Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms in the world due to their rich, savory taste (called “umami“), and diverse health benefits. They have originally been domiciled in Japan, Korea and China, and their special characteristics are known by the population for more than 2000 years.

  • Scientific name: Lentinula edodes
  • Synonyms: Shii-Take, Hua Gu, aricus edodes, Shaingugu, Qua Gu, Chinese black mushroom
  • Type: Shiitake is a saprophyte, which means it grows on dead organic matter (unlike mycorrhyzal mushrooms, which can only grow in symbiosis with the roots of trees).
  • Natural habitat: hardwood forests throughout warm and moist climates in southeast Asia.

Shiitake are known for their high nutritious value and low-fat, low-calorie content. They are a good source of vitamins; especially provitamin D2, and have a long history as an elixir that is believed to promote good health and longevity.

Shiitake mushrooms are used as a source of protein in many vegetarian diets, having meaty texture and containing all the essential amino acids [1].

Shiitake mushrooms contain ergosterol, which under heat and ultraviolet light yields calciferol (vitamin D2). They also contain B vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and B5 (pantothenic acid).

Minerals found in Shiitake include Fe, Mn, K, Ca, Mg, Cd, Cu, P, and Zn.

The smell of this special mushroom resembles garlic and is due to an ingredient called Lenthionine.

Shiitake Basic Nutrition Info

Content (per 100g raw mushrooms)Daily Value
Calories 34
Total Fat 0.5 g0%
Sodium 9 mg0%
Potassium 304 mg8%
Total Carbohydrate 7 g2%
— Dietary fiber 2.5 g10%
— Sugar 2.4 g
Protein 2.2 g4%

Raw Shiitake Vitamins (% Daily Values)

Vitamin B1
(Thiamin) 1%
Vitamin B2
(Riboflavin) 17%
Vitamin B3
(Niacin) 24%
Vitamin B5
(Pantothenic acid) 30%
Vitamin B6 23% Vitamin D 4%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%

Raw Shiitake Minerals (% Daily Values)

Iron 2% Copper 16%Magnesium 5%
Potassium 6% Phosphorus 16%Selenium 10%
Zinc 9%Manganese 10%Cobalamin 0%

100g dried shiitake mushrooms contain 296 calories, 75g carbohydrates, 9.6g protein, 12g fiber, 1g lipids (saturated fat 0.2g), 13mg sodium.

Data collected from /USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

[1] Sistani, N. A., D. T. Ball, and C. Sabota. “Protein Content of Shiitake Mushroom Grown on Nitrogen Soaked Sweetgum Logs.” Journal of plant nutrition 30, no. 8 (2007): 1279-1286.