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.