it job to release and infuse the ingredients with white truffle goodness.
Shimeji Mushrooms with Aburage Miso Soup Recipe
This tasty miso soup is packed with great flavors and textures!
Steak with Shimeji Mushrooms Recipe
This great recipe is serves up perfect steak every time, and the mushroom sauce served on top is exceptionally delicious!
Japanese Bunapi Shimeji Mushroom
These are called “white beech mushrooms” and “Bunapi” is actually a Hokuto trademark – they bred this particular mushroom from the Buna Shimeji (above) for its smooth, ivory color. It tastes very similar to the Buna Shimeji, and any recipe above will work for Bunapi.
Japanese Maitake Mushroom
According to Kimiko Barber, in Japanese, these mushrooms are called “dancing mushrooms.” When these mushrooms move in a gentle breeze, they resemble coral dancing in the current. It’s scientific name is Grifola frondosa and also known as Hen of the Woods. It’s a sturdy mushroom and holds its shape in a quick stir-fry and very pretty in soups with its swirls and curls floating. The taste is rich, earthy, woodsy and its texture is crisp/firm.
Japanese Mushroom Recipes – Maitake Mushrooms
Warm Maitake Pasta with Citrus Soy Dressing
A super simple pasta recipe with a zesty citrus soy dressing.
Steak with Creamy Whisky Mushroom Sauce
It’s rich, decadent and the best part is that the recipe is flexible.
Seared Maitake Mushrooms
At Vedge in Philadelphia, chef Richard Landau entices carnivores at his vegan spot by making a statement with these dramatic, crispy mushrooms.
Maitake Sea Bass Recipe
You need thick, firm-fleshed fish fillets to take the heat of pan-roasting; sea bass is ideal because the skin crisps up so nicely in the hot pan. Tilefish makes a good alternative.
Maitake Mushroom & Asparagus Stir Fry Recipe
An easy and delicious stir fry which pairs mushrooms with asparagus – the perfect combo.
Maitake and Beech Mushrooms with Simmered Tofu on Sesame Rice Recipe
Perfectly cooked mushrooms on deliciously seasoned rice.
Cauliflower Steaks with Maitake in Brown Butter Sauce
Nearly a full meal and absolutely satisfying–a knife-and-fork dish that highlights the vegetables. Maitake mushrooms, aka hen-of-the-woods, have a robust, nutty flavor that particularly complements the dish. If you can’t find them, sub in a handful of another favorite mushroom.
Japanese King Trumpet (Eryngii) Mushroom
These are my favorite Japanese mushrooms, I love their hearty, meaty texture and sometimes I even use these mushrooms as a meat substitute. I like to slice these mushrooms into 1/4-inch slices and then pan fry them with a little butter, mirin and soy. (I’ll post a recipe up later this week)
King Trumpet mushrooms are sweet, mild and buttery. Its stem is thick, robust and the Eryngii is related to the common Oyster Mushroom. In fact, sometimes, they are known as King Oyster Mushrooms. The ones shown here are about 3 to 4-inches tall and its base is 3/4-inch in diameter. Big boys!
Ian Garrone shows you in a short video clip what to look for when buying King Trumpet mushrooms. He also says their taste is similar to abalone – and I totally agree!
Japanese Mushroom Recipes – King Trumpet Mushrooms
Teriyaki Mushroom Sauce with Grilled Salmon
Saute the mushrooms – once they are softened, pour in the teriyaki sauce. Simmer for another minute, and it’s ready to pour over your grilled salmon, grilled steak or just poured over steamed rice. So good!
10-Minute Shrimp and Mushroom Thai Curry
Thai curry is my “break in case of emergency” meal – as I always have a can of coconut milk, a can of curry paste, shrimp in the freezer and miscellaneous vegetables in the refrigerator. Rice is only a one-finger trigger button away or already cooked, stored in the freezer.
Arctic Char with King Trumpet Mushrooms and Lemon Butter Sauce Recipe
A delicious fish dish with a divine lemon butter sauce, with glorious king trumpet mushrooms!
King Oyster “Scallop” Bowl
This recipe is an easy one, no food processor or blender required, but it requires some preparation.
These bowls have sautéed king oyster mushrooms, spicy peanut tofu, steamed baby bok choy and soba noodles flavored with a drizzle of sesame oil and chives.
This is too good about the Japanese mushrooms thanks sharing this article
Yum! Great pictures and very informative. Just went to the new H-Mart in Burlington, MA for the first time and they have all 4 of these exact mushrooms. I brought home miyatake and brown beech. Can’t wait to try them
Wow this is really to good and help us information Japanese mushrooms thanks sharing this article
Nice! I love all these mushrooms Thank you.
Pleasant! I love every one of these mushrooms, a debt of gratitude is in order for growing our mushroom training!
awesome recipes , awesome site , ive grown mushrooms at home myself and benefited from free mushrooms , love your recipes , tried a couple and will try more , great stuff on the info of mushrooms you use , thank you for the giveaways too
Great stir fry idea
Thank you for such informative article about Japanese mushrooms, Jaden! Your collection of recipes is excellent! But I especially did like your version of Teriyaki Mushroom Sauce with Grilled Salmon. I made this yesterday and it turned out perfect!
I like that you said mushrooms need to be cooked, especially wild mushrooms. I nearly poisoned myself with raw morels. I love just sautéed mushrooms with onions and a broth, and in a pasta sauce.
I really wanted to try some of the bunapi recipes like udon, or noodles, or stuffed tofu, but each different link I picked let me to the flatbread recipe! I’m sure that’s delicious, but I want to make soup!
Hi Eve! Sorry about that. I’ve fixed all the links.
Udon Noodle Soup: https://steamykitchen.com/10361-japanese-udon-noodle-soup-miso-recipe.html
Pasta with Mushrooms (YUM!): https://steamykitchen.com/3169-japanese-noodles-with-shimeji-mushroom.html
I used to be a mushroom hunter when I lived in Germany. I love mushrooms and there are many delicious varieties. I found out about the asian varieties later but they are good too. And why not experimenting with different recipes. Edible mushrooms no matter where they grow are very healthy . Mushrooms offer so much that is good for you. They are a good source of protein as well as antioxidants such as selenium, which helps to prevent cell damage, and copper, a mineral that aids in the production of red blood cells. Mushrooms are also an increasingly good source of vitamin D and Potassium.
That’s crazy, Larry. Why choose between European or Asian mushrooms when we can try them all?
Is there a place where I can mail order organically grown Japanese mushrooms? The only ones I ever find here in southern Palm Beach County, Florida (33437) are Shiitakes. Would love to try all the varieties you write about.
Living in the Twin Cities, MN, we’re fortunate to have a huge Hmong culture. Along with many other cultures too. What that means, is a great number of Asian and other Global food stores. Those stores are conveniently located along the bus routes and with affordable prices.
I see these mushrooms (all varieties listed here) and other ones that appear as the special of the week, sold for a fair price. (like under a couple bucks.) This week I took a chance (never really enjoying mushrooms in my food before.) and bought some of the white beech ones. I threw them in a turkey soup and slow cooked it. I’m pleasantly surprised how good they tasted. I’m bookmarking this blog to get ideas what to use with some of the other varieties.
whoops! meant to post this comment here on this page 😉
I love your site!!
FYI i just noticed that a bulk of your recipes for the brown beech mushrooms are all linked the LA times halibut recipe. I was able to find them individually with a google search for the titles, but just wanted to let you know.
Just got some of these little brown fun-guys in my CSA box and stoked for all the info you shared! THANKS!
Sorry, I didn’t mean to send yet.
*Guy I know in SF Bay area grows hundreds ofpounds of Shitakes.* Does that make them gay mushrooms, or California ‘shrooms, or Japanese?
No. Just ‘shrooms.
BTW, Bunapi are known as Beech mushrooms in Europe. Same mushroom. Different languages.
After spending all weekend at the Puget Sound Mycological Society Wild Mushroom Show, on Monday I sautéed some Bunapi, Enoki, Maitake with a big ol’ hunk of leftover Chanterelle.
Shrooms are shrooms. They don’t have ethnicity, just habitat.
Guy I know in SF Bay area grows hundreds ofpounds of Shitakes.
Perhaps the reason why people find it fascinating is because it’s a new, foreign concept, don’t you think? Any person who likes mushrooms will have eaten a variety of European mushrooms; they’re just much more available in the Western world and a such finding information and recipes will be easier.
Japanese mushrooms, on the other hand, are relatively new to food lovers – just look at the amount of people asking where to find them. So informative posts like this are always welcome!
As a side note, liking Japanese mushrooms doesn’t mean we don’t like or won’t try European ones, just like MikeD said. And who’s to judge what one likes or dislikes if it’s not harming anyone?
I love this brand of mushrooms! They’re super cheap at Ranch 99 stores on the west coast. It’s cool that they’re organic and last super long in the fridge.
finding the richest assortment at the huge Sky Food Supermarket in Flushing, Queens, New York. My favorite King Oyster mushrooms, come from 6 inch giants to 2 inch jewels, the perfect stand-in for ceps/porcinis in texture and taste, but available year-round and a fraction of the price (yesterday :1.99/lb – $2.49/lb !!). Standing up nicely to stir-frying, like in last night’s dinner of short ribs and sugar snaps, 10 minutes from prep to serve. Also great in a Spanish tortilla with asparagus, or in a veal shoulder roast gravy with guanciale/jowl. Endless, delicious possibilities, meat substitute…
these bumapi champignons mushroom look delious….tried in soup…slimmy…DO THES NEED TO BE COOKED NOT BE POSIONIOUS??
What a ridiculous and rude thing to say! Just because one enjoys Asian mushrooms does not mean that one cannot or does not enjoy others. And, in case you didn’t know, many of these species grow in many parts of the world. Maitake, for instance, grows quite prolifically in parts of the US. We call it Hen-of-the-Woods.
That’s crazy, Larry. Why choose between European or Asian mushrooms when we can try them all?
I don’t understand people’s fascination with everything Asian. I mean, some Asian mushrooms are good, but y’all should try European mushrooms like chanterelles and others (they grow in the US too), you won’t go back to the Asian ones…jeez!
What a small minded thing to say. Why try foreign food at all, if this is your reaction to mushrooms. Have you ever even tried a Masataki mushroom? In all likelihood, you haven’t, considering they are one of the most expensive mushrooms on the planet to purchase. Their flavor is the most exquisite delicacy a mushroom connoisseur can consume, and they only grow in Japan and China. Asian mushrooms are prime mushrooms. I’m American, and even I know that much.
I was just given some Bunapi mushrooms, had never seen them, and glad I found your website to identify them. The Hokto mushroom farms are just a few miles, in San Marcos, Calif. from where I live, so I’m going to try to go there and see them grown. What an exciting new addition to my mushroom recipes-I’m going to try all the types!It will be ‘Mushroom Heaven’!
Welcome to discuss together
There’s more than one Nina! SO happy to have stumbled onto your website! YUM, Oishi!
YUM and thank you
I LOVE your website! I’ve been buying those wonderful Brown Beech Mushrooms and got some great ideas about new ways to use them. Your photography is gorgeous.
Yum! Great pictures and very informative. Just went to the new H-Mart in Burlington, MA for the first time and they have all 4 of these exact mushrooms. I brought home miyatake and brown beech. Can’t wait to try them 🙂
I don’t like the way many mushrooms get squishy. so, I cook them and then spread them on yummy baugette or other crusty white bread. It is good…
I was given a few matsutake mushrooms that were picked in northern Ontario. Does anyone have a recipe using these mushrooms and I was also told that they can be pickled anyone have a recipe for pickling these mushrooms.
Any help would be appreciated.
Hi Donna,I don’t know you’re still reading as I’m replying 9 years old comment.Your Matsutake are gone for sure.
Japanese here,and When we get a few Matsutake,We will put a net on very delicate fire and grill Matsutake for a while.Wrapping with foil is also good.
when you can smell aroma of Matsutake,(maybe It’s in 3-4 minutes I guess)add a little bit of Soy source,Good quality one (made with 100% soy)If you have one.Also add Citrus.If you have Yuzu,Kabosu,(oriental citrus,I hope they are available from Asian market)They’re best.Not Orange or Lemon or Lime please,If no Oriental citrus is available,I will consider Lemon.Your choice!
Point is,eat them in simple way!
I get an organic produce delivery every week & all these mushrooms, from this producer were in it! Imagine my excitement when I found your site & now know what to do with them.
you’re very welcome!
thanks for linking 😀 i have a stir-fry recipe here http://babeinthecitykl.blogspot.com/2009/01/stir-fried-snowpeas-and-eryngii.html
love all the photos. agree with marc, u make them look larger than life, but to me, mushrooms ARE larger than life! especially enryngii. love em. mum makes them in this wicked miso soup. 🙂 thanks for the linkage. i’m very jealous of your box of mushrooms. xx
Great info on Japanese Mushrooms and those photos are gorgeous! I would love to be able to find these here in Canada but I suppose that would make them a little less local 😉 I made a mushroom tart the other day that was really tasty. Good way to use up lots of mushrooms and totally versatile.
Fantastic, absolutely fantastic shots of the mushrooms. Some of the best shroom shots I have ever seen. What a collection of mushies too!
I have not found anyone who does not like mushrooms except those who avoid them intentionally due to “rich man’s disease – gout”. ;p
I remember when I was younger, my mum would just steam/blanch the brown beech mushrooms and we just eat them with Sin Sin Garlic Chili Sauce. In a way, that was not the best way to enjoy them but it’s kinda addictive.
yummy in my tummy.
One of the Chinese-Indonesian recipes for mushroom is Ayam Jamur (Stir Fried Chicken and Mushroom) that is added for mie/bakmi (noodle) http://indonesia-eats.blogspot.com/2007/11/pesco-vegetarian-version-bakmi-ayam.html or Nasi Tim Ayam Jamur (rice topped with chicken and mushroom) http://carolineveronica.com/recipes/2006/09/nasi_tim_ayam_jamur.html
HOKTO’s commercial songs are very popular in Japan.
They are very cute and funny.
HOKTO Commercial Songs
Mushrooms are my fave – these look wonderful and great photos too.
I’ve read so many posts about mushrooms today, which is awesome since I’m on a major mushroom kick! I LOVE the Japanese Bunapi Shimeji Mushrooms, but really I’m a fan of them all. Thanks for the helpful tutorial 🙂
YES! My Chettinad Mushroom Masala is a winner, atleast according to most readers 🙂 http://www.cookingandme.com/2009/01/chettinad-mushroom-masala.html
Fun seeing all these mushroom types. I had no idea there were so many!
nope, I looked at the package and it is HOKTO, I’m such a dork!!
Love mushrooms! And the most variety we can get here are these Asian mushrooms (as opposed to wild forest mushrooms from the Western world like chanterelles and moresl)…can’t wait for your recipes! 🙂
I wish I could send you some morels…plentiful! ~j
Quick,nutritious recipe I learned from the farmers moons ago…
Boil mushrooms with ginger and chayote…very simple soup recipe!!
This is very interesting! I never knew they grew the mushrooms that way. We personally use the brown beech mushrooms a lot for cooking. They are great for a simple stir fry with chicken, soy sauce, and veggies!
I read all the way in your topic and it is good to know all about this. thks
A lot of my favorite mushrooms are here!
Humm, I love mushrooms, and the idea of a mushroom fest makes me rather happy!! 🙂
Gorgeous, great post. Wish we had more mushroom choices in Miami. Jaden, the first mushrooms were stir fried in the preseasoned cast iron wok I sent you, right? Don’t you think the wok is brilliant? It gives everything you cook in it yummy flavor and texture. I’d like to talk to you about your experience.
yes WokStar, it is! ~j
I love stuffed mushrooms and sauteed mushrooms. For the sauteed mushrooms – garlic, olive oil, basalmic vinegar and some crushed red pepper flakes! yummy
Love the “glamor” shots Jaden! Yum! You’re making me want to go and get some mushrooms to saute.
Thanks for enlightening us. You know, not keeping us in the dark and feeding us chit 😉
yummy, this is the brand I always buy here, though I think they call it HOKUO here. my favorite mushroom recipe is a little butter, sake, salt, pepper and fresh parsley…serve on warm baguette.
Yahoo!! I am a huge fan of mushrooms, these photos are exceptionally good! I love that photo with all that variety of mushrooms available. I will be gazing at these for a long time…
I’ve never cooked japanese mushroms! here, in Fance, we find ceps, chanterelles, and many flavoured ones. I prefer cooking them a few minutes in a large pan with extra olive oil,salt, pepper and I add in the end parsil and garlic finely chopped…
These are great for pasta. Use as many varieties as you can get your hands on and braise them in garlic, chili & olive oil. They’re delicious with or without sun dried tomatoes which will give the pasta an additional zip!
Thank you for posting this! I’ve learned a lot. : )
I love those beech mushrooms. I did a post on a simple stir-fry using thos, some oyster sauce and fruit vinegar if you’re interested. Very quick and easy and my kids love them. I need to try some of those other ones you posted on. Lovely photos as always.
I love your pictures, especially the Bunapi Shimeji. I eat a lot of mushrooms, especially portabello/portabellini. Being vegetarian I find mushrooms are a great substitute for meats in many recipes.
One of my favorites is very simple – marinate portabello caps for a while in a mixture of balsamic, olive oil, salt & pepper, and whatever herbs tickle your pickle. Then throw them on the grill for a bit and enjoy!
Love all of your mushrooms pictures. We don’t have many varieties in my areas. I love mushrooms and especially mushroom soup.
Great post – very informative! I love mushrooms and wish I could find a local source with a greater variety.
Your photos are simply luscious! Thank you for the tutorial. I encountered Shimeji mushrooms in a few restaurants last year and fell in love with the flavor. If you find a mail order source please do report back! I can’t wait to read about the recipes. Mmmm.
Fantastic glossary of Japanese mushrooms – thanks!
I recently discovered that mushrooms are often a good source of Vitamin D – a nutrient very much in the news these days. Apparently, the darker toned mushrooms, like the maitake and brown beech above, have higher Vit D content than the lighter mushrooms.
If you’re interested in mushrooms and Vit D, I recently wrote about it: http://danamccauley.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/d-is-for-mushroom/
Thanks for the great primer on Japanese mushrooms. They are so gorgeous, and each of them so distinctive looking. Your photos make them look like glam movie stars, too.
I love mushrooms – cooked. All mushrooms, in fact. These look spectacular, of course – you photo goddess!! Don’t have a particular mushroom recipe, as I use them in all kinds of dishes, but I know that mushrooms are anti-carcinogenic. All of them. Shitakes have the reputation, but it turns out that they all have similar chemical properties which make them great for your health.
oh i totally forgot to include health info in the post! ~j
Only four hours to research and post. You’re a super power. It would have taken me weeks. Beautiful.
gorgeous!! i love this. i want a box of japanese mushrooms. how do you get mushrooms from hokto kinoko? do you have to be in LA? i couldn’t find a way to order from there site, but maybe i have to look harder.
thanks for the inspiration!
I bet you can find them at Japanese supermarkets. I’ll find out where they are sold ~j
Hi There! just cooked my first white bunapi’s tonight. Absolutely wonderful! I will be looking for the other kinds immediately! I got them at my local health food store so am guessing that quality produce providers may have them. I live in Port Angeles WA which is about 1500 miles north of where they are grown. Good Luck! ZuVu
I love my Japanese shrooms!
Just bought and cooked those white bunapi mushrooms myself 2 weeks ago, ate them for the first time. They are incredibly delicious, more flavorful than I expected since their aroma while raw is pretty mild. Maitakes: Rulers of the fungal universe, they crisp up really well when sauteed just right. Will have to find those king trumpets. Love the mushroom post!
You’ll LOVE the King Trumpets – will post a great recipe in a few days for them ~j
thanks for expanding my mushroom education! These look delish!
Nice! I love all these mushrooms and you make them look larger than life. Have you ever tried Matsutake mushrooms?
yeah, i like the matsutake mushrooms – SO EXPENSIVE THOUGH!!! ~j