Mushrooms are called "kinoko" in Japanese. Various mushrooms are used in the Japanese cuisine. Some of the most popular ones are introduced below.

Shiitake are one the most popular mushrooms in Japanese cooking, and are also well known outside of Japan. They are available fresh or dried, with the latter being soaked in water before being used. Shiitake mushrooms can be found in various dishes such as nabe (hot pot) dishes, boiled dishes and tempura.

Maitake mushrooms are another very popular mushroom in Japanese cuisine. They grow in large colonies and are sometimes referred to as the king of mushrooms.

Bunashimeji is another very popular, cultivated mushroom.

Matsutake are highly priced gourmet mushrooms, that cannot be cultivated and are available only in autumn. They are found under pine trees (matsu), and are most valuable when picked just before surfacing with the umbrella still closed. Matsutake are enjoyed in various ways such as grilled or cooked with rice.

Enoki is a cultivated mushroom with a crunchy texture that is often used in hot pot dishes.

Hiratake is the Japanese name for oyster mushrooms. There are many cultivated varieties of hiratake, some of which look quite differently from each other.

Eringi is large type of oyster mushroom that is popular in Japan. Its thick, meaty stem is usually sliced and incorporated into sauteed or grilled dishes.

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Page last updated: April 1, 2009