BASICS & HOW-TO
Buna- and bunapi-shimeji mushrooms (brown and white varieties respectively) are increasingly common in grocery stores, but are most common in Asian grocery stores or in areas with large East Asian or Italian populations. Look for them in the produce section along with other mushrooms, often in cellophane-like micro-porous plastic packages.
In parts of North America, Europe, and East Asia, buna-shimeji can be found growing wild. That being said, they are far more easily obtained from commercial operations, especially given their habit of growing high up on a tree.
Because they are cultivated indoors, shimeji mushrooms are in season year-round.
Brown and white shimeji mushrooms have fairly interchangeable flavours, though the brown ones may be very slightly more bitter. Wild brown shimeji mushrooms are likely to be more bitter than the cultivated forms.