Last updated: 16/10/2022

How we pick our products

10Products analysed

25Hours spent

12Evaluated articles

77User reviews

Welcome to our big shiitake mushroom test 2022. Here we present all the products we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best product for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy shiitake mushroom products.

Contents




The most important facts

  • Shiitake mushrooms are tasty edible mushrooms from Asia. They are available fresh, dried and pickled for the preparation of delicious dishes
  • Many vitamins, minerals, fibre and polysaccharides make it one of the best known and most popular medicinal mushrooms
  • The shiitake mushroom is also available in capsule and powder form. It is used as a food supplement and for the targeted therapy of various diseases, even cancer.

The Best Shiitake Mushrooms: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying shiitake mushrooms

What are shiitake mushrooms?

The shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) is a very tasty edible mushroom that is used to refine delicious recipes and sauces, as well as in medicine and as a food supplement.

Dried shiitake mushrooms have an excellent aroma and a long shelf life. By drying them in the sun, they also store even more vitamin D (Image source: pixabay.com / 6437364)

The shiitake mushroom originates from Asia, where it is mainly cultivated in China and Japan. The name shiitake is Japanese. “Take” means mushroom in Japanese. “Shii” is the tree on which the mushroom grows best, also called the Pasania tree. This is why the shiitake mushroom is also known as the pasania mushroom.

Due to its good taste and vitalising effect, the shiitake mushroom is also increasingly used in European cuisine. Today, it is the second most cultivated mushroom in the world after the mushroom.

What are the ingredients of the shiitake mushroom?

The shiitake mushroom contains a variety of important and healthy ingredients that are indispensable for a balanced diet.

Nutritional values amount per 100g
Calories 42 kcal
Protein 1.6 g
Fat 0.2 g
Carbohydrates 12.3 g
Dietary fibre 2 g

The most important ingredient and thus also active substance is lentinan, which is why the shiitake mushroom is also called Lentinula edodes in Chinese. Lentinan is a polysaccharide that has been proven to have an immune-modulating and anti-tumour effect. The substance has been used in cancer therapy in Japan since 2000.

It also contains vitamins C, D and some of the water-soluble vitamins from the vitamin B complex.

Minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, iron, calcium and potassium are present in traces.

What do shiitake mushrooms do?

By regularly eating shiitake mushrooms or food supplements with the healing substances of the mushroom, you can alleviate some diseases and improve your general well-being.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the shiitake mushroom is known as the “king of mushrooms” because of its valuable ingredients. It is said to have strong healing powers, which is why it has been used for many centuries to treat a wide variety of diseases.

In western medicine, too, shiitake mushrooms are used for their healing properties, especially in the treatment of rheumatism and high cholesterol. But shiitake mushrooms are also used for many other diseases, which is why it is also called a vital mushroom.

In China and Japan, the shiitake mushroom is the king of medicinal mushrooms and has been used for healing for many centuries. (Image source: pixabay.com / sasint)

The following effects have been proven in studies:

  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Reduces high blood pressure

Other areas of application:

  • strengthens the immune system
  • Purine metabolism disease (gout)
  • Circulatory disorders
  • chronic inflammations
  • Tumours (cancer)
  • Stomach complaints
  • Abdominal pain in women
  • chronic fatigue
  • Exhaustion

The use of shiitake as a natural flu vaccine is also being widely researched.

Are there side effects when eating shiitake mushrooms?

If you have a known intolerance to the nutrient lentinan, you should be careful when eating shiitake mushrooms. It is best to try a small portion the first time you eat shiitake mushrooms to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction.

There is a possibility of shiitake mushroom dermatitis, an unpleasant itchy skin rash. Very few of these cases have been reported in Europe.

Who are shiitake mushrooms suitable for?

Shiitake mushrooms are suitable for you if you not only want to cook delicious food, but also want to do something good for your body. For revitalisation, prevention of diseases and to fight them.

Shiitake mushrooms also provide many vitamins and other important nutrients, which are a good alternative especially for vegetarians and vegans.

How much do shiitake mushrooms cost?

The price of shiitake mushrooms varies greatly, especially as a food supplement. Due to the additional production effort, processed products are naturally higher in price than fresh shiitake mushrooms. While fresh shiitake mushrooms are priced between 17 and 35 euros per kilogram, dried mushrooms, for example, cost between 20 and 60 euros per kilogram.

The prices of shiitake capsules vary greatly due to the ingredients. While you can get shiitake mushroom powder for as little as 11 euros per 100 grams, shiitake mushroom extract is much higher at at least 26 euros per gram.

If you want to opt for an inexpensive dietary supplement, we recommend shiitake mushroom in powder form, as this is usually cheaper than in capsules.

Below is a list of the price range of shiitake mushrooms in fresh, dried, pickled and powder form.

Type Price Quantity
Fresh 17-35€ 1 kg
Dried 20-60€ 1 kg
Pickled 3-5€ 100 grams
Powder 5-10€ 100 grams

Below is a list of the price range of shiitake mushrooms in capsules.

Capsules Price Quantity
Powder 11-32€ 100 grams
Powder-Extract Mix 26-76€ 100 grams
Extract 26-125€ 100 grams

What are the alternatives to shiitake mushrooms?

A number of other medicinal mushrooms are known that have similar effects. These are briefly described below:

  • Reishi: immunodeficiency, heart disease, kidney disease, stress syndromes
  • Cordeyceps: increase endurance and performance, heart and lung function, immune system and libido, cancer therapy
  • Maitake: high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer
  • Hericium: digestion, liver
  • Chaga: intestinal cleansing, tumour, inflammation

For an optimal therapy, you can also use several of these vital mushrooms in combination.

Decision: What types of shiitake mushrooms are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between 6 different types of shiitake mushroom products:

  • Shiitake mushrooms fresh
  • Shiitake mushrooms dried
  • Shiitake mushrooms pickled
  • Shiitake mushrooms powder
  • Shiitake mushroom extract
  • Shiitake mushroom powder and extract combination

Not only edible mushrooms are available today. The healing power of shiitake is also increasingly being used in food supplements. One can distinguish between pure powder of the ground mushroom, shiitake extract and shiitake capsules.

The capsules consist either of a mixture of extract and powder or purely of one of the two basic products. Depending on your needs and goals, you can choose from different dosages.

What distinguishes fresh shiitake mushrooms and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Shiitake mushrooms are particularly aromatic, they taste meaty and spicy and have a slight garlic touch.

When buying shiitake mushrooms, make sure that the cap looks fresh and plump. Spots, scales and cracks are harmless. These characteristics are typical for this species.

They are not suitable for eating raw, but are excellent in spicy sauces and in delicious dishes.

The best flavour comes from processing them directly, but they can be stored in the fresh food compartment for up to 10 days.

Advantages
  • Very healthy
  • Fine aromatic taste
  • Good alternative for vegans and vegetarians
Disadvantages
  • Very short shelf life
  • Healthy ingredients are lost through incorrect preparation
  • Can cause allergic reactions

What distinguishes dried shiitake mushrooms and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Dried shiitake mushrooms are often on sale. The mushrooms should be stored in an airtight container, preferably in a dark and cool place.

Advantages
  • Can be kept for years if stored correctly
  • More intense flavour than fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • Vitamins are preserved
  • Easy to order online
Disadvantages
  • Must soak for a relatively long time before preparation
  • More expensive than the fresh variety
  • Partially hard stems that must be removed

What are the advantages and disadvantages of pickled shiitake mushrooms?

Shiitake mushrooms are also available pickled, but there are very few suppliers in Germany and Europe. These are mostly delicatessen shops, which makes pickled shiitake mushrooms relatively expensive.

If you want a cheap pickled version, the product usually comes from Asia and has to be transported unnecessarily.

Advantages
  • Can be eaten directly as a snack
  • Long shelf life
  • Mushroom mix available
Disadvantages
  • Relatively expensive
  • Few suppliers
  • Vitamins are lost

What are the characteristics of shiitake mushroom powder and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Mushroom powder is obtained by finely grinding dried mushrooms. Thus, its effect and dosage is based on the naturally contained nutrients.

Important therapeutic substances such as polysaccharides are therefore only present up to a maximum of 3%.

Shiitake powder is available in capsules or as powder for self-dosing.

Advantages
  • Suitable for prevention and improvement of general well-being
  • Good alternative to daily mushroom consumption
  • Easy dosage
  • Can simply be mixed with food
  • Available in capsules or powder
Disadvantages
  • Weak dosage of healing ingredients
  • Capsules often contain additional substances
  • Large differences in quality

What distinguishes shiitake mushroom extract and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Mushroom extract is more concentrated than powder and the healing ingredients are more bio-available.

As taught in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a combination of water and alcohol extraction processes is used for this purpose. This ensures a particularly high and standardised dosage.

Bioactive polysaccharides can be increased tenfold in the extract, up to approx. 30 %.

Shiitake extract is usually available in capsule form.

Advantages
  • Highly dosed in healing polysaccharides
  • Good alternative to daily mushroom consumption
  • Easy dosage
  • Suitable for therapy and explicit disease control
Disadvantages
  • Very expensive
  • High quality differences
  • Capsules often with additional substances

What distinguishes shiitake mushroom capsules powder+ extract and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

The most common form of shiitake capsules is a mixture of the powder and the extract.

Here it is very important to take a close look at the ingredients, as usually a negligible proportion of the valuable extract is added. This means that you quickly pay a significantly higher price, even though there is hardly any of the expensive extract in it. The price-performance ratio should be checked here.

Advantages
  • Cheaper than pure extract
  • Easy dosage
  • Alternative to above-mentioned variants
Disadvantages
  • Mostly contains hardly any extract
  • Similar price to pure extract
  • High differences in quality
  • Capsules often contain additional substances

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate shiitake mushrooms

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many shiitake mushroom products.

The criteria you can use to compare shiitake mushroom products include:

  • Origin
  • Organic Certification
  • Ingredients

In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.

Origin

Mushrooms are the number 1 detoxifier, not only for our body. They also filter everything that comes out of the air. It is therefore highly advisable to pay attention to the origin of the mushrooms. If you order from the Far East, you can assume that the content of harmful substances is also higher.

It is good that there are more and more shiitake mushroom growers and farmers in Germany who cultivate according to German standards and can thus ensure high shiitake mushroom quality.

Organic certification

There are great differences in quality, especially in food supplements. A good tip here is to look for certifications.

In the case of capsules made from natural substances, such as most medicinal mushrooms, there is a very wide range of organically certified products that are produced according to precise specifications and that do not contain pesticides and the like.

It is highly recommended to buy shiitake mushrooms from organic or similarly certified suppliers.

It is also advantageous to buy organic products for fresh and dried mushrooms, as mushrooms strongly absorb the pesticides used in conventional production. This means that they enter our bodies unhindered. Since the mushrooms should not be washed, the harmful substances remain on the mushroom.

Ingredients

With shiitake mushroom capsules, it is absolutely advisable to check the ingredients and additives. As explained in the description of the shiitake powder and extract capsules, it is easy to be misled by the labels on the products.

If the offer for a product with powder and extract mix is super expensive, it should also contain relatively more extract and the percentage value of the polysaccharides contained should be clearly above 3 %. If this is not the case, another product should be chosen.

Bioactive polysaccharides can be increased tenfold in the extract, up to about 30 %.

You can often get more information by looking at the questions of other customers or their reviews.

Depending on your needs, you can also decide how strong the dosage should be. If you only want to strengthen your well-being and immune system a little, the powder or the consumption of the mushroom can be completely sufficient. However, if you have symptoms that need to be combated, it is recommended to buy the high-dose extract.

If you are unsure, you can and should consult a pharmacist or doctor.

Trivia: Facts worth knowing about shiitake mushrooms

How are shiitake mushrooms cleaned properly?

Cleaning shiitake mushrooms is quick and easy. You don’t have to wash shiitake mushrooms, just clean the head briefly with a brush. You can dab the stem with a little water if necessary.

How do you prepare dried shiitake mushrooms?

  1. Remove dirt from mushrooms with some lukewarm water
  2. Place mushrooms in a water bath with lukewarm water
  3. Depending on the thickness of the mushrooms, the soaking time can vary between 30 minutes and several hours
  4. When the stems are also soft, the shiitake mushrooms can be prepared

Tips:

  • do not use hot water, as this will cause the good flavours to be lost
  • The mushroom liquid can be processed further after soaking and adds a delicious flavour to soups, broths or sauces, for example.

How to prepare shiitake mushrooms?

There are many ways to make a delicious dish. Whether you fry them in a pan or steam them, grill them or cook them in the oven, shiitake mushrooms are a great side dish for fish and meat. Shiitake also goes very well with risotto and pasta.

In Asia, shiitake mushrooms are used in the well-known miso soup, but many other soup recipes can also be conjured up using the aromatic mushroom. Shiitake mushrooms should also not be forgotten for a delicious vegan mushroom goulash, as they also lend vegetarian dishes a meaty aroma.

Shiitake mushrooms are the most important ingredient in Japanese miso soup. (Image source: pixabay.com / jana_tik)

Our tip for preparation is to sauté the mushrooms in a pan with a little butter and add shallots and garlic. It’s best to salt them afterwards so as not to extract any unnecessary liquid. This allows the mushrooms to develop their aroma best.

Studies show that most of the vitamins are retained when the shiitake is grilled or prepared in the microwave.

Can you grow shiitake mushrooms yourself?

With a little experience, you can easily grow shiitake mushrooms yourself on a tree trunk or homemade sterile substrate. For beginners, there are mushroom cultivation kits or even ready-made mushroom cultures with detailed instructions.

In the following video you will learn in a funny way exactly how you can grow shiitake mushrooms yourself.

Are shiitake mushrooms suitable for dogs?

Vital mushrooms are not only a good alternative to conventional medicine for us humans, but also for dogs the shiitake mushroom is a positive supplement. Especially for dogs with arthrosis or arthritis, the ingredients of the medicinal mushroom are welcome helpers.

For dogs weighing up to 20 kg, one to two grams of mushroom powder is sufficient; if the dog weighs more than 20 kg, it can be up to 3 grams. It is best to mix the powder with the dog food.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 97996099 (L)

Reviews