Diane, A Broad
September 8, 2012

Shiitake “Bacon”

Let me make this clear: for many situations, there is no alternative to bacon.

Bacon comes from the bellies of happy, fat pigs. It is salty and smoky and nothing, not turkey bacon, not smoked tofu shaped and pressed to look like bacon, and especially not mushrooms, can ever take its place.

But you know what? Sometimes I get a little curious. I mean, come on. If I told you that if you take mushrooms and soak them in a little bit of soy sauce and bake them, they taste vaguely like bacon, would you believe me?

Well, you should. And even though these won’t be quite as good in, say, a BLT, and they wouldn’t hold up to being made into bacon jam, they would be fantastic crumbled on top of a salad. Or you can do what I did and just eat slices of them from the bowl whenever you happen to pass by. And you know what? They taste genuinely delicious and don’t have any of the guilt association that eating an entire plateful of bacon would have. It’s kind of like the kale chip phenomenon: they’re not potato chips, but close enough, and waaaaay better for you. That’s worth trying.

Shiitake “Bacon”

Shiitake “Bacon”

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms or similar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Stem the mushrooms (saving the stems for stock) and slice them into 1/4 inch slices. Toss the mushrooms with the soy sauce and olive oil.
  3. Spread the mushrooms out in one layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-20 minutes until it reaches the crisp/chewy balance that you enjoy.

Notes

From The Delicious Life.

I like ‘em super crispy and super salty. If you would like a milder bacon substitute, cut the soy in half and the keep the baking time short.

You can also do these in a pan over the stovetop! I just… prefer oven baked bacon, so I guess I thought I’d prefer oven baked fake bacon? Anyway, just crisp them up in a skillet for about 10 minutes if you prefer stovetop action.

http://www.dianeabroad.com/2012/09/shiitake-bacon/

Music to cook by: Janglin [Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros // Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros]

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  • http://www.chewtown.com chewtown

    What the?! YUM! I’m absolutely trying this tomorrow night.

  • http://mykitchencounter.wordpress.com Candida

    Ok I really can’t wait to try this for meat-free boyfriend. This sounds amazing!!

  • colette.liu@gmail.com

    is it a dry shitaki or fresh?! sounds amazing!

    • http://dianeabroad.com Diane, A Broad

      Fresh! I’ve never tried it with dry, but it might work if you rehydrate them first. No guarantees, though.

  • http://savorysimple.wordpress.com Savory Simple

    This is so creative! I must try it!

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  • http://afralicious.wordpress.com afracooking

    Yeap, you made me curious! I am not a vegetarian but anything healthy and new just makes my fingers itch to try it…..I do rememeber it turning into a nasty “aubergine like bacon” experience once, but then I think I did not ‘believe in it’. This idea on the other hand really sounds great! Thanks for sharing!

    • http://dianeabroad.com Diane, A Broad

      Blech. I have never met an aubergine I liked that wasn’t cooked in lots of butter, oil, or cheese. I think the real win with the mushrooms is the texture: it’s spot on.

  • http://soupaddict.com Karen @ SoupAddict

    Totally love this! And such a great choice, shiitakes (instead of the obvious creminis).

  • http://blondexambition.wordpress.com Katie @ Blonde Ambition

    This is super intriguing! I’ll have to try it some time!

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  • http://www.chefpeterskitchen.blogspot.com Peter @ Feed Your Soul

    i too love bacon but gave it up a few years ago. this is a must try. I featured it on my Friday Five over at Feed Your Soul so more people could appreciate the recipe. See post – http://chefpeterskitchen.blogspot.com/2012/09/friday-five_14.html

  • Amanda

    Made this this morning to have with breakfast. Used san j teriyaki sauce and it was awesome! thanks for the recipe!

    • http://dianeabroad.com Diane, A Broad

      Hooray! I’m so glad it worked out for you, and thanks for the tip on teriyaki sauce.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Palleja/1098934501 Robert Palleja

    Do you need to use fresh mushrooms or can you use re-hydrated?

    • http://dianeabroad.com/ Diane, A Broad

      I’ve never tried it with re-hydrated mushrooms, so I couldn’t tell you. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Palleja/1098934501 Robert Palleja

    Do you need to use fresh mushrooms or can you use re-hydrated?

    • http://dianeabroad.com/ Diane, A Broad

      I’ve never tried it with re-hydrated mushrooms, so I couldn’t tell you. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/samantha.wright.166 Samantha Wright

    Can you make these in a dehydrator?

    • http://dianeabroad.com/ Diane, A Broad

      I’ve never tried, but I think it would work. Give it a try!

  • http://www.facebook.com/samantha.wright.166 Samantha Wright

    Can you make these in a dehydrator?

    • http://dianeabroad.com/ Diane, A Broad

      I’ve never tried, but I think it would work. Give it a try!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Palleja/1098934501 Robert Palleja

    I made this tonight… it was pretty awesome! I modified it slightly… I used a low sodium soy sauce and used it more liberally than the recipe called for. I used an Organic Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil… but I am imagining how incredible it might be if I used a flavored oil… such as garlic or chipotle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Palleja/1098934501 Robert Palleja

    I made this tonight… it was pretty awesome! I modified it slightly… I used a low sodium soy sauce and used it more liberally than the recipe called for. I used an Organic Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil… but I am imagining how incredible it might be if I used a flavored oil… such as garlic or chipotle.

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