Shiitake are Asian mushrooms that grow on dead trees. They are light brown with dark gills. Their texture is spongy and meaty, and they have a mild, smoky flavor.
Discard slimy, wrinkled mushrooms. Keep them in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Avoid moisture as much as possible before cooking.
If you brush them, do so carefully. Otherwise, they can be rinsed in a bowl. Dry quickly. Trim longer stems before use. Cook with oil, only until golden brown and tender. Chop them in thin slices to cook in miso soup. Or sauté with carrots, noodles, peanuts, and water chestnuts.