Shiitake is one of a list of foods that contain the ‘umami’ taste. Proposed by Japanese scientists in the early 20th Century, it is described as a savoury, brothy or meaty taste.
To make them go that bit further, put your dried shiitake mushrooms in a food processor and blend to a fine powder. Pour back into the container and add a pinch to all kinds of dishes to give them more intensity.
Don’t throw away the soaking water from reconstituting your mushrooms, it is full of flavour and makes a great addition to soups, stews or gravy.
Don't be too hasty
A little goes a long way with dried shiitake - just a handful added to a homemade mushroom soup or a mushroom stroganoff will give a more intense flavour.