This shiitake bacon is the best vegan shiitake mushroom recipe! I love using this in brunch items like scrambles or in sandwiches for a smoky, meaty element. These are also perfect to use in roasted Brussels sprouts. Anything that loves a fatty, crispy, umami flavor will love this shiitake mushroom bacon!
Shiitake Bacon: A Great Plant-Based Mushroom Bacon
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is right—vegans will make bacon out of anything. Eggplant, coconut, mushrooms and tempeh have all been used to recreate various crispy and salty bacon analogs. While some may balk at the concept, I happen to love it, as it shows that the smoky, savory and greasy quality of bacon—the aspects that make it so endearing to foodies and meat eaters—can be easily replicated using completely vegan ingredients.
This is a pretty simple and straightforward recipe. You’ll need the following ingredients to transform shiitake mushrooms into delicious shiitake bacon!
Shiitake mushrooms: I’ve seen two varieties of shiitakes in Boston’s Chinatown. There are “flower mushrooms” (花菇) large, meaty ones with thick stems and “winter mushrooms” (冬菇) lighter, spongier ones with slender stems. I used the larger (and significantly cheaper) kind for making these, and they were perfect in this application because they are so porous.
Liquid smoke: This is a flavoring agent that imparts a smoky taste and aroma without using a smoker. Smoke from burning wood is condensed and the liquid is captured and diluted with water to make it. I love the taste and smell, and a little goes a long way. If you don’t want to use it, you can sub smoked paprika instead.
Olive oil: To add a slightly earthy and rich flavor, add olive oil. This adds a nice sheen and helps to create those crispy edges.
Toasted sesame oil: This imparts a dark and complex flavor that works really well with the olive oil and liquid smoke. As with the liquid smoke, a little goes a long way!
How to Use this Vegan Shiitake Mushroom Recipe
These come out of the oven crispy along the edges, and slightly chewier and succulent towards the center. I have eaten them straight off the baking sheet before (make a double batch!). I also love these sprinkled on top of a vegan clam chowder or split pea soup, served alongside a tofu scramble, tossed in roasted Brussels sprouts or used in a sandwich.
How to Use this Shiitake Bacon in Other Vegan Dishes
This vegan bacon is super versatile, and it can be used in so many different ways! Here are a few ways to add it to other dishes, although you may want to eat it straight off the baking sheet.
- My favorite way to use this vegan bacon is over the holidays in this Roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe. The texture of both the Brussels and shiitakes works so well together, and makes a beautiful side dish for the holiday table!
- I love a good tofu scramble, and adding it to this Easy Tofu Scramble is perfect. The eggy flavor of the tofu and the crispy edges of the shiitake bacon make a great vegan breakfast!
- This Vegan Split Pea Soup recipe is perfect as is, but is mind-blowing with some crispy vegan bacon on top.
- Feel free to use this shiitake bacon with any recipe that calls for store-bought vegan bacon, like in these Loaded Smashed Potatoes or this New England Vegan Chowder.
- Total Time: 1 hours 25 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup
- Diet: Vegan
Shiitake bacon is a great vegan bacon option. This vegan shiitake mushroom recipe is made with thinly sliced shiitakes which are marinated in a blend of olive oil, liquid smoke and salt. They are rich in umami flavor, with the perfect amount of smoke. Crispy around the edges and meaty towards the center, these are perfect for piling onto sandwiches, adding to tofu scrambles or tossing into roasted vegetables.
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- 2 cups shiitake mushroom caps, sliced thinly
- Preheat oven to 350. Place a silpat over a baking sheet, set aside.
- Combine all of the ingredients except for the sliced shiitake into a shallow glass pyrex or bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add in the sliced shiitake, and stir gently to combine. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes to an hour.
- Place the shiitake in a single layer onto the silpat. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, then bake for an additional 15 minutes*. Increase the heat to 375, then bake for 10 minutes more. Flip, then finish for 10 more minutes. Keep an eye on them towards the end to ensure they do not burn.
- Remove from the oven and place on paper towels to drain. As they drain, the edges will become crispy. Serve immediately.
*Baking times will differ based on the thickness and type of shiitake you are using. After baking for 15-20 minutes, just keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
- Method: Marinated, Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: shiitake mushroom bacon, shiitake bacon recipe, shiitake mushroom bacon recipe, vegan shiitake mushroom recipe, shiitake mushroom marinade
David G says
Looks like I’m late to the party! Wow I really like this recipe!! I added the bacon pieces to a potato soup with white beans and collard greens. It really brought a flavor and texture dimension that I enjoy!
Wow, this looks both simple and delicious! I’ve made “bacon” out of tempeh before, but shiitake mushrooms would work well, can’t wait to give it a try
Diane K says
Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance…..having no patience at all and being hungry, I added the mushrooms to the seasonings (did add a little extra oil) and threw them in a non stick pan to sear on top of the stove. I hope my local grocery store can keep shiitakes in stock, because I will be making these WAY too often. Love them, thank you !