Aside from having a rather memorable name, shiitake mushrooms were broadly unknown by the British public up until fairly recently. Luckily, the growing interest in these flavour-packed fungi has seen shiitakes gracing supermarket shelves with increasing frequency. Thanks to their powerful umami flavour, shiitake are used in a variety of Chinese and Japanese dishes especially, and are the basis for many vegetarian forms of dashi stock.
Many of our chefs have noted this richly flavoured mushroom, and incorporated them into their food - to either add a rich, umami flavour, no matter the style of cuisine. Master of fusion Peter Gordon uses shiitake and cheese to make beautiful Mushroom fritter recipe, served up with Catalan escalivada, and again in his Pork belly recipe as a flavourful garnish. Graham Campbell complements his Duck breast recipe with piquant pickled shiitake, an ideal accompaniment to the rich meat.