Shitake mushrooms are very popular in Japanese and Chinese dishes. They are gaining traction in western cuisine, largely because of the health benefits attributed to them. They are known to reduce cholesterol, contain chemicals that contribute to a strong immune system, help in lowering blood pressure and much more. Compared to the button mushroom, the shitake has a chewier and meatier texture, with a somewhat smoky flavor. They can be grilled, steamed, sauteed, or incorporated into a sauce.