4 cups dried shiitake mushrooms
(about 1⁄3 oz.), stemmed
1 cup light or dark soy sauce
1 cup sherry vinegar
3⁄4 cup sugar
2 3" pieces fresh ginger, peeled
1. Put mushrooms into a medium bowl, cover with 5 cups boiling water, and press mushrooms down with a plate to keep them submerged. Let steep for 15 minutes. Strain mushrooms through a sieve set over a medium bowl, reserving 2 cups liquid.
2. Combine mushrooms, reserved liquid, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and ginger in a 4-qt. saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let cool. Transfer ingredients to a 1 1⁄2-qt. container, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
MAKES ABOUT 6 CUPS