Burgeoning purple buds on silvery-green spires are a sure sign that summer is almost here. Soon we’ll be spending lazy afternoons outside sipping cold glasses of lavender mint iced tea and dining al fresco. In the meantime (and in anticipation of one of my favorite summer activities), I’ve been baking up this vegan shiitake “bacon” and adding it to everything! From soups and salads to pizza toppings, tacos and sandwiches (think vegan shiitake “bacon,” lettuce and tomato), this delicious treat infuses any dish with instant joie de vivre and smoky, maple flavor.
There’s so much to love about shiitake mushrooms. Their chewy, meaty texture for one, make these vitamin D-rich mushrooms the perfect canvas for vegan “bacon.”
Marinating the mushrooms for 15-20 minutes prior to baking, allows them to soak up the smoky maple sauce making the end result extra flavorful and delicious.
I hope you enjoy making and eating this vegan shiitake “bacon” as much as I do!
8 oz (0.5 lb) fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed and thinly sliced (into about 1/4″ thick strips)*
2 tbsp low-sodium tamari
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the tamari, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder and liquid smoke (if using).
Place the mushrooms in a medium-sized bowl and pour the sauce over the top of the mushrooms. Gently stir to coat and marinate the mushrooms for 15-20 minutes at room temperature.
Once marinated, spoon the mushrooms onto the parchment-lined baking sheet; reserve any leftover sauce for later/set aside. Gently spread the mushrooms in an even layer.
Bake the mushrooms for 35 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, use a spatula to turn/flip the mushrooms. Then bake the mushrooms for another 5 minutes. Turn/flip them again and spoon any remaining sauce over the top; rotate the baking tray.
Bake the mushrooms for an additional 20 minutes (turning/flipping every 5 minutes or so) until they are browned and crisp around the edges, but still a bit chewy in the center.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the mushrooms to fully cool (about 10 minutes; they will crisp up a bit more as they cool). Enjoy!
*Prior to slicing your shiitakes, wipe them clean with a damp cloth removing any visible dirt; remove stems where they meet the cap.
Double the recipe if you plan on using this vegan shiitake “bacon” for sandwiches!
For crispier “bacon,” you can bake your shiitakes for an additional 5 minutes or so; keep a close eye on them!