Mushrooms are used as a standard ingredient in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. One characteristic of mushrooms is their rich variety, from everyday types like shiitake and shimeji to high-quality types like matsutake.
Mushrooms have a long history, and mushroom dishes are said to have been eaten since ancient Roman times. In Japan, mushrooms are said to have been eaten during the Jōmon Period. Japanese mushroom history can be said to go very far back: there is a tanka poem included in the Man’yōshū (a famous 8th century anthology of Japanese poetry) which speaks of going mushroom-gathering; during the Heian Period, wild shiitake began to be gathered and eaten; and in the Kamakura Period, records remain of shiitake being exported to the Chinese mainland. In China, not only have mushrooms been used in food since hundreds of years ago, mushrooms such as the lingzhi mushroom were used in herbal medicines and have been regarded as containing various properties effective in curing illness.
Mushrooms are said to have been eaten from long ago in Singapore as well, where many people of Chinese descent live. Many types of mushrooms are sold in grocery stores and elsewhere at the present, too, and you can buy dried shiitake and other mushrooms at herbal medicine shops.
Similar to vegetables, mushrooms, which have been valued from long ago for their medicinal properties, are rich in nutrients such as fiber, vitamin B, vitamin D2, and minerals (like potassium).
Nutrients Present in Mushrooms:
- Water-soluble fiber found in mushroom cell membranes.
- Vitamin B group
- ・Vitamin B1
A vitamin that helps acids break down sugars and convert them into energy.
A vitamin that works to encourage cellular growth and regeneration.
- Transforms into vitamin D when exposed to UV rays, helping the body absorb calcium and vitamins A and P.
- A type of mineral. Helps control excessive sodium intake.
Thanks to these nutrients, you can expect mushrooms to produce the following effects:
- 1. Constipation relief / Prevention of obesity
Beta-glucan, a water-soluble fiber, stimulates and improves the intestines, preventing constipation and obesity. In addition to vitamin B encouraging faster metabolism of fat, potassium controls excessive sodium intake.
- 2. Relief of chronic fatigue/stress
You can expect vitamin B1 to work to break down sugars, converting them into energy.
- 3. Prevention of colorectal cancer
Because you can rely on beta-glucan to work to organize the insides of the intestines and encourage expulsion of harmful matter, it’s said that it has the effect of preventing colorectal cancer.
- 4. Prevention of osteoporosis
Ergosterol helps the internal absorption of calcium vital for the bones.
In addition, one characteristic of mushrooms is the presence of amino acids, a flavor ingredient. Many mushrooms contain guanylic acid, a type of amino acid. Along with glutamic acid found in kelp and inosinic acid found in katsuo-bushi (small pieces of sliced dried bonito), guanylic acid is one of the three major flavor ingredients. When mixed with glutamic acid in particular, the flavor is said to become tens of times stronger. In other words, the reason that a soup stock of shiitake and kelp is delicious can be proved scientifically.
So mushrooms contain fiber which help you feel full easier, and although they’re rich in not only vitamins but also protein and fat, they’re low in calories. There are many people who put mushrooms into their meals and practice a “mushroom diet,” and they say there are a lot of women who say it’s easy to diet with mushrooms since they’re delicious, rich in flavor ingredients, and can be used in all types of cooking.
One attractive aspect of mushrooms is that you don’t get tired of eating them, because each type has a different flavor and texture. Try including mushrooms in your meals each day!
Depending on the product, there is a possibility of harm to those with food allergies. We recommend thoroughly checking the food label before ingesting.
The mushroom pot (長壽鍋)
A restaurant with two locations in Singapore. Focusing on the nutrients present in mushrooms, they provide mushroom cuisine based on Chinese cooking and featuring over 20 different types of mushroom. We especially recommend the nabe (a type of hot-pot). This dish, which combines fresh seafood and meat with loads of mushrooms, is not only delicious but also rich in nutritional value. Yet another attraction is the buffet available at lunch and dinner, allowing you to eat mushrooms to your heart’s content.