Shiitake mushrooms are a brown mushroom with an umbrella-shaped cap and a fibrous, woody stem. Their strong flavor makes them a good all-purpose mushroom and their firm texture can stand up to long cooking times. Their flavour and texture lends themselves to Asian cooking. They are also good in a casserole. It is advisable to remove the stem before cooking as it is tough and fibrous. The discarded stem can be used to add flavour to a stock. As for other Asian mushrooms shiitakes are not grown in large commercial quantities in Australia and are mostly imported from Asia.