How to Make Crispy Shiitake Bacon
All you need is 4 ingredients to make this crispy shiitake mushroom bacon! Perfect for topping soups, salads, pasta or serving alongside your favorite brunch!
First off, let’s get a few things out of the way:
- Shiitake bacon is nothing like real bacon. I would never feed it to an omnivore under the impression that it was a dupe for the real thing. The pieces are much smaller and the texture is just…different.
- Photographing shiitake bacon on it’s own doesn’t exactly make for desirable images. Please keep in mind that my pictures don’t do it justice.
Okay, so here’s the thing about shiitake bacon. Shiitake mushrooms have approximately zero fat in them which is why it will never be crispy like real bacon. However, over the years I’ve prepared it enough times to figure out a few key tips that help make it as crispy as possible.
Tips for Crispy Shiitake Bacon
- Fresh shiitake mushrooms are the best! This one can be hard to control because unless you’re growing your own shrooms, your only option is whatever they’ve got available at the store. Usually this means mushrooms that have been transported from thousands of miles away and are looking pretty thin and flimsy. But if you see some that look fresh and puffy, grab those! Or, even better, try to find them locally grown.
- Wipe your mushrooms clean, don’t rinse them! Mushrooms are like sponges and will absorb water if you rinse them. The more water they absorb, the harder it is to get them crispy. Using a damp towel to wipe off the dirt is the way to go here.
- Use high heat oil spray not pourable oil! I’ve made many of batches using pourable oil and it’s impossible to keep it from over saturating the mushrooms. By using a fine oil spray (this one is my favorite) you can apply a super light coat which helps get the edges nice and crispy without making the mushrooms soggy. Boom.
Now, all you have to do to make the shiitake bacon is combine the sliced mushrooms in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, smoked paprika and a touch of tamari. Then you lightly spray them with oil, toss until evenly coated and bake in the oven until crispy.
I usually end up baking it for about 40 minutes, turning them every 10 minutes. This time could vary depending on the size of your shrooms and you oven so just be sure to keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn!
How to Make Crispy Shiitake Bacon
Yield: about 6 ounces
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- light mist of high heat oil
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon tamari
Preheat the oven to 325°F then line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a large bowl, add the sliced and sprinkle with smoked paprika, salt and tamari. Lightly spray with avocado oil then stir until all pieces are evenly coated. Arrange mushroom pieces on the baking sheet so that there is space between each. Bake in the oven for a total of 15-30 minutes, while stirring the pieces around every 10 minutes so that they cook evenly on each side. (NOTE: You may need to cook them for less time depending on the size of your mushrooms. Check them at 10 minutes then monitor them closely from there. The mushroom pieces will shrink quite a bit and should look crisp on the edges when done.)
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving. The pieces get crisper as they cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
I like to double the recipe so that I have some leftover for salads and such during the week.
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!
Oooh this sounds interesting, I need to try it! What meal do you enjoy shiitake bacon with the most?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, really! I like it on salads, soups, vegan mac n’cheese, and pizza. :)
They look great, Sarah! LOL – on tasting like bacon… I hear ya, but what a great way to add Umami to so many recipes! I’ve made coconut bacon… and it’s okay. I bet shiitake is way better! Your photography is beautiful, btw!
The texture of coconut bacon is crispier than the shiitake but flavor wise, shiitake is so much better! Thanks for the encouragement on the photos, lol. I was at a loss on how to make this one look good!
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Do you think these could be made in an air fryer? I might just give it a go and see. I’m also thinking using a smoker might be really tasty. I love bacon, but I really love shrooms too, and to go with the potato chowder from today’s post sounds yummo!
It’s worth a shot! I don’t own an air fryer or a smoker so I’m not sure. Please let us know if you give it a try!
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How long will the mushrooms stay crispy? Can you make them the day before?
They stayed crispy for me the next day. Just be sure to let them cool completely before you store them in an airtight container so that moisture doesn’t collect inside.
I tried it for a vegetarian casserole and i was surprised how amazing it turned out! It actually smelled and tasted like bacon!!
I have just popped my first batch in the oven. Am excited to try.
Quick question- do you store these in the fridge or pantry?
I usually store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container. :)
What do you think about adding some liquid smoke to the recipe? I had shiitake bacon in a ramen dish and really loved the smoky flavor they gave it! Would like to replicate that at home.
You could certainly do that! The smoked paprika is pretty smokey and I always have that on hand so that’s why I used it. But if you’re using in ramen than the liquid smoke may do a better job infusing the mushrooms so that the flavor holds up in the broth. :)
I’m addicted. These are fantastic, and unlike other recipes, they don’t call for sugar. I’ve made it more than five times already. Confession: While I was waiting for the spray avocado oil to be delivered, I used Pam, and it was still great.
I’m not 100% sure I have shitake mushrooms at home, will any mushroom will work? I know of a BBQ place back home in Michigan that makes them for their pizza.
Shiitake mushrooms have the best texture but technically you could use any kind of mushrooms. :)
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The reason that this tastes “different” as you put it and would not feed it to your omnivore friends as bacon is because it’s nothing like bacon at all. If you want it to taste like bacon it need to be cooked like bacon (ie: seasoning, smoked or at least use liquid smoke, and cooks crispy) I have no doubt your recipe is good but I would rename it