Shiitake – In Chinese, it is called xiānggū (香菇, literally “fragrant mushroom”). Two Chinese variant names for high grades of shiitake are dōnggū (Chinese: 冬菇, “winter mushroom”) and huāgū (花菇, “flower mushroom”, which has a flower-like cracking pattern on the mushroom’s upper surface); both are produced at colder temperatures. Other names by which the mushroom is known in English include Chinese black mushroom and black forest mushroom.
Dried mushrooms need to be reconstituted (soaked in water to soften) before using. The soaking liquid is often used in place of water or chicken broth in a sauce. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine believe dried mushrooms can help lower blood pressure.