Shiitake mushrooms are native to East Asia but are now sold all over the globe. They are great added to many Asian dishes, ramen, stir-fries, soups, amongst many other things. They are easily found in many grocery stores.
Unlike many other kinds of produce, shiitake mushrooms last a long time in the fridge. While most other produce lasts from a few days to a week, properly stored shiitake mushrooms will stay good for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
How Long Are Shiitake Mushrooms Good For
Proper storage is how to keep your fruit, vegetables, and fungi fresh for the longest time. Shiitake mushrooms should be stored in the fridge and they will end up lasting about 2 weeks.
When the shiitake mushrooms are sliced, they have a shorter fresh quality time. When sliced, shiitake mushrooms go from lasting 2 weeks in the fridge to 7-9 days.
In the freezer, shiitake mushrooms are good for about a year. They won’t be the same quality once thawed, but if you need to store these mushrooms for a long time them the freezer is a good plan.
Cooked mushrooms last about 5 days in the fridge, which once again is more than many other types of cooked foods.
Storing Shiitake Mushrooms
The best way to store fresh shiitake mushrooms to have them last the longest is by putting them into a paper bag. Many mushrooms can be purchased in a plastic container of some sort. When this happens, it is best to take them out of the plastic (or just the top off) and either cover them with a paper towel or place in a paper bag.
The paper bag keeps the other foods from the fridge from seeping into the mushrooms while also allowing them to have air. While with many foods you would want to keep out air, with shiitake mushrooms, allowing air keeps them from accumulating too much moisture and molding.
When storing shiitake mushrooms, you should also put them in a refrigerator drawer. Many refrigerators have drawers that are meant for cheeses, vegetables, and/or fruits. You should place it into the vegetable or crisper drawer for the best quality.
When you freeze shiitake mushrooms, you will want to put them in an air-tight container. They should also be cooked before freezing because raw shiitake mushrooms don’t freeze too easily. The easiest way to do this is by sauteeing the mushrooms and then placing them into an air-tight container. Remember to label the date of putting them into the freezer.
With freezing, you can also add seasonings to the mushrooms beforehand, making things easier in the future.
How To Tell When They’ve Gone Bad
When shiitake mushrooms go bad, they will get very wrinkly and have an unpleasant odor. They’ll get squishy or super dry, slimy, and their color will change. Once any of these things happen, it’s best to throw them out.
Shiitake Mushroom Substitutes
If you don’t have shiitake mushrooms around and can’t go out and get any, there are plenty of substitutes for all your mushroom needs.
Shiitake mushroom substitutes include:
- Porcini mushrooms
- Portobello mushrooms
- Oyster mushrooms
- Crimini mushrooms
These are the best mushroom substitutes for when you want shiitake mushrooms but don’t have any.
The Shiitake Mushroom Taste
Shiitake mushrooms, when cooked, taste rich, buttery, and meaty. In fact, because of the taste and texture of shiitake mushrooms, they are used as a substitute for bacon. Sounds odd, but with the right seasonings, shiitake mushrooms can make decent vegan bacon.
Shiitake mushrooms have an earthy smell to them that isn’t super strong. They can add a nice aroma to a meal without overpowering the dish.
Due to the lower water content compared to other kinds of mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms have a dense and firm texture. This gives a similar texture to meats, which is why they can pass as vegan bacon.
Dried shiitake mushrooms have a pleasant smokey taste with a chewy texture. Dried shiitake mushrooms last up to 9 months, making them a nice snack that is similar to jerky.
Shiitake mushrooms are very versatile. They last a decently long time in the fridge or in the freezer, making them a good thing to stock up on. The taste pairs well with any savory dish or can make a dish savory itself.
Shiitake mushrooms last 2 weeks whole in the fridge, about 9 days when sliced, 9 months when dried, and up to a year when in the freezer. Though, you should cook the mushrooms first before freezing them as it makes the process easier.
You can enjoy these mushrooms in many different ways from a stir-fry to making vegan bacon. Enjoy!