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The shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is an edible mushroom native to East Asia, which is cultivated and consumed in many East Asian countries. It is considered a medicinal mushroom in some forms of traditional medicine.


In a 100-gram (3 1⁄2-ounce) reference serving, raw shiitake mushrooms provide 140 kilojoules (34 kilocalories) of food energy and are 90% water, 7% carbohydrates, 2% protein and less than 1% fat (table for raw mushrooms). Raw shiitake mushrooms are rich sources (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of B vitamins and contain moderate levels of some dietary minerals (table). When dried to about 10% water, the contents of numerous nutrients increase substantially.[citation needed]

Like all mushrooms, shiitakes produce vitamin D2 upon exposure of their internal ergosterol to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from sunlight or broadband UVB fluorescent tubes.[15][16][17]

In 2015, a study with 52 adults indicated that regular consumption of shiitake can result in improved immunity.[18]



Fresh and dried shiitake have many uses in East Asian cuisine. In Japan, they are served in miso soup, used as the basis for a kind of vegetarian dashi, and as an ingredient in many steamed and simmered dishes. In Chinese cuisine, they are often sautéed in vegetarian dishes such as Buddha's delight.

One type of high-grade shiitake is called donko (冬菇) in Japanese[19] and dōnggū in Chinese, literally "winter mushroom". Another high-grade of mushroom is called huāgū (花菇) in Chinese, literally "flower mushroom", which has a flower-like cracking pattern on the mushroom's upper surface. Both of these are produced at lower temperatures.

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