Yields: 1 cup bacon
Time: 45 minutes
Shiitake bacon is delicious. But maitake bacon is heavenly. What elevates it a bit from the shiitake version is the umami flavor that’s heavily present throughout its soft and pillowy petals. This plant-based bacon is perfect for finishing tofu scrambles, topping off chowders or serving at brunch. Keep out at room temperature and consume within an hour, although that shouldn’t be a problem once you taste it!
1 TB olive oil
1 TB toasted sesame oil
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp salt (reduce to 1/4 tsp if you want it less salty)
7 oz. fresh maitake mushrooms (can be found in most Asian grocers or at Whole Foods)
a few pinches of smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with a silpat. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive and sesame oils. Add salt and liquid smoke and whisk again.
Separate the fragile spoon-shaped petals with your hands into a large bowl. Pour the liquid over the mushrooms and toss well to coat. Transfer to the silpat and distribute in an even layer.
Place into the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir around and redistribute into a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes more.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a paper towel. Sprinkle with a few pinches of smoked paprika, if desired. Once cooled, they will crisp up nicely. Keep at room temperature and serve within the hour.