Shiitake Mushrooms

The most popular mushroom in Chinese cuisine is the widely cultivated Shiitake (Lentinula edodes), with its Thai name het hom / เห็ดหอม meaning ‘aromatic mushroom’. The texture of this brown species makes it suitable for drying. It does not lose its fragrance during the process. Before use, just soak it for ten minutes in water. Fresh shiitake is rather expensive. In Mae Sai, at the most northern tip of Thailand, and even more so in Tha Khilek across the Burmese border, the dried ones are available at bargain prices. If you are fond of this mushroom, you would do well to buy a large bag of them in Burma — the price difference with the product in Chiang Mai easily compensates for the travel expenses and visa fee.

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