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person showing how to clean shiitake mushrooms

How To Clean Shiitake Mushrooms

Learn how to clean shiitake mushrooms to use them in recipes. Once you know how to prepare them for cooking, it is a breeze to put this umami-rich fungi to use.
Course Vegetarian Side Dish
Cuisine American
Diet Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 lb
Calories 154kcal


  • 1 kitchen sponge or paper towels
  • 1 salad spinner or colander


  • 1 lb shiitake mushrooms or more or less depending on your recipe


To wash shiitake mushrooms you can follow one of the two following methods:

  • Wash one by one: To do so, wet a sheet of paper towel (a clean kitchen sponge) and gently wipe each mushroom cap. Make sure you turn it around and clean the back, too. While wiping, remove any visible dirt or debris hiding under or around the gills.
  • Using A Salad Spinner or A Colander (The easier & quicker method): For this method, place your shiitake mushrooms in the salad spinner* insert and rinse them under cold water for 30-45 seconds. While rinsing, gently move the mushrooms around with your hands to help remove any dirt or debris. Spin dry immediately to eliminate as much liquid as possible.
  • To trim the stems: Turn the shiitake mushroom over, exposing both the gills and the stem. Then, gently pull the stem right where it meets the cap. It should snip right off. Or, Use a paring knife and cut the stem* off from the bottom of the gill.
  • To slice them, you can place the cap on a cutting board with the mushroom gills facing down. Then, cut it into thin slices. Or, you can stack them up and slice them simultaneously.


  • If you don’t have a salad spinner, you can use a colander. Simply give your shiitake mushrooms a quick rinse, wipe each one with a sheet of dry paper towel, and let them air dry.
  • Don’t throw away the shiitake stems. Instead, save them to use later when making vegetable or chicken stock. These small pieces will enhance the flavor of broth-based soups by providing an umami-rich flavor.
  • To store: If you buy packaged shiitakes, store the mushrooms in their original containers, as those are specifically designed to balance moisture retention and ethylene gas release. If you end up not using every mushroom, rewrap the container but poke a few holes to help air circulation.
    If you bought loose shiitakes (not-packaged), place the mushrooms in a plastic bag, but don’t seal it tightly. Instead, leave the bag slightly open so that air can circulate.


Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 41mg | Potassium: 1379mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 11g | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 2mg