Did you know that September is National Mushroom Month? Neither did I until I became part of the Mushroom Masters: A Tournament of Taste , sponsored by the USA’s Mushroom Council , Mushrooms Canada  and the Australian Mushroom Growers Association . These three organizations have partnered up with Tastespotting  to celebrate by hosting a four week competition featuring some of the most talented food bloggers on the web. For each week during the month of September, three different bloggers from each country have created original recipes using that week’s featured mushroom variety. Throughout the competition you’ll be able to find the bloggers’ complete recipes on their respective country’s sites. You’ll also be able to vote for your favorites on Tastespotting .
Mushroom Masters kicked off in week one with the Portobello Playoffs . Next, there was the Button Battle . This week, we have the Shiitake Showdown , with yours truly representing Team USA. My talented and creative competitors for this soiree are Aussie, Christie from Fig and Cherry  and Canada’s Elizabeth from Guilty Kitchen . But, enough about them. Let’s talk about me, me, ME!
When first invited to develop a recipe using Shiitake mushrooms for this showdown, I knew that I wanted to do something light and elegant. After all, the temperatures are still hovering in the nineties around here! I also wanted to create a recipe that highlighted the Shiitake in several different ways. And of course, I wanted something that wasn’t too fussy or complicated, so that all of you, my dear readers, would feel comfortable making it in your own kitchens. I think that I achieved all three of these goals with my Shiitake-Pork Dumplings in Shiitake Mushroom Broth.
My Shiitake mushroom broth is a light, yet deeply flavorful broth made using dried and fresh shiitakes, as well as the soaking liquid derived from reconstituting the dried mushrooms. Both fresh and dried shiitakes are sliced and served in the broth. I’ve also added hints of garlic, ginger and lemongrass for a distinctly Asian flair.
The dumplings are lovely, ethereal little pillows filled with minced fresh and dried shiitakes, ground pork, garlic, ginger and scallions. My secret weapon here is the addition of some silken tofu to the filling. It adds an almost creamy quality and makes the dumplings as light as air. Steaming them and serving them in the shiitake broth allowed me to maximize the shiitake mushroom quotient in the dish.
If you’d like the recipe for my Shiitake-Pork Dumplings in Shiitake Mushroom Broth, you can find it over on the Mushroom Council’s site .
Okay, I’m going to be absolutely shameless here. TEAM USA AND I NEED YOUR VOTE! So, click on over to the Shiitake Showdown page on Tastespotting  and if you like what you see, please, please, please vote  for my Shiitake-Pork Dumplings in Shiitake Mushroom Broth and send Team USA to victory today. If you do, I’ll love you forever!
Here’s where I tell you that I have received monetary compensation from the Mushroom Council for my work developing this recipe and my photos. To my knowledge, I have not received any compensation from Tastespotting.