My Glasgow Kitchen

My Little Corner of the World

A few days ago, a relative gave me some shiitake mushroom stem. It is too tough to be eaten together and is usually removed from the dried shiitake mushroom before cooking.

Save Dried Shiitake Mushroom Stems for Soup

Some people discard it but I use it to add to soups (slow simmering soups). Recently I have not been consuming too much dried shiitake though so I have been using whole dried shiitake mushroom instead. The problem about using whole ones is it discolours the soup. The stem doesn’t.

Lately, I have been cooking quick soups that are ready within 30 minutes. It would be great to add in the mushroom stem flavour into it so I was thinking why not grind it into powder. I do recall some shops selling vegetarian mushroom flavouring powder.


I love the umami taste, the 5th taste. I Examples of food naturally packed with umami flavours (glutamate, inosinate and guanylate) are dried shiitake, dried porcini, meat, sardines, bonito, cheese, mushroom, kelp, cheese, soy sauce, fish sauce etc.1 I don’t use MSG in my cooking.

Fresh vs Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

I used to buy fresh shiitake mushroom but it just doesn’t have that umami taste compared to the dried ones. Why is that? It is richer in flavour as the sun breaks the complex proteins into simpler amino acid (glutamate) and drying increases guanylate.2

It can be used as a flavour enhancer or a soup stock, similar to dashi (Japanese soup stock).

How to Make Mushroom Powder?

If it is slightly soft or moist, sun-dry it, toast it an oven and leave it to cool.

Put it into a blender or miller and grind it finely.

Store it in a container. It can be stored in room temperature, fridge or freezer. I store mine in the fridge and freezer as it is very humid in my kitchen and it tends to get moldy if left in the pantry for months.


1. Umami Information Center: What is Umani (n.d.) Retrieved November 4, 2020.

2. Science of Cooking: Why Dried Shitake Mushrooms Can Taste Better than Fresh (n.d.) Retrieved November 4, 2020.

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