How to Harvest Shiitake Mushrooms

Are my shiitake mushrooms ready to harvest? 

Shiitakes are ready to harvest when their caps have opened to the point where you can see the gills on the underside. Instead of trying to crane your neck to get a good view of the underside of the shiitakes, flip the entire grow block upside down. You'll be able to see all of the undersides of all the shiitakes easily, and you can check to see if gills are visible underneath the majority of the caps.

Harvesting from a shiitake grow block is quite simple. If you are misting it frequently and have removed it from direct sunlight, you can expect to harvest mushrooms one to two weeks after you've removed the exterior plastic bag. To harvest shiitakes, use a clean paring knife and cut the mushroom off the block at the base of the stem.

Store your shiitakes in a paper bag in the fridge. If you are looking for a quick and easy shiitake recipe, check out this shiitake maple bacon recipe! If you are looking for a more complex recipe, this shiitake and cream leek sauce goes great over pasta. 

 You can purchase a grow your own kit here.

© Photo by Derek SooHoo