Shiitake Mushroom Stock
We've always felt bad throwing out the woody stems from shiitake mushrooms -- especially when a good deal of the weight (and therefore cost) is considered waste. So in an effort to extract as much value as possible, we started making stock from the stems.
Now that we've made it a few times, I wanted to show you what the (very easy) process looks like.
The first step is to start collecting the stems everytime you trim shiitake for use in other dishes. When you get roughly a cup, it's time to make the broth.
Over med-high heat, add a tsp of canola oil to the pressure cooker, a bay leaf, 4-5 whole peppercorns and the shiitake stems. Cook for 2-3 minutes turning the stems occasionally.
Once you can start to smell the shiitake, add eight cups of water, add the lid to the pressure cooker and bring to 15psi (depending on your make, model and size). Cook for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to release the pressure.
Strain and store in the fridge for later use.
We've been using it as a base for ramen (like this one from September) with the addition of tamari and kombu, but that's only a (delicious) starting point.