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Food as Medicine: Shiitake Mushroom Miso Soup

Shiitake mushrooms have been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine, as they are believed to boost both health and longevity. With their rich umami flavor, it is no wonder that these mushrooms have been consumed for centuries!

Shiitake mushrooms are low in sodium, carbohydrates, fats, and calories, but rich in nutrients such as vitamin D, proteins, fiber, and potassium. Shiitake mushrooms also contain compounds called beta-glucans, which have been shown to improve heart health by helping to reduce cholesterol levels and hypertension. In addition to this, a study showed that consuming two shiitake mushrooms a day help to significantly reduce inflammation throughout the body. Other studies have found that the regular intake of shiitake mushrooms assisted in lowering individuals' likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and certain forms of cancer.


Please see below for our hearty Miso Mushroom Soup recipe!

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Shiitake Mushroom Miso Soup


Ingredients:

  • 1 liter of water

  • 2 tbsps or 15 grams of dried kombu

  • 2 tbsps or 15 grams of dried bonito flakes

  • 6 tbsps of miso paste

  • 8 cups of shiitake mushrooms

  • Optional:

  • Sesame oil

  • Chili oil

  • Chopped spring onions

  • Soft/silken tofu

  • Cooked rice

Directions:

  1. Over medium heat, combine the water with dried kombu in a medium-sized saucepan or pot and bring to a bare simmer.

  2. Remove the saucepan from heat and add the dried bonito flakes. Let the broth cool.

  3. Strain the broth through a mesh strainer into another saucepan (this is your dashi stock). Discard the kombu and bonito flakes.

  4. Bring the dashi stock to a gentle boil over medium heat.

  5. Wash and cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Place mushrooms into the broth. If adding tofu, slice the tofu into small cubes and add it to the dashi stock.

  6. Add the miso paste to a small bowl. Using a ladle or a spoon, scoop some of the hot dashi stock into the bowl. Stir until the miso paste is fully incorporated into the liquid.

  7. Pour the bowl with miso back into the saucepan of dashi stock and continue gently boiling for 5 minutes or until your mushrooms are tender.

  8. Transfer the soup to a bowl and garnish with chopped spring onions and a drizzle of sesame oil. For spice, feel free to add some chili oil as well. Serve hot with rice if desired.

Enjoy!

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References:


Begum, J. (2022, September 19). Shiitake Mushrooms: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, Preparation Information, and More. WebMD. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-shiitake-mushrooms


Feng, L., Cheah, I. K.-M., Ng, M. M.-X., Li, J., Chan, S. M., Lim, S. L., Mahendran, R., Kua, E.-H., & Halliwell, B. (2019). The Association between Mushroom Consumption and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Community-Based Cross-Sectional Study in Singapore. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 68(1), 197–203. https://doi.org/10.3233/jad-180959


Jennings, K. (2019, June 14). Why Shiitake Mushrooms Are Good For You. Healthline. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/shiitake-mushrooms#heart-health


Valverde, M. E., Hernández-Pérez, T., & Paredes-López, O. (2015). Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life. International Journal of Microbiology, 2015, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/376387


Zhang, J.-J., Li, Y., Zhou, T., Xu, D.-P., Zhang, P., Li, S., & Li, H.-B. (2016). Bioactivities and Health Benefits of Mushrooms Mainly from China. Molecules, 21(7), 938. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules21070938

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