Dried Shiitake Mushrooms are a versatile, affordable, and popular ingredient used among East Asian cuisines. They have an intense smoky flavor and a meaty texture, which enhance the flavor of soups, stir-fries, and simmered dishes. Compared to fresh shiitake mushrooms, the dried ones are known for their concentrated & pronounced flavor, and they are meant to be used in specific cooking where the fresh mushrooms simply cannot replace.
Before using dried shiitake mushrooms in your cooking, you will need to rehydrate them in water and remove the tough stems. Depending on the size of the dried shiitake mushrooms, they typically need to be soaked in the water for at least 15-20 minutes. To rehydrate the mushrooms, place them in a mason jar or an airtight container and pour cold water to cover the mushrooms (and wet them). Let them soak in the refrigerator for a few hours or preferably overnight. However, if you are in a hurry, place the mushrooms in a bowl and soak them in warm water (body temperature) for 15 minutes or until softened. Put something heavy on top of the mushrooms so that they will be submerged under warm water and become fully rehydrated. Source: Dried Shiitake Mushroom - Just One Cookbook