Japanese mushrooms are often called the meat of the vegetable world because of their fleshy texture and rich flavor. There are many popular varieties of mushrooms that you can find in Japan. These are both tasty and healthy and they play an important role in Japanese cuisine indeed.
Washoku which represents Japanese cuisine is a well-balanced diet that is rich in essential nutrients and provides plenty of health benefits. Within this type of traditional cuisine, mushrooms play an essential part.
The Japanese will often serve mushrooms with simple, fresh, and seasonally picked fruits & vegetables. This is along with steamed rice, noodles, tofu, and eggs, meat, fishes.
Here are 4 types of Japanese mushrooms to incorporate in your next meal!
This is the one popular type of Japanese mushroom that most people might have already heard of it. It is low in calories and is also fraught with essential vitamins. These include B-complex and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.
This special type of mushroom enhances one's metabolism to a significant extent. Though the cooked and dried shiitake mushrooms have more calories they lack protein and fiber than the raw ones. Thus, consuming raw shiitake mushrooms is good for strong bones and can actually provide you abundant health benefits.
Maitake mushrooms contain beta glucans, a complex sugar, which gives a pump to your immune system to function better. Also, it helps the body fight illness more quickly and efficiently.
Moreover, surveys have shown that beta-glucan may have a positive impact on cancer patients. This is because as it may activate cancer-fighting cells to make chemotherapy more effective. All while decreasing the negative side effects of anti-cancer drugs. These include hair fall, vomiting, and nausea if consumed during the treatment period.
The Japanese will mostly use this type of Japanese mushroom in soups and hot pot dishes. These include dishes like nabe and sukiyaki because of their slightly sweet flavor.
Alike the shiitake mushrooms, these inoki mushrooms are low-calorie, low fat, and sugar-free. They also have essential B vitamins that improve your metabolism.
This type of Japanese mushrooms, also called the king of oyster mushroom or carnivorous mushroom species, are natural antioxidants as well as amino acids.
Unlike the other varieties of mushrooms, eryngii protects the body cells from harmful radicals and reduces chronic diseases. It also improves blood flow and helps clear cholesterol. It is a good source of minerals and nutrients, containing iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.
Try slicing these in half and glazing them with miso under a grill!
Also known as wood ear mushrooms, kikurage is one of the most commonly eaten varieties of Japanese mushrooms. It is often eaten along with salads, or cut into matchsticks to serve in ramen.
This unique mushroom is rich in iron and has essential vitamins like B-1 & B-2, which convert carbohydrates into glucose in your body and also helps the liver function better. Try our kikurage stir fry recipe!
Mushroom cultivation in Japan
Over time, the cultivation of edible mushrooms has evolved into a large business for farmers. Shiitake and oyster mushrooms are widely popular across the world because of their enormous cultivation by mushroom growers.
Other than that, with innovative techniques, farmers are now able to grow several kinds of wholesome mushrooms including oyster and shiitake mushrooms artificially in plastic bags, within a very short period of six to ten days from start to harvest.
Additionally, many individuals are growing oyster and shiitake mushrooms indoors as a part-time job to make a solid extra income and thus, contributing to the overall growth of the mushroom market.
Rise in consumption
Moreover, the exports of oyster and shiitake mushrooms to the U.S. have been steadily increasing year by year. In addition, the rising trend of veganism has become a major reason for the greater consumption of mushrooms across the world, mainly because mushrooms are a great source of low carb and high solid protein sources for vegan athletes and bodybuilders. According to a report published by Allied Market Research, the global mushroom market is expected to register a significant CAGR from 2020-2028.
Even though the outbreak of the pandemic has impeded the exports and the distribution channel structure to some extent, but the demand for mushrooms has remained constant. In the post-covid era, the commercial consumption of mushrooms in restaurants, supermarkets, cafeterias, and hotels will drive to a substantial growth of the global mushroom market.
Overall, most mushrooms provide all the essential amino acids for adult requirements and also have high protein content than other vegetables. While it is a type of fungi, is also considered as the main part of Japanese cuisine across the world; simultaneously, it has a long history of usage in oriental medicine to prevent and fight several diseases.
Along with cardiovascular benefits and an immune system boosting effect, it can produce numerous medical functions for key medical uses like antioxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic, antifungal, antiviral, etc.
People switching to healthier food habits must add these essential types of Japanese mushrooms to their diet!