How to Cook Shiitake Mushrooms

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Shiitake mushrooms are so deliciously flavorful that I could eat them all day. They even have their own specific taste, although it may be an acquired one. Prior to the 1960s, we described “taste” as sour, sweet, salty, and bitter. But the shiitake mushroom has a new fifth taste: umami. And you really do have to try them out to experience it!

If you love fried mushrooms, try my Garlic Balsamic Sauteed Mushrooms or my fast and easy Teriyaki fried mushrooms.

medium sized skillet with Shiitake Mushrooms garnish with green onions

When you’re on the lookout for these mushrooms, you’ll find two types to choose from: fresh and dried, but of course, the fresh kind is always best. If you can’t source the fresh variety, don’t panic; dried shiitake works just fine for use in sauces or soups – and it can even be more flavorsome because of the drying process. But if your recipe is going to lead with the mushrooms without any complementing sauces or flavors, it’s best to stick with the fresh variety, which has a more excellent texture.

Prepping Your Mushrooms

Mushrooms are complete moisture magnets because they’re so porous, so it’s important to take measures to make sure your mushrooms don’t end up all mushy (not appetizing, trust me!). You can mitigate this mushy disaster by wiping your fresh mushrooms with a damp cloth instead of placing them under running water. You also remove the stems, which means you don’t have to wash them as much. If you like to wash them, run them quickly under water to remove any dirt; don’t soak them.

Perfection Takes Time!

This is one recipe you don’t want to rush. The excellent taste of these mushrooms comes from enzymes found in the mushroom flesh, and it’s essential to take your time during the cooking process so that these enzymes can release the maximum amount of flavor! Have a little patience, and I promise your taste buds will thank you.

close up skillet with Shiitake Mushrooms garnish with green onions

How to Make Shiitake Mushrooms

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the mushrooms to your skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Add water and cook until the water has evaporated and the mushrooms have shrunken and softened. If necessary, fry for an extra 2-3 mins.
  4. If you like, you can stir in some oyster sauce and coat the mushrooms (highly recommended!).
  5. However, if you’re looking for another dish like pho, you can leave out the sauce and garnish with green onions.

Shiitake Mushrooms are Super Good for You, Too!

Not only are they mouthwateringly glorious, but these mushrooms really are incredibly healthy! They’re high in fiber, low in calories, and contain lots of important vitamins. And, of course, we can’t forget the health benefits of olive oil used in the cooking process, which is full of antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Wooo! Tasty AND good for your health!

And Don’t Let those Leftovers Go to Waste!

If you have any leftover cooked shiitake mushrooms, they’ll last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. To reheat, place them in the microwave at 50% power. I often double the recipe so that I have some leftovers to hand for the rest of the week!

close up skillet with Shiitake Mushrooms garnish with green onions

More Recipes for Mushroom Lovers

If there is one food I love, it’s mushrooms! Check out some of my favorite recipes:

Happy cooking! Where do you stand on these mushrooms? Lover or hater?



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How to Cook Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are a strong, earthy flavored mushroom that is best simply fried and used in other dishes such as pho or as an accompaniment to a main meal.
4.96 from 24 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Side Dish
Karlynn Johnston


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound (454 grams ) small shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and stems cut off
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • green onions


  • Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring and turning occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown.
  • Add the water to the skillet and cook, stirring the mushrooms occasionally, until the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are softened and have reduced in size. If needed, fry for another 2-3 minutes to achieve this.
  • If desired, stir in the oyster sauce and quickly stir it around to coat the mushrooms.
  • If you are cooking for pho or another dish, you can skip the sauce and simply garnish with green onions. We used these without the sauce in our pho.

Recipe Notes

If you have larger mushrooms, you should remove the entire stem as they are woody. I find that as long as I remove most of the stem on the smaller ones, the remaining part is soft enough to eat after cooking.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 103kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 134mg, Potassium: 345mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Shiitake mushrooms are a strong, earthy flavored mushroom that is best simply fried and used in other dishes such as pho or as an accompaniment to a main meal.

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Biaj kumar says

    Hi, Good to know about shitake mushroom. I appreciated your article. Great image.

  2. Carla @ Foodie Digital says

    Simple technique but great results. The addition of the sauce at just the right time results in a yummy side dish that works really well over a bed of rice noodles or bok choy.4 stars

  3. Alicia says

    Excellent simple and quick recipe !
    I Cut then in strips and sauté them. My favorite is I immediately put them over a salad of baby greens, yummy !5 stars

  4. Kami says

    So many words, not so much of a recipe. How this is in my my top search results???

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