Did you know you could also use a natural mushroom and achieve remarkable health benefits?

As an inexpensive and flavourful alternative, we would like to introduce you to the power of the original shiitake mushroom!

You can buy shiitake either fresh or dried. The dried versions are more intense in their flavour and effect. We suggest adding a few shitakes to a regular diet once a week. Please note that consuming mushrooms can be too cleansing for individuals who are following a plant-based diet or who are recovering from illness.

In Chinese medicine (TCM), we appreciate shiitake for its neutral thermal nature and sweet flavour (Pitchford, 2002) – this is important because it is neither very cooling nor very warming and thus suitable for many people. Energetically, shiitake enters the meridians of the Stomach, Spleen and Liver, acting as a tonic for Qi and blood and resolving pathologic phlegm in the body. It is often used in the treatment of cancer, it decreases both fat and cholesterol in the blood and helps to discharge residues of animal protein in the body (Pitchford, 2002). A study by Dai et al. (2015) showed that regular consumption of shiitake improved immunity, with improved cell proliferation and a decrease in inflammatory markers.

Here are some ideas below, to get you started on your shiitake journey – Add shitake into your stir-fries or make a shiitake gravy that turns your rice, mashed potato or pasta dishes into a creamy umami-flavoured delight. Not into gravy? Try our powerful shiitake tea for quick & easy use.

Shitake-Shallot Gravy


1 tbsp. olive oil
2 or 3 shallots, chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
5 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked for at least 1 hour), chopped
A small punnet of brown or white mushrooms
100ml white wine
1 litre of stock
1 tbsp. of flour
Sea salt and pepper


Fry the shallots in the olive oil until slightly browned, add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until the alcohol evaporates. Fill up with stock and boil for another 10 minutes until the stock has reduced and starts to thicken. Whisk 2 tbsp. of water with the flour in a separate bowl and pour it into the gravy. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the gravy has thickened. Season with sea salt and pepper.


Shitake Tea


1 Dried shiitake mushroom, soaked for 1 hour
200 ml of water
1-2 drops shoyu (soy sauce) or tamari


Discard the soaking water, remove the stem from the mushroom, slice it and simmer in hot water for 10 minutes. Add shoyu and simmer for another 2 minutes.



Blagodatski, A., Yatsunskaya, M., Mikhailova, V., Tiasto, V., Kagansky, A., & Katanaev, V. L. (2018). Medicinal mushrooms as an attractive new source of natural compounds for future cancer therapy. Oncotarget9(49), 29259–29274. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.25660

Dai, X., Stanilka, J. M., Rowe, C. A., Esteves, E. A., Nieves, C., Spaiser, S. J., … Percival, S. S. (2015). ConsumingLentinula edodes(Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 34(6), 478–487.doi:10.1080/07315724.2014.950391

Guggenheim, A. G., Wright, K. M., & Zwickey, H. L. (2014). Immune Modulation From Five Major Mushrooms: Application to Integrative Oncology. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.)13(1), 32–44. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684115/

Share This