How to Prep and Store Buna-shimeji Mushrooms

Here is a less than 2 minute video showing you how to wash and cut buna-shimeji!

Buna-shimeji

What you see on the label at the Farmer's Market:
Kanji: Uncommon
Hiragana: ぶなしめじ
Katakana: ブナシメジ
Seasonal Harvesting Period: Late Summer to Late Autumn

The Basics:

Buna-shimeji can come in brown or white. This article covers brown buna-shimeji. Other than brown and white buna-shimeji, there is also regular shimeji which is also brown and found at the supermarket. There really isn't much of a difference between buna-shimeji and regular shimeji except the slight difference in the 'umami' taste, or savoriness.

Buna-shimeji can be used in a variety of dishes, whether it be Chinese, Japanese, or western, these mushrooms are tasty! Don't be mistaken, though, these don't taste like baby bellas, portabella mushrooms, or other common mushrooms found in western supermarkets. 

If shopping for buna-shimeji or other shimeji types, look for ones that are plump, dense, and the bottom stalk is not broken apart. Check if the white, bottom stalks are thick and firm. Any limp, water-stained looking shimeji do not taste as good. Do not mind the color of the mushroom tops. It is found there is no difference in taste if the tops are dark brown or light brown.

Nutritional Info:

When Boiled: Potassium (340mg), Total Dietary Fiber (4.8g), Vitamin D (3.3mcg), Niacin (5.2mg)

It is also notable it contains a good amount of ergosterol and β-glucan.

Common ailments it is helpful towards: colds, hypertension, sensitivity to cold, constipation prevention, cerebral infarction prevention, arteriosclerosis prevention

Bunashimeji mushrooms are rich in potassium, which is said to be effective in preventing hypertension by excreting excess sodium in the body, and insoluble dietary fiber, which has an intestinal regulating effect. It is also rich in vitamin D, which helps absorb calcium. It also contains ergosterol, which is converted to vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light.

It also contains a relatively large amount of niacin, which is said to improve blood circulation and prevent poor circulation, and pantothenic acid, which supports energy metabolism. β-glucan, which is abundant in mushrooms, is said to have the effect of boosting immunity.

How to Wash and Cut:

Many buna-shimeji types are made by hydroponics, therefore, dirt is not usually a big concern when washing. However, if there is some dirt, wipe with a wet cloth. Washing the mushrooms under water will make them lose much of their good taste!

Cut off the end where the stalks form into one as this part is usually very tough. You can even pick each mushroom apart from the stalk if you do not want to use a knife. Separate the mushrooms with your hands since they easily come apart with just a little bit of force. Take apart each mushroom individually or keep some mushrooms in small clusters, depending on what the recipe calls for.

How To Store:

Buna-shimeji typically last 3-4 days. Keep them in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator or an area in the fridge that is somewhat cooled, but not too cold or frozen. 

You can wash and prep the mushrooms and freeze them in a freezer bag. Take them out only when you need them. However, this will degrade the taste a bit.

It is okay to heat them a bit before freezing, but just make to sure to drain any excess water before putting them in the freezer bag.

 

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