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The shiitake mushroom is one of the most umami-packed and delicious you’ll find! Here’s a favorite recipe for how to cook them to perfection.

Shiitake mushrooms

When it comes to mushrooms, the shiitake is where it’s at! This variety is one of the most savory, meaty flavored mushrooms around: and it’s super versatile. Sauté them up as a side dish, or add them to stir fries, noodles, ramen…or even make them into bacon! This mushroom is great holding its own in a risotto, or acting as a supporting character for a mix of fungi on a pizza. Here’s more about it and a tasty recipe for simple sautéed shiitake mushrooms…which are insanely delicious, by the way.

What are shiitake mushrooms?

Shiitake mushrooms are some of the most well-known in the mushroom family here in the US, right behind button, cremini and portobello. Here’s what to know about this type of mushroom:

  • Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular edible mushrooms in the world, native to East Asia. They are slender and light brown, with a tough, inedible stem. This variety, scientific name Lentinus edodes, has been cultivated in Japan and China for centuries. Shiitake means
  • Where to find it? You can find shiitakes at most mainstream grocery stores, and they’re available both fresh and dried. The focus of this article is fresh shiitakes.
  • What do shiitake mushrooms taste like? Shiitake mushrooms taste rich, meaty, and buttery when cooked. While you can eat shiitakes raw, their flavor is much more pronounced and developed when they’re cooked.
Shiitake mushrooms

Can you eat the stems?

There’s an important question to consider when it comes to preparing fresh shiitake mushrooms. Can you eat the stems? Unfortunately, no: the stems of this type of mushroom are very tough and fibrous. You should pull out the stems from the caps before cooking shiitakes.

How to store and clean raw shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms grow on trees: rotting wooden logs, in fact! They usually don’t come packaged with too much dirt, but you can give them a quick rinse before using them. Here are the best practices for storing and cleaning shiitake mushrooms:

  • Store the mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator (not the produce drawer). You can leave them in the package they come in, but the best way to store shiitake mushrooms is in a paper bag. Why? Paper allows them to breathe. Leave them in the main part of the refrigerator to get good airflow, not the produce drawer.
  • Clean them with a quick rinse. Give the mushrooms a quick rinse to get off any dirt. Contrary to what you might think, it’s ok to rinse your mushrooms! Here’s the best way to clean mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms recipe

How to cook shiitake mushrooms to perfection

There are a few ways to cook shiitake mushrooms, but the best way we’ve found is to sauté them. These amazing sautéed shiitakes take about 10 minutes and results in an crazy amount of savory, delicious flavor! Once you’ve tried them this way, you’ll never go back. Here are the main steps (or jump to the recipe below):

  • Remove the stems before slicing! We’ve said it a few times because we don’t want you to miss this! The stems are very tough and virtually inedible.
  • Cook in a skillet on medium heat for 5 minutes. We like using sesame oil for cooking them (standard, not toasted).
  • Add seasonings and cook 1 minute. We like adding soy sauce, lime juice, Sriracha, and a hint of toasted sesame oil (see below). Give them a taste and you’ll be overwhelmed by the rich and meaty flavor.
Shiitake mushrooms

More shiitake mushroom recipes

The sauteed shiitake mushrooms recipe below is a fantastic basic way to cook them! You can use them on their own as a side dish, or add them to various dishes. Here are some favorite recipes where you can use shiitake mushrooms:

This shiitake mushrooms recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free (using olive oil).

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Shiitake mushrooms

Sauteed Shiitake Mushroom Recipe

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


The shiitake mushroom is one of the most umami-packed and delicious you’ll find! Here’s a favorite recipe for how to cook them to perfection.


  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce (or other hot sauce)
  • 2 dashes toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (standard, not toasted)
  • Kosher salt


  1. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and discard. Slice the larger mushroom caps in half and keep smaller mushrooms whole. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, lime juice, Sriracha and toasted sesame oil. 
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a few pinches of kosher salt while cooking.
  3. Once browned on all sides, carefully pour in the bowl of sauce and continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes until dark brown and glossy. Serve immediately. 
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mushrooms
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Shiitake mushroom, Shiitake mushroom recipe

More types of mushrooms

Love mushrooms? There are so many types of mushrooms to try! Sample them all:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Excellent. I grow my own organic mushrooms and am always looking for recipes. The lime juice really makes this great. I served over scrambled eggs cooked in the pan used for cooking the shiitakes. Lion’s mane would work really well with the same sauce. Thank you for posting.

  2. This is my absolute favorite recipe for shiitakes now! So incredibly simple and so delicious every time. Thank you! (Also a crowd pleaser when serving to friends!!)

  3. As a registered dietitian and a person of Asian-descent, I have to disagree on the comment about the shiitake mushroom stems. The mushroom stems are completely edible and are packed with beta-glucans. What I do is remove the stem, cut off the woody parts of the stem like I do asparagus, and cook the separated and trimmed stems first for a longer time to soften them; thereafter, throw in the caps after the stems start to caramelize so the caps do not overcook.

    1. I also use the stems! When they are fresh, there’s nothing wrong with the stems, I don’t find them woody at all. Good tip to start cooking them a little in advance of the caps.

    2. Apologies for any mistyping in my previous comment, I am voice texting. So I see after reading the comments that fresh lime juice is preferred, this may need to be included in the ingredient list as sometimes fresh is interchangeable with bottled, and sometimes it is not. I can understand why here it is not.

  4. I’ve tried this recipe several time. And it always pairs beautifully with a succulent Wagyu steak.

  5. These are very good, I’ve made them twice. Once with buttermilk roast chicken and another time with steak and blue blue cheese sauce. I would recommend this As a side for almost any dish. They’re super quick and very flavorful, and are a great change up from the usual dinner veggies.

  6. Not sure if the tablespoon of lime juice is a misprint but it completely overpowered any flavour from the mushrooms. It’s a hard pass from me on repeating this one.

  7. Thank you!!! I’ve always loved mushrooms and only now just getting started to prepare them with the attention they deserve. Extremely happy with the results of this recipe – it compliments the flavor of the shiitake so well. A keeper for me, thanks again :)

  8. My favorite way to enjoy shiitake
    mushrooms is to sauté in a mixture of butter, soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger. So good and so easy.

  9. Great article. Thank you for that. Please correct the following. I inserted the word in parenthesis.

    Shiitake mushrooms grow on trees: rotting wooden logs, in fact! They usually don’t come packaged with too much dirt, but you can give them a quick (rinse) before using them. Here are the best practices for storing and cleaning shiitake mushrooms: