How To Find, Choose, & Use

Shimeji Mushrooms

Hypsizygus marmoreus

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Buna-shimeji (brown shimeji) mushroomsBunapi shimeji (white shimeji) mushrooms

The Basics

  • What Is It?

    The edible above-ground portion of the beech mushroom

  • Seasonality


  • Flavour Profile


  • Other Names

    Beech mushroom, buna-shimeji (brown variety), bunapi-shimeji (white variety), tomo-motashi (Japanese), chiodini, pioppini (Italian)


Jump To Culinary Info

Jump To More Info

  • Find

    Asian grocery stores are your best bet, though an increasing number of conventional grocery stores carry them as well

  • Choose

    Firm, smooth, dry looking mushrooms. Avoid soggy or slimy looking mushrooms.

  • Prep

    Difficulty: Low – Commercial shimeji mushrooms are generally very clean. Wash gently and cut away the tough interconnected bottom portion of the mushroom bundle. You can hand-separate clinging mushroom stalks to ensure even cooking.

  • Use

    Shimeji mushrooms must be cooked. They cook fairly quickly and can be prepared in a number of ways (e.g. stir-frying, in soups, baked, etc.). They don’t overcook too easily, but they’re best when still firm.

  • Store

    Short Term: Shimeji mushrooms are often sold in a breathable plastic wrap. This is an ideal storage system. If they’ve been opened or they’re in non-breathable plastic, wrap uncut and unwashed mushrooms in a paper towel and refrigerate in an unsealed bag. Fresh mushrooms will keep for up to several weeks when stored properly. Raw shimeji mushrooms do not freeze well.

Culinary Info

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Jump To More Info

  • Flavour Profile

    Savoury/Nutty – Shimeji mushrooms have a pleasant and fairly unobtrusive nutty flavour. They retain a firm, somewhat crunchy texture when cooked. Brown and white varieties do not differ substantially in flavour, though brown can be slightly more bitter.

  • Substitutions

    Oyster mushrooms and straw mushrooms are reasonably good substitutes, though somewhat less crunchy/snappy in texture.

  • Cuisines

    Prominent in Japanese cooking, and well-used in a variety of European cuisines too, these mild mushrooms are popular in soups, pastas, hotpots, stir-fries, and even baked dishes.

  • Flavour Pairings

    Excellent with Japanese staples (soy sauce, miso, dashi, mirin, rice, etc.), and excellent with olive oil, mild herbs, pasta, and other relatively light flavours.

  • Varieties

    The two most prominent varieties are the brown shimeji (buna-shimeji) or beech mushroom, and the white shimeji (bunapi-shimeji). Not to be confused with the hon-shimeji or hatake-shimeji.

More Info

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Back To Culinary Info

  • Nutrition

    High in niacin (35% d.v.), and relatively high in protein and fiber.
    For a full nutritional profile, click Need More Detail? below

  • Top-To-Tail

    The entire mushroom is eaten (cooked, not raw). The tough, interconnected lower portion of the stalks is generally cut off and discarded.

  • GMO Status


  • Health & Science

    Shimeji mushrooms contain compounds that have been linked to anti-cancer activity; research into these effects is ongoing.

  • Organic vs. Conventional

    Both organic and conventionally grown shimeji mushrooms are widely available in both brown and white forms.


Sort By Title
  • Bacon wrapped shimeji mushroom kushiyaki with a homemade tare sauce -
    Bacon-wrapped Shimeji Mushroom Kushiyaki
    Bacon's never a bad idea. Especially not when it gets to partner with a fantastic, flavourful, just-sweet-enough Japanese tare (teriyaki) sauce.
  • Kitsune Nabe - a Japanese stew or hotpot made with fried tofu, quail eggs, shirataki noodles, shimeji mushrooms, and chrysanthemum greens -
    Kitsune Nabe - Japanese Stew with Tofu Puffs
    Fried tofu, mushrooms, chrysanthemum greens, quail eggs and shirataki swim in a rich dashi and red miso broth.
  • Stir Fried Udon with Chicken, Shimeji, and Broccolini - Japanese ingredients with a Chinese twist -
    Udon Noodles with Chicken, Broccolini, and Shimeji Mushrooms
    Chinese flavours with Japanese ingredients - a great combination with big flavour that's ready in no time.

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  • Arroz Verde - Green Rice made with Poblanos and Cilantro -
    Green Rice - Arroz Verde
    The words "Rice Side Dish" might not necessarily evoke excitement, but in this case it definitely should. Mexican rice bridges a gap between plain add-on and complex creation;...
  • Spot Prawns and Rajas (Roasted Poblano Pepper Strips) in a Creamy Buttermilk or Jocoque sauce -
    Spot Prawn and Raja Enchiladas with Buttermilk Sauce
    It's spot prawn season, which means it's time for amazing seafood. It also means that it's time to do some mental math to figure out if it's cheaper...
  • Mexican Seafood with Red Pipian Sauce -
    Red Pipian Seafood Soup
    Mole doesn't have to be insanely complicated. Red pipian sauce is packed with flavour, but fairly easy to prepare. It's also easy to transform into a rich, velvety...
  • Pico de gallo, or salsa fresca - uncooked tomato, onion, cilantro, and pepper salsa -
    Pico de Gallo
    Pico de gallo is simple to make and easy to love. This recipe uses multiple measurements to make consistent batches, as well as annotations and variations in case...
  • Chicken tinga, served as tacos with pico de gallo, avocados and cheese -
    Chicken Tinga
    The "Mexican" section of the grocery store is, generally speaking, something of a misnomer. At best, it's more of a Tex-Mex hub. At worst, it's all about...
  • Yucatecan Mexican Fish Tacos with Green Peach Salsa -
    Yucatecan Fish Tacos with Green Peach Salsa
    Who doesn't love a good taco? Fish tacos have possibly become the all-star in the taco world over the last few years, and for good reason. But...
  • Mexican chile peppers -
    May Feature - Mexican Ingredients
    This month's Ingredient and Pantry Page feature is all about the incredible culinary delights of Mexico. We'll be examining some of the ingredients native to the region (including...
  • Puerco Pibil - Yucatecan slow-cooked pork -
    May Feature - Mexican Food
    This month's Recipe feature is all about the incredible dishes from the amazing and diverse cuisine of Mexico. Some of Mexico's food has become very popular internationally -...
  • Saag Paneer with Beet Greens and Horseradish Leaves -
    Saag Paneer with Beet Greens and Horseradish Leaves
    Saag paneer is a popular vegetarian classic, and it's a lot more adaptable than many people know - case in point, here the much more common spinach gets swapped...
  • Seared scallops with asparagus ribbons and lemon spaghettini -
    Scallops and Asparagus with Lemon Spaghettini
    Perfectly seared scallops are one of life's greatest seafood delights. The sweet taste, the rich browned butter, the sublime texture - the only problem with them is that...
  • Miner's Lettuce and Mizuna Salad with Rhubarb Poppy Seed Vinaigrette -
    Miner's Lettuce and Mizuna Salad with Rhubarb Dijon Vinaigrette
    All too often, our approach to salads is to add. Add toppings, add dressings, add fat and sugar and salt... and the core idea (not to mention the...
  • Linguine Primavera - pasta with spring vegetables (fava beans, peas, and asparagus tips) -
    Linguine Primavera
    Primavera is Italian for spring, and this modern classic (actually an Italian-American/Canadian hybrid) SCREAMS spring. That is, when it's done well. Sadly it's become something of a...
  • Rhubarb apple crisp with orange zest, served here with vanilla ice cream -
    Rhubarb Apple Crisp
    A good crisp has a lot of the charm of a good pie, but absolutely none of the hard work. If you can measure and mix, you can...
  • Grilled cheese with pickled sweet peppers and red onions on marble rye -
    Pickled Pepper Grilled Cheese
    Sometimes it's easy to forget that good cooking can be really, really simple. On a busy day, it's easy to get flustered and to give up on cooking...
  • Japanese nettle soup - vegan and gluten free, made with miso -
    Japanese Nettle Soup
    Nettles are great in soup - there's no doubt about that. But given their already exotic and unusual status, it's not uncommon for them to be pigeonholed into one...
  • Nettle Cream Soup -
    Nettle Cream Soup
    One of the most magical cooking experiences has to involve taking something dangerous or inedible and turning it into something delicious. Stinging nettles might sound unpleasant (and certainly...
  • Japanese Nettle Soup -
    April Feature - Spring Eats from Around the World
    This month's recipe feature is all about ringing in spring around the world. We'll be celebrating by exploring some quintessential springtime foods from many different culinary traditions....
  • April 2016 Feature - Spring Produce Sakura Blossoms -
    April Feature - The First Spring Produce
    I know that the expression is "spring is in the air," but as far as I'm concerned, spring is in the ground. This month, we're celebrating the return of...
  • Dongpo Rou - Chinese Braised Pork Belly -
    Dongpo Rou (Chinese Red-cooked Pork Belly)
    Once they start naming food after you, you know you've made it big. Especially when that name sticks around for over a thousand years. This classic dish perfectly illustrates...
  • Shungiku no goma-ae, garland chrysanthemum greens dressed with a creamy vegan Japanese sauce -
    Shungiku no Goma-ae - Chrysanthemum Greens with Sesame Miso Dressing
    Goma-ae is fairly well-known thanks to it's popularity on Japanese restaurant menus, but it's a lot more variable and versatile than many realize. Goma-ae basically translates to 'dressed...
  • Kitsune nabe - miso hot pot with vegetables, fried tofu and quail eggs -
    Kitsune Nabe - Japanese Stew with Tofu Puffs
    A fox skulks through the forest, brushing past mushrooms and deep green leaves. Finding a clutch of unattended eggs, she helps herself. Unsatisfied, she suddenly transforms into...
  • Tatsoi (Rosette Bok Choy) halved -
    Updates and New Social Media
    Hi all! Time for some updates on Diversivore's social media, plus a few little changes that have already happened or will happen soon. Come see what's new.
  • Shrimp and Clams with Douchi (Chinese Black Beans) and Citrus -
    Shrimp and Clams in a Black Bean and Citrus Sauce
    Fermented black soybeans are one of the most distinctive flavours in the Chinese culinary world. Popularly prepared as the well-known 'black bean sauce,' they're particularly popular with seafood...
  • Triptych of three blanched Chinese greens served with different sauces -
    Universal Chinese Greens Part 3: Blanching and Dressing
    Chinese greens can easily be blanched and dressed to make flavourful but simple side dishes. The vegetables are quickly and easily cooked, and the sauces are only...
  • Universal Chinese Greens - Braised Tatsoi -
    Universal Chinese Greens Part 2: Braising
    Braising is a great way to capture the essential flavours typical of good Chinese green vegetables without the hassle of stir-frying. This method is incredibly simple and very...
  • Universal Chinese Greens - Stir fried yu choy sum with ginger and garlic -
    Universal Chinese Greens Part 1: Stir-Frying
    While the diversity of Chinese greens is astonishing, there are a handful of cooking methods that work for nearly all of them. In part one of this three-part...
  • Poached Chicken and Choy Sum (Hakka-style) with Garlic and Ginger Sauce -
    Poached Chicken and Choy Sum with Garlic and Ginger Sauce
    Poaching meats has gone out of vogue in many circles - too many visions of 'boiled beef' with a pile of watery cabbage and mushy carrots. But with...
  • Various soy products, including Asian black beans, doubanjiang, shiro miso, and soy sauce -
    March Feature - The Incredible, Variable Soy Bean
    Soybeans have become incredibly ubiquitous (often where we least expect them), but they still shine their brightest in the varied, intensely flavoured, and sadly under-used pantry staples of East...
  • Choy sum bunch on a white plate -
    March Feature - Chinese Greens Part 2
    That's right, we're rolling last month's theme over. There's been great interest and there's just so much left to cover, so I just couldn't resist! Come check...
  • Chickpea and Gai Lan Spaghettini -
    Chickpea and Gai Lan Spaghettini
    Asian green vegetables can be a lot more versatile than a lot of people realize. In this case, gai lan works seamlessly with a number of vegetarian Italian...
  • Five spice baked crispy tofu with seared bok choy and watermelon radishes -
    Five-spice Crispy Tofu with Seared Bok Choy
    Going meatless can sometimes leave you wanting for a good, textural protein. This crispy baked tofu is the answer to your meat-free prayers. Paired with creamy bok...
  • Stir fried snow peas with lotus root -
    Stir Fried Snow Peas and Lotus Root
    Snow peas are easy to love and easy to use. Fortunately, the same can be said of the less familiar (and incredibly distinctive) lotus root. Together, these...
  • Honey Ginger Pea Tips -
    Honey Ginger Pea Tips
    Pea tips aren't too familiar outside of China, but they should be. They're incredibly healthy, delicious, and easy to use. Try them in this easy stir fry with ginger...
  • Indian spiced shepherd's pie with lamb and mashed red lentils in place of the more familiar potato topping -
    Indian Spiced Shepherd's Pie with Mashed Red Lentils
    This is a special featured recipe for the "Love Lentils - Star of the Show" contest. Classic Indian ingredients - lentils, spices and lamb - meet home-cooked comfort food...
  • Garlic and Lemon Bok Choy with Black Sesame Noodles -
    Garlic and Lemon Bok Choy with Black Sesame Noodles
    Noodles are always good, but the bok choy is the star here. It cooks to a delicious, almost creamy texture, and works with the sauce without being overpowered.
  • Mandelo (Cocktail Grapefruit) Zaru Soba - cold Japanese buckwheat noodles with a citrus dipping sauce (mentsuyu) -
    Mandelo Zaru Soba (Cold Buckwheat Noodles with Cocktail Grapefruit Sauce)
    A simple but delicious cold noodle dish with a unique citrus component, perfect for any time of the year.
  • Pomelo salad rolls with hoisin garlic peanut sauce -
    Pomelo Salad Rolls
    I don't know anyone who doesn't like a salad roll. But all too often, they lack flavour, acting only as a sauce-delivery-mechanism. Don't get me wrong, the...
  • A selection of ingredients used to make East Asian vegetarian dishes -
    February Feature - East Asian Vegetarian Food
    The wall of greenery found in Chinese grocery stores should celebrated, rather than feared. This month, we examine this amazing diversity of Chinese greens.
  • Bok Choy on a red background -
    February Feature - Chinese Greens
    The wall of greenery found in most Chinese grocery stores should be something to celebrate, and not something to fear. Don't know your choy sum from your bok...
  • Japanese bowls with a spiral pattern -
    7 Essential Japanese Cookbooks
    The world of Japanese food is endlessly complex and rewarding. Here are 7 books I highly recommend to help you to further explore this amazing culinary scene.
  • Bacon wrapped shimeji mushroom kushiyaki with a homemade tare sauce -
    Bacon-wrapped Shimeji Mushroom Kushiyaki
    Bacon's never a bad idea. Especially not when it gets to partner with a fantastic, flavourful, just-sweet-enough Japanese tare (teriyaki) sauce.
  • Dark chocolate mousse with candied kumquats -
    Dark Chocolate Mousse with Candied Kumquats
    It's hard to beat a classic like chocolate mousse. But there are just so many great things that you can pair with chocolate - like amazing, decadent candied...
  • Chicken with Seville orange marmalade and balsamic vinegar -
    Chicken with Marmalade and Balsamic Vinegar
    Sometimes two strong flavours can work together in ways you wouldn't imagine. Balsamic vinegar and orange marmalade may not sound like an obvious match, but I assure you...
  • Ginger and karashi mustard chicken, shown here on a bed of Japanese lemon-herb risotto -
    Ginger Karashi Chicken
    Tangy, sweet, a little hot - these are packed with flavour and surprisingly healthy. They also show how versatile and easy to love Japanese ingredients can be.
  • Japanese lemon herb risotto, made with sake in place of white wine and short grain Japanese rice -DJapanese lemon herb risotto, made with sake in place of white wine and short grain Japanese rice -
    Japanese Lemon Herb Risotto
    Sometimes culinary worlds cross more easily than you'd imagine. A few simple Japanese twists plus bright taste of lemon, and you get this unforgettable dish.
  • Kumquat apple tart with Scotch whisky caramel and a cardamom-scented crust -
    Kumquat Apple Tart with Scotch Caramel
    Sweet but balanced and a little bit bitter, this tart is unlike any dessert I've ever had. Sure apple pie is good, but sometimes it's worth trying something...
  • Appetizer portion of beef tataki with ponzu, watermelon radishes, and scallions -
    Beef Tataki with Ponzu
    When it comes to beef tenderloin, less is more. This recipe is all about balancing powerful flavours and letting the incredible, tender taste of the fillet shine through....
  • Wafu Hambagu - Japanese-style Hamburger with a scratch-made ponzu, karashi mustard, and daikon oroshi -
    Wafu Hambagu
    The hamburger knows no borders. It is a food of the world (rightly so). Japan grabbed hold of the ubiquitous patty many years ago and gave the world this....
  • Ponzu sauce (ponzu shoyu), made from scratch, with salmon and tuna sashimi and shredded daikon -
    Ponzu Sauce
    Ponzu shoyu (aka ponzu sauce) is a bright, delicious Japanese citrus-based sauce, popularly used as a condiment and a marinade.  It's also delicious, and shockingly easy to make.
  • Sashimi knife on a printed Japanese cloth for
    5 New Japanese Pantry Pages
    The Pantry Pages are now, officially launched! To celebrate we've added FIVE (count 'em!) brand new pages, all from the basic Japanese pantry.
  • Japanese Pantry items for Diversivore's January 2016 Japanese Pantry Feature
    January Feature - The Japanese Pantry
    Every month, Diversivore launches two new thematic features. This month, Diversivore will introducing basic elements of the Japanese pantry. Click to keep reading and find out what...
  • Lemons and limes for Diversivore's January 2016 Citrus Feature
    January Feature - Citrus
    Every month, Diversivore launches two new thematic features. This month, Diversivore will be featuring citrus fruits. Click to keep reading and find out what else is...
  • Diversivore background image showing a variety of fruits (raspberries and blueberries) in baskets.
    Welcome to Diversivore!
    Hi there! Come on in and see what Diversivore's all about. I hope you're hungry.
  • Granny Smith apple grilled cheese sandwich with aged cheddar and plumcot-blueberry ketchup -
    Granny Smith Apple Grilled Cheese
    Grilled cheese is pure, simple comfort food. Despite the proliferation of fancy variations out there, I maintain that simple is better. This recipe relies on two spectacular...
  • Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap) - spicy, simple, and oh-so-delicious Korean food -
    Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)
    Kimchi and fermented foods in general are big right now. And why not? It's amazing stuff, both in terms of taste and health. But we often...
  • Liangban Huanggua (涼拌黃瓜) - Chinese cucumbers with garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, and hot peppers -
    Chinese Garlic Cucumber Salad (Liangban Huanggua)
    To me, a truly spectacular dish is one that, despite being cheap and easily made at home, you still can't help but seek out at your favorite restaurants....
  • Winter gumbo with crab, andouille sausage, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, and golden beets -
    Winter Gumbo with Crab & Sunchokes
    I'm not a purist when it comes to ingredients or dishes. And on that point, this is not Louisiana gumbo. But there's a good reason for that:...
  • Seville (Sour) Orange and Lemon Pie with a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust -
    Seville Orange and Lemon Pie
    I don't make a lot of desserts, because if I do, I eat a lot of desserts. But I nearly finished off this whole pie by myself....
  • Pacific Dover Sole with Lemon and Ginger -
    Pacific Dover Sole with Lemon and Ginger
    One of the best things about fish is also one of the things that scares people away: it benefits from simple and subtle cooking. Overdoing the cooking time...
  • Mango and Tomato Salad with Mint Chimichurri -
    Mango & Tomato Salad with Mint Chimichurri
    Call it a salsa, call it a salad... regardless, this is delicious and easy to play around with. Serve it as is with a meal, with tortilla chips...
  • Lamb with Mint Chimichurri -
    Lamb with Mint Chimichurri
    People all around the world have figured out different ways of taking aromatic greens and turning them into flavourful sauces, and they all have different merits. That being...
  • Seville Orange French Toast with Maple Whipped Cream -
    Seville Orange French Toast
    Alright French Toast. We need to talk. A little bit of sweetness is good thing, but it's time to stop drowning you in syrup and sugar....
  • Stir Fried Udon with Chicken, Shimeji, and Broccolini - Japanese ingredients with a Chinese twist -
    Udon Noodles with Chicken, Broccolini, and Mushrooms
    Do you have ambiguous feelings about mushrooms? If so , it's time to try out shimeji mushrooms. Trust me -- you couldn't get my to touch a...
  • San Diego Mussel and Clam Linguine with coconut milk and squash blossoms -
    San Diego Mussel & Clam Linguine
    If there's one thing I like less than having to categorize all my recipes, it's being unable to come up with a category altogether. Sure, it's pasta, but...
  • Broccoli Cheddar Soup with less fat than traditional recipes (but all of the taste!) -
    Healthier Broccoli & Cheddar Soup
    Cheese. Cheese cheese cheese. Perhaps there are people out there who have a little bite of cheese and say "no more for me," but I don't need...
  • Fettucce with green tomatoes, bacon, and prawns -
    Fettuccine with Green Tomatoes, Bacon, and Prawns
    The red, ripe tomato is such a thing of beauty that we often forget that it is not the only way that one can eat a tomato. Green...
  • Japanese Simmered Cauliflower Leaves with Potatoes -
    Japanese Simmered Cauliflower Leaves with Potatoes
    We in the first world waste a lot of food - sometimes simply because we don't know it's food. Case in point: cauliflower leaves. Edible, and darned tasty too.
  • Mapo tofu (Chinese Tofu, Pork, and Vegetables) -
    Mapo Tofu
    Mapo tofu is a dish that, in many ways, defies classification or explanation. It is, in a sense, rather familiar, appearing on countless restaurant menus and home tables...

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