Tag Archives: 椎茸

Shiitake Mushrooms Cultivation without Agrochemicals: Shizuo Nanjyo in Shizuoka City!

It is never too late to become conscious of health and to contribute to its betterment!
I did not enquire about his age but Shizuo Nanjyo is definitely my elder but he has never lost his enthusiasm and belief when it comes to insure a healthy product of the highest quality.
A second-generation tea grower for 58 years but a first-generation shiitake mushroom grower for 50 years he decided to get away from the beaten tracks this year and assume not only the cultivation but also the marketing of his shiitake mushrooms.

Logs to be used for shiitake cultivation.

I finally managed to pay him a visit thanks to my good friend Asami Ito who kindly drove me all the way up the Abe River in Shizuoka City into the middle of wasabi and green tea land (mountains) in Do District.

Mr. Nanjyo grows his shiitake in a large greenhouse in a very clean environment without the use of any agrochemicals to ensure the heath and safety of his products.

As a further proof of his attention to health he had the government survey his crop and give him a certificate stating that his mushrooms are radioactivity free!

Insects and pests are taken care of with sticking tape traps (can you see the yellow pieces overhead?)
The wood logs come from kunugi/椚/Sawtooth Oaks (90%) and nara/楢/Japanese Oak from neighbouring Yamanashi Prefecture.

Logs are first inoculated with shiitake mushroom mycelium (also from Yamanashi Prefecture).

The logs are then soaked into clean water to help the mycelium to spread inside the log.

When the first tiny mushrooms start appearing the logs are then stacked and stored outside for 6 months.

They are protected from the sun, rain and big temperature gaps with reeds imported all the way from lake Biwa!
What about that for ecology!
Vinyl sheets are ineffective as they don’t allow air drafts and actually negatively help the temperature to rise under them.
This type and method of cultivation is only a return to traditional farming after all!
Logs are used for 4 years and then will be sent to specialized companies who will turn them into compost or sawdust for effective recycling.

When the logs are ready for fructification Shizuo will then move them inside the greenhouse kept at a regular temperature of around 25 degrees between October and May. Each log will be dated to know exactly when the mushrooms will be ready for harvest.

After that it is a question of timing as some customers want their mushrooms small,…

Others larger…

Shizuo kindly offered me to choose mine from those beauties as a souvenir!

Actually, I was still very busy talking with the kind producer about farming in general and Asami kindly picked some (plenty!) for me (in her left hand!), but Shizuo would not let me go without accepting an even bigger bunch of them (in Asami’s right hand!)!

Not only that, but I also ended up with two succulent daikon and a truly enormous cabbage from their personal garden!

Their garden is very popular as they have to protect it with a double netting to fend off monkeys, wild boars and deer which regularly pay an unwelcome visit to farms in the mountains!

It was only natural to put all these beautiful super fresh mushrooms to good use and bring plenty of them to Yasaitei Izakaya to be served and introduced to customers!

There is no better way to advertise great produce than having them served at once to happy gastronomes by knowledgeable chefs!

Shizuo Nanjyo, Shiitake Grower
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Do, 504-2
Tel.: 054-298-2155
Individual orders welcome
Mr. Nanjyo’s shiitake mushrooms will also be on sale every Sunday from 9:30 to 12:30 from December 11th at the car park of Marufuku Tea Company, Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu, 112.
Fpr more details call Ms. Asami Ito: 0120-36-4188


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Vegetables Facts & Tips 9/1: Shiitake Mushrooms (Amended & expanded)

(Mushrooms at at a Shizuoka Supermarket)

I don’t intend to talk about wild mushrooms here as I would need a very thick book to post!
Japan is arguably the country cultivating the greatest number of varieties (new ones appear and disappear every year!), so I will limit myself to give information on at least some of them and furthermore introduce most varieties I have found in Japanese supermarkets (most of them should be available in many countries).



Shiitake/Lentinula Edodes (Black Forest Mushrooms) are native to China but have been grown in both Japan and China since prehistoric times[2]. They have been cultivated for over 1000 years; the first written record of shiitake cultivation can be traced to Wu Sang Kwuang, born during the Song Dynasty (AD 960–1127). However, some documents record the uncultivated mushroom being eaten as early as AD 199.
Fresh and dried shiitake have many uses in the cuisines of East Asia. In Chinese cuisine, they are often sauteed in vegetarian dishes such as Buddha’s delight. In Japan, they are served in miso soup, used as the basis for a kind of vegetarian dashi, and also as an ingredient in many steamed and simmered dishes. In Korean cuisine, they are commonly used in dishes such as bulgogi (marinated grilled beef), jjigae (stews), and namul (sauteed vegetable dishes). In Thailand, they may be served either fried or steamed.

Shiitake are often dried and sold as preserved food in packages. These must be rehydrated by soaking in water before using. Many people prefer dried shiitake to fresh, considering that the sun-drying process draws out the umami flavour from the dried mushrooms by breaking down proteins into amino acids and transforms ergosterol to vitamin D. The stems of shiitake are rarely used in Japanese and other cuisines, primarily because the stems are harder and take longer to cook than the soft fleshy caps. The highest grade of shiitake are called donko in Japanese.
Extracts from shiitake mushrooms (such as ichtyol) have also been researched for many other immunological benefits, ranging from anti-viral properties to possible treatments for severe allergies, as well as arthritis.
The Japanese actually consume them from their raw form more than in any other country.


-Season: best in October~March for outdoors cultivation

-Main beneficial ingredients: Vitamin B1, B2, B6, c, N6, Ergosterol, Lentinan, Fibers, Potassium, Magensium, Phosphorus.


-Loosely wrap them in clean Newspaper or Kitchen Paper and store them in fridge away from the light.

-Choose specimens with unbroken “umbrella” and no black marks under.

-Fresh Shiitake are best enjoyed for their taste by keeping their cooking simple such as fry them over a grill with a dash of soy sauce and sake!

-If you want to dry them, do so under sunlight for best taste!

-Preserve dried shiitake in fridge to avoid mold and insects!


-Dried shiitake contain more Vitamnin D!

-Combined with burdock root, or broccoli, or carrot, or asparaguses, helps combat cancer and helps with skin rejuvenation.

-Combined with konbu/seaweed, or spinach, or sardines, or sesame, helps combat bone diseases, activates blood circulation, helps combat nervous problems and rheumatism.

-Combined with sesame, or walnuts, or kabocha, or mayonnaise, helps combat ageing.

-Combined with celery, or cuttle fish/squid, or octopus, or mackerel, helps reinforce liver, combats high blood pressure, heart diseases and artery hardening.

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Vegetarian Japanese Cuisine: Dragon Fruit Flower Shoot Tempura


The Missus recently came back once again with a favourite “unusual vegetable” of hers: Dragon Fruit Flower Shoots.
The Japanese have come with the best idea to sample any new vegetable: tempura!
Technically speaking it originated in Portugal whose sailors introduced it to Japan a few centuries ago. The word itself is Portuguese.


My better (worse?) half cut them into halves and prepared batter. She favours her own style, heavier than the Japanese, but lighter than the European/American “fritters”!

dragon-tempura3.jpg dragon-tempura4.jpg

She took the opportunity to add some other tempura made with shrimps and goya.
Served with ma-cha tea powder and salt mixed with sakura/cherry blossoms powder, it just turned out perfect with beer and sake!

Vegans can make tempura by mixing water an dflour with cornstarch instead of egg whites.

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Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Leeks & Shiitake Mushrooms


Here is another posting for Holly who has showed such an enthusiasm for leeks. This mini-series of very simple recipes on leeks will also please vegans and vegetarians!

Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms!

INGREDIENTS: For 2~3 people

-Shiitake Mushrooms: 6~8 fresh
-Leeks: 2~3 depending on their size. Choose them long and mostly white
-Sesame oil: to taste
-Salt & pepper: to taste
-Soy sauce: to taste


-Chop the leeks fine and mix with sesame oil in a bowl

-Take the stems off the mushrooms. Sprinkle mushrooms with salt and pepper. Fill with plenty of chopped leeks.

-Bake in oven for 4~5 minutes until they acquire a pleasant colour.

-Season with soy sauce before serving.


You can easily bring variations with chili pepper, Thai sweet and hot sauce, and chopped herbs of any kind!
Eat as soon as out of the oven (with a beer?)

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Japanese Vegan Udon, Dried Shiitake and Konbu Salad


I’ve been looking around me recently for ideas so as to help my vegan and vegetarian friends with new ideas. Here is a simple one I just found for a healthy and tasty salad:
Japanese Vegan Udon, Shiitake and Umeboshi Salad!

INGREDIENTS: For one dish

-Udon: 1 pack of boiled udon ready for use
-Dried Shiitake Mushrooms: 4
-Salad Oil: 3 large tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 50 ml
-Mirin/sweet sake: 50 ml
-Real mineral water: 100 ml
-Cucumber, lettuce, mini tomatoes: as per taste

-In a pan, drop cut dried shiitake, cho@@ed konbu/seaeed and oil. Fry gently.

-On a low fire add soy sauce and mirin.

-When you are satisfied that the shiitake are soft enough, drop the whole into mixer,nlender. Add water and process unti you obatin a sauce like in the picture.

-Boil udon quickly. Cool them under running clear water. Drain throuroughly and place on a dish.

-Arrange lettuce, cucumber on top of udon as on the picture, showing up enough of the udon.

-pour the sauce on top and decorate with mini tomatoes.


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