- Shimeji Mushrooms Benefits
- Enoki Mushrooms Benefits
- Where To Buy Shimeji Mushrooms
- What To Do With Shimeji Mushrooms
Hypsizygus tesselatus aka the beech mushroom, or shimeji, in Japanese, is an Asian species, though it is also cultivated in other parts of the world. It is an exotic edible mushroom, and reputed to have a wide range of medicinal uses, from treating hypertension to preventing parasites in cattle. Shimeji mushrooms can be cooked in variety of ways, however it is important to eliminate the stem before cooking the mushrooms. These mushrooms are also known for their medicinal properties. High fibre content in these mushrooms is ideal for enhancing the metabolism rate naturally. It is a part of ideal diet for weight loss and weight management.
A group of edible mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms are native to East Asia; but are also present in some parts of northern Europe. Like other edible mushrooms, these mushrooms are popular due to their woodsy flavor and meaty texture. Furthermore, these mushrooms are said to have a variety of health benefits thanks to their rich composition of health-boosting nutrients. These properties make shimeji mushrooms a popular ingredient in a variety of dishes.
While the cultivation of these mushrooms is considered to be quite difficult, some species such as buna shimeji are widely cultivated and are available in your local grocery store or supermarket.
What Are Shimeji Mushrooms?
As previously stated, shimeji refers to a group of mushrooms/fungus. While not the most flavorful, they are known for their rich meaty texture when properly cooked. These mushrooms grow at the bottom of hardwood trees, including beech or oak trees, in the wild; however, the variety sold in grocery stores and those used in restaurants are cultivated in special growing conditions, some of which are patented, in commercial farms.
Normally growing in clusters, these mushrooms have small caps that are brown or ivory white-colored, with a united stem connected to a thick, porous white base that is inedible. The more shimeji mushrooms grow, the more they lose the color on their small caps.
While these mushrooms are known and loved for their meaty texture and mild flavor when cooked, they have a bitter taste when eaten raw.
Popular shimeji mushrooms varieties include Hon-shimeji (brown beech shimeji mushroom of the Lyophyllum species – mostly popular in Japan), Bunapi shimeji (white beech shimeji), buna shimeji (brown beech shimeji mushroom of the Saprotroph species), and piopinno among others.
Shimeji mushrooms have a rich nutrient composition. However, it is important to note that in their raw state the mushrooms are indigestible; hence rendering their nutritional value useless to humans when consumed in this state.
These mushrooms are rich in protein, fiber, niacin, calcium, potassium, zinc, and iron among others. Most importantly, mushrooms have zero cholesterol, making for a healthy substitute for high cholesterol meats.
Shimeji Mushrooms Benefits
As previously stated, human beings can only enjoy the nutritional value of these mushrooms when cooked.
Health Benefits Of Shimeji Mushrooms
A popular ingredient in a variety of dishes, shimeji mushrooms are thought to have a variety of health benefits thanks to their rich nutritional composition. Here’s a brief description of some of the main health benefits of these mushrooms.
The consumption of these mushrooms helps in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. In comparison to other popular edible mushrooms such as Maitake and Eringi, shimeji mushrooms reduce the formation of atherosclerotic lesions as well as cholesterol concentrations in the body. The dietary fiber content in these mushrooms helps reduce insulin levels in the blood in addition to increased excretion of bile acids.
Shimeji mushrooms are also said to have powerful weight loss benefits. These mushrooms have been found to be rich in resveratrol, a component that has powerful fat reduction properties. To regulate obesity, this compound regulated how the body sheds weight by activating an obesity-related gene.
Furthermore, these mushrooms help lower plasma glucose and fasting plasma insulin levels in the bloodstream; thus regulating the body’s glycemic index, an important factor in the management of diabetes.
Anti-bacterial And Anti-fungal Properties
To protect the body against a variety of bacteria, including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, among others, shimeji mushrooms have a rich flavonoid and phenolic acid composition.
Furthermore, these mushrooms are known to be rich in proteins, including Hypsin – one that has demonstrated powerful antifungal properties.
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Parasitic Infection Prevention
Shimeji mushrooms have enzymes that can help the body fight against parasitic infections. These enzymes are capable of killing a parasite that has a devastating effect on plants, animals, and human beings, Panagrellus redivivus.
Cancer Treatment Potential
The health-boosting mushrooms are also thought to have powerful anti-tumor composition. The multiplication of different types of cancer cells, such as lung carcinoma, sarcoma, breast, hepatoma and leukemia, is inhibited by a variety of compounds found in shimeji mushrooms, including hypsin, marmorin, hypsiziprenol and glycoprotein among others.
Enoki Mushrooms Benefits
At this point, you might be wondering whether these mushrooms have any side effects, given the many benefits mentioned above. There have been no studies published on the side effects of these mushrooms.
Provided that you choose the best shimeji mushrooms when shopping, preserve and clean them properly before you use them in the preparation of any dish, you should not expect to suffer any side effects.
Shimeji Mushroom FAQs
How Do I Choose The Right Shimeji Mushrooms?
Where To Buy Shimeji Mushrooms
When shopping, it is recommended that you select unblemished mushrooms that have no blemishes at all. The best mushrooms should also be firm.
What Are The Best Conditions For Storing Shimeji Mushrooms?
Shimeji mushrooms should be refrigerated to ensure that they remain fresh. When refrigerated in their original packaging, these mushrooms should be consumed in no more than two to three days. However, to keep them fresher for longer, up to 10 days, these mushrooms should be wrapped in a kitchen towel and then sealed in an airtight zip-lock bag before refrigeration.
How Do I Prepare And Cook Shimeji Mushrooms?
As stated previously, shimeji mushrooms are used in the preparation of a variety of delicious dishes. These mushrooms may be pickled, roasted, sautéed, or steamed. When properly cooked, these mushrooms hold their shape well.
Before cooking, remember to cut away the porous base of the mushroom. While cultivated mushrooms tend to be quite clean, you can briefly rinse these mushrooms before using them in any recipe to get rid of any dirt particles.
With their mild flavor and rich texture, shimeji mushrooms are a rare, but popular group of mushrooms used in a variety of dishes. More importantly, these mushrooms have been found to have a variety of potential health benefits when consumed in a cooked state.
What To Do With Shimeji Mushrooms
To get the best out of these mushrooms, you need to start by selecting the best product when shopping. Furthermore, be sure to preserve and prepare the mushrooms in the right way to ensure that they remain as fresh as possible, and maintain their flavor and texture.