26 Jun 2020

Turning shiitake mushrooms into potent powder

From Country Life, 9:24 pm on 26 June 2020

The Exotic Mushroom Company is based in a purpose-built facility near Templeton on the outskirts of Christchurch.

It’s here that Japanese-born Natsu Adachi grows the shiitake mushrooms that she sells year-round to local retailers, eateries and at farmers' markets.

Natsu Adachi

Natsu Adachi Photo: supplied

The mushrooms grow in climate-controlled rooms on logs made from sawdust, wheat bran and water, Adachi says.

"We make three holes in a log, put spores in each hole and then the spores spread."

Up to 20 mushrooms are harvested off each log and it takes four to five months for them to grow. The logs are used twice before being turned into compost.

Natsu also makes a powder from dried mushrooms, which is rich in Vitamins D, B and dietary fibre. Dried shiitake mushrooms contain 10 to 30 times more nutritional value than fresh, she says.

“So now I’m trying to let people know how to use the mushroom powder."

It's a very useful product to have in the kitchen, Adachi says.

“I use it for pretty much everything, like mushroom soup, pasta sauce, curry and even baking!"