How to Make Shiitake Bacon

Shiitake Mushroom Bacon

I am in no way opposed to real pork bacon (obvs)

But every once in a while, you just want to have a legitimate excuse to exclaim, “holy shiitake!”
shiitake-mushrooms-fresh-whole
When pork bacon plays a supporting role in a dish, it’s really there for its salt, smoky flavor, fat and crisp texture, and (the word I hate above all words right now) the kind of “umami” derived from meat. Shiitake mushrooms have similar flavor and texture components, even the “umami” part. With a quick marinade in soy sauce, they also have salt, so shiitake mushrooms made into “bacon” work as a good substitute for bacon as bits, crumbles and lardons in dishes like, oh say, Frisee Salad or Cobb Salad.

They are also a good substitute, it seems, for fake hipster moustaches.

I know. Now you can never look at sliced shiitake mushrooms the same way again. Sorry.
Shiitake Mushroom Bacon

Shiitake Bacon

You can make shiitake mushroom bacon either on the stovetop or in the oven. Neither method is better than the other; it really just depends on what else you have going on in the kitchen at the time. If you’re already standing at the stove cooking and have an open burner, fry the shiitake mushrooms in a large pan. If the oven is already on, or all the burners are occupied with other pots and pans, “roast” the shiitake mushrooms in the oven at 350°F for a few minutes.

Ingredients

½ pound fresh shiitake mushrooms
¼ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon soy sauce
¼ salt
canola or grapeseed oil

Directions

Stem shiitake mushrooms and slice caps into ¼-inch strips. Toss with olive oil, soy sauce and salt. Allow to “marinate” for about 5 minutes.

“Frying” Shiitake Bacon on the Stovetop:

Heat grapeseed or canola in large frying pan over medium heat. Add shiitake mushrooms and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove mushrooms to a separate plate.

“Roasting” Shiitake Bacon in the Oven

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread marinated mushrooms into a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in oven for about 10 minutes, or until dark and very lightly crisped at edges.

For an even stronger taste, cook until the shiitake mushrooms are really dark. And I’ll be honest, I kind of like their flavor when they’re almost burnt.

Use shiitake bacon in any way you would normally use real pork bacon.

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  • http://www.scrumptiousgruel.wordpress.com/ Ebcliffo

    Holy shitake! I love a good dad joke.
    And as a vegetarian for this recipe I thank you.

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

    Damn it, Sarah. Hipster moustaches in my ramen today.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510157676 Sarah J. Gim

      ramen! in france! (how is it?!)

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

        It’s no Santouka, but it’ll do. Way better than the sushi out here at any rate.

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

        Wait… 1/4 *tsp* soy sauce? is that right?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510157676 Sarah J. Gim

        Diane: teaspoon, yes! it’s really just to add a tiny bit of salt, but not too much of the soy sauce taste…

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  • Sameer

    Any particular reason you use canola / grapeseed instead of olive?

    • TheDelicious

      Hi Sameer! Good question – I’ve just trained (brainwashed? :D) into thinking that oils with higher smoke points like canola and grapeseed (~400F) should be used for cooking, and oils with lower smoke points like olive oil should be used for cooking at low temperatures, if at all. I believe it’s the more refined olive oils are better for cooking, but the olive oils I keep on hand are generally higher quality olive oils to use at room temp for dipping, drizzling after cooking, salads, etc.

      Hope that helps!

      Here is a link to more information about oils and their smoke points (on the serious eats website)
      http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/cooking-fats-101-whats-a-smoke-point-and-why-does-it-matter.html

      • Sameer

        Very helpful, thanks! I’ve been trainwashed :-) to think that seed oils like canola are quite unhealthy compared to olive oil, coconut oil, and animal fats (the latter being problematic given my recent turn to veganism), but I do remember reading concerns about smoke point as well, so I look forward to reading that article and seeing where my updated understanding shakes out.

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