Sourced from a family-operated mushroom farm in the high mountains of Yunlin, Taiwan, our medium and large organic dried shiitake mushrooms are cultivated by hand on Formosan Sweet Gum logs. The cooler weather and wide temperature swings between day and night create optimal conditions for developing potent flavor and a sturdy texture.
To grow these mushrooms, farmers first make holes in the wood, into which they insert the shiitake spawn and cover with wax for ten months. Over those months, the farmers regularly water the spawn and roll over 100 tons of logs every few days, which stimulates the fungi and ensures even growth. After a ten-month inoculation period, shiitake mushrooms fruit in ten to twelve days. The farmers pick the mushrooms in the morning and sun-dry them until noon. Afterwards, they begin a labor-intensive drying process. The mushrooms are smoke-dried over a low-temperature longan wood fire, fueled by wood from the pruning of fruit orchards. This smoke imbues the mushrooms with the lightest touch of smoke, almost a coffee-like aroma. The layers of mushrooms must be rotated in the smoker for an even exposure, and the low, slow fire is watched for 48 hours to make sure the flame persists. Because the fire is so delicate, the farmers sleep next to the smoker, taking turns stoking it.
Shiitake mushrooms play a primary role in Taiwanese cuisine, adding characteristic earthy flavor to simple dishes like Braised Napa Cabbage 滷白菜 and Taiwanese Oil Rice 油飯. In their dried form, shiitake mushrooms not only retain a more concentrated earthiness, but also develop a more pronounced chew than the fresh version.
Note for the observant: on our packaging the mushrooms are described as being grown on basswood logs. They are not grown on basswood logs; that was an initial mistranslation of cut logs 段木 that we did not initially catch. This will be amended in future runs.
Also consider our Organic Dried Mushroom Bundle, which includes shiitake
and lion's mane mushrooms.
Tasting Notes and Usage
Deeply earthy and umami with a dense, meaty texture
For the best flavor and texture, soak in cool water for at least six hours and up to twenty-four hours. For an express soak, use warm water and soak for thirty minutes, or until thoroughly softened.
Use whole in braises, soups, and stocks (see our recipe for Shiitake Mushroom Stock 香菇高湯). Or slice and toss into stir fries. Also makes a great addition to congee.
Ingredients and Instructions
Organic shiitake mushrooms (medium and large sizes)
100 g / 3.5 oz
No preservatives or additives
Seal tightly after use and store in a cool and dry place. For best flavor, consume shortly after opening.
About Ying Ying Grange
Located in the high mountains of Yunlin in Central Taiwan—1300 meters above sea level—Ying Ying Grange 盈盈農圃 is run by husband-and-wife team Wu Ru-Ying 吳如瀅 and Chen An-Chiang 陳安獎. It is also one of the last mushroom farms in the region to continue the practice of log-growing mushrooms, which came to popularity during the Japanese colonial period. Ying Ying Grange produces both log-grown shiitake and space bag lion’s mane on their farm. Both are collected by hand the instant they are ready, then smoke-dried over a low-temperature longan wood fire, fueled by lumber from the pruning of fruit orchards.
About Yun Hai Selection
Yun Hai Selection is the house brand of Yun Hai Taiwanese Pantry.