Shiitake bacon? It may not taste exactly like bacon, but when sliced, seasoned, and cooked to a crisp, shiitake mushrooms have that same sweet and salty and crunchy and chewy balance, with even more complexity than regular bacon. A little bit of grease and smoky flavor make it a great substitute for any recipe in which you may have added bacon. The benefit is that you get the same rich flavor and crunchy texture as regular bacon, but without all the saturated fat and cholesterol. Plus, you don’t have to worry about fillers and nitrates. This recipe is also an animal-free alternative, perfect for those on vegetarian and vegan diets.
Shiitake bacon can be added to so many things. Sprinkle shiitake bacon on soups, pasta dishes, omelets, sandwiches, and salads. Or, try it on your avocado toast, popcorn, and cream-based soups. It’s incredibly versatile and fun to experiment with. Vegetarian or not, you’ll want to try this recipe.
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, and sliced into ¼–inch strips
2 tablespoons shoyu or soy sauce (see Yoffie Wisdom)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss the mushrooms with shoyu and oil. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Strain the shoyu-soaked mushrooms, and spread them evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes. The mushrooms should be crispy and shriveled, but not burnt.
- Transfer mushrooms to a dish to cool.
- Shiitake Bacon with Tamari. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, use tamari instead of shoyu (as it doesn’t contain wheat).
- Shiitake Bacon with Sea Salt. Swap the shoyu for salt. Toss the mushrooms with oil, and season well with salt. Bake as directed.
- Shiitake Bacon Crumbles. Once the “bacon” cools completely, crumble it to use as garnish.
Cutting the mushrooms into thin slices will help you yield a crisp, bacon-like result. Keep a close eye on your mushrooms around the 25- to 30-minute mark. If it looks like they’re close to burning, remove the baking sheet. If they still look a bit gummy, keep cooking until crisp.
Shoyu is another name for soy sauce. However, in America, most shoyu labels are actually indicative of a superior fermented product. Tamari is another label to look for, especially if you’re on a gluten-free diet. Read the ingredients to ensure you always opt for the best quality soy sauce you can find.