I’m quite fond of shiitake mushrooms and can eat them grilled, stir-fried with anything, and even in sandwiches! One of my favorite recipes with this magical ingredient is a kind of chicken soup, which the hubby finds very comforting:
Chicken & Shiitake Mushroom Soup
1/2 kilo chicken breast, cut into small cubes
2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms
1 inch ginger, sliced thinly
2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce (I use Kikkoman)
1 packet Splenda or similar sweetener
3 cups water
Boil the water and put in a bowl/small pot. Put in the mushrooms ensuring they are fully submerged; soak for at least 30 minutes. While waiting, put together in another bowl the ginger, soy sauce and sweetener. Put in the chicken and mix well.
After 30 minutes of soaking, remove the mushrooms from the water. Do not throw away the soaking water but strain out the grainy residue, then transfer to a pot. Slice the mushrooms thinly throwing away any remaining dry or tough parts. Mix the slice mushrooms in with the chicken marinade, and then put into the pot with the soaking water. Boil the whole mixture and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
I adapted this recipe from different ones that I found online. I’m also fond of experimenting, like this one time that I thought of putting together something using only my rice cooker:
Shiitake Mushroom Black Rice with Spanish Sardines
2 cups uncooked black rice
2 cups chopped ripe red tomatoes
1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp chili powder or cumin powder (optional)
Wash the black rice and soak in water for at least 30 minutes. While waiting, boil 3 cups of water and transfer to a bowl/pot. Soak the mushrooms fully in the water for 30 minutes. Afterward, remove the mushrooms and strain the grainy residue out of the soaking water.
Throw away the water used for soaking the rice and replace with the water used for soaking the mushrooms. Put in the tomatoes and mix well with the rice, then click the rice cooker on. As it starts boiling and while it simmers, stir the whole mixture occasionally to prevent any of it from sticking to the bottom. Put in spices as desired.
Put a couple of Spanish sardines on a plateful of the rice before serving.
The taste of the black rice may be too strong for you even with the tomatoes and the mushrooms, but black rice is very healthy; it contains lots of fiber and nutrients! You may also try using whichever-colored rice you prefer, except maybe white rice which is too bland and not very healthy 🙂