Fried Shiitake On Toast
Serves 2

150g fresh shiitake mushrooms - sliced
½ tsp chilli flakes
Olive Oil
4 slices of good bread, toasted

Simply heat the oil in a frying pan, add the mushrooms and chilli flakes and fry for 8 – 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season and serve on lightly toasted and buttered toast.

Shiitake Mushroom Soup
Serves 6

4 cups (1 l) vegetable broth
3 cups (3/4 l) cauliflower, chopped
3 cups (3/4 l) shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp (7.5 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 cup (250 ml) onions, chopped

Place all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce and cook for 20 minutes.
When finished, puree with stick blender until smooth.
Serve warm, with a drizzle of pesto.

Steak with Shiitake Mushroom Sauce
Serves 2

2 x 6 oz rib-eye or top sirloin steak, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
vegetable oil
1/2 tsp (2 ml) five-spice powder (optional)
salt and coarsely ground black pepper
12 oz (350 g) fresh shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
3 tbsp (45 ml) brandy
1 tbsp (15 ml) hoisin or 2 tbsp (30 ml) teriyaki sauce
1 onion, thinly sliced

Bring steak to room temperature. Preheat the grill and set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush steaks all over with oil and sprinkle both sides with five-spice powder, salt and pepper, then rub in. Place steak on the rack.
Discard stems from shiitake mushrooms and thickly slice caps. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add shiitake mushrooms and fry for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until softened around edges. Add the brandy, hoisin and onion and fry for 2 minutes, stirring often, until very bubbly. Remove from heat and cover.
Place the steaks under the grill. For medium rare, grill for about 4 minutes per side, until beef gives slight resistance when pressed with your finger. Remove to a cutting board and let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Spoon mushroom sauce over the top.

Shiitake Mushroom Risotto with Thyme, Saffron, and Parmesan
Serves 4 – 6
6 oz of fresh shiitake mushrooms
8 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup of boiling water for 45-60 minutes (reserve and strain the soaking liquid)
1 medium onion
2 cups arborio rice
32 oz (4 cups) of chicken stock
4 oz (1/2 cup) white wine
4 oz (1/2 cup) grated parmesan + more for serving
2 tbsp salted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme
1 pinch of saffron threads
2 oz (1/4 cup) chopped fresh parsley
salt & pepper

De stem and thinly slice the fresh and dried mushrooms. Heat butter and olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Once melted, add the onions. Cook until translucent. Add the salt and pepper then stir in the sliced mushrooms. Cook down until reduced by half. Add the rice, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add a pinch of saffron threads and the thyme. Saute for another minute.

Lower the heat to medium-low. Start adding the chicken stock in 1/2 cup increments. Constantly stir to make sure the rice doesn't stick to the bottom. Once the liquid is well absorbed, add more. After the first 1/2 cup of chicken stock, add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid (strained well) and the white wine. Keep adding the chicken stock until the risotto is creamy and the rice is fully cooked through. This will take 20-30 mins. Once fully cooked, stir in 1/2 cup grated parmesan. Taste for seasoning. Serve topped with more grated parmesan and fresh parsley.