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Shiitake Gravy

July 29, 2013

Pour this tasty gravy liberally all over your favourite grain dishes and roasts.

Makes a 500ml jug of gravy



  1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and sauté the shiitake, onion and garlic over a medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Lower the heat, sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Slowly add the soaking water while stirring with a wooden spoon to stop the flour from going lumpy. Keep stirring until the gravy begins to simmer and thicken. Add the shoyu, thyme and mirin or wine, and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then. Keep warm until you’re ready to serve.

Cooking with Shiitake

Cover the mushrooms in lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes. Once rehydrated, remove and discard any stems and thinly slice the caps. Use with their soaking water for superb soups, stews and sauces, or add the sliced mushrooms to stir-fries, fried rice or noodles, or casseroles.


John & Jan BellemeJohn & Jan Belleme

John & Jan Belleme are leading autorities on the healing powers of traditional Japanese foods. Before turning his focus to food and health, John was a research biologist for the Veteran's association in Miami, Florida, and he worked in laboratories at the Universities of Miami Medical School and Harvard University Medical School.

For more than twenty-five years John has applied his background in medical research to interpreting the literature on traditional Japanese medicinal foods.

In 1979, after living and studying in Japan for over a year - where the Bellemes learned the craft of miso making firsthand - they co-founded the American Miso Company, one of the world's largest producers of traditional miso.

Since the 1980s the Bellemes have researched and written, and in many cases illustrated, over 130 published articles on the subject of Japanese foods, including four books: Culinary Treasures of Japan; Cooking with Japanese Foods: A Guide to the Traditional Natural Foods of Japan; Clearspring - The Real Taste of Japan and The Miso Book.

John and Jan travel throughout the eastern United States giving lectures about authentic Japanese foods, and every winter, with partner Sandy Pukel, organise a week-long health cruise that features prominent experts in macrobiotic cooking, healthy living, holistic medicine, yoga, meditation, shiatsu, Pilates, and natural beauty aids. They live in Saluda, North Carolina.

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