I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 5, and I’ve never had bacon! But, I hear this stuff is pretty close to the real thing! The first time I had shiitake bacon was at the Natural Gourmet Institute, and it was just so yummy! Crispy, kinda sweet, salty and lots of umami. You can’t go wrong!
And if taste wasn’t enough to hook you, shiitake mushrooms also have tons of health benefits. They have been used in Chinese medicine for ages, and are a great source of non-animal based iron and B vitamins. They also have immune boosting properties and support cardiovascular health. I’m sold!
Shiitake bacon is a great way to get more mushrooms in your diet, and it’s also super easy to make. One of my good friends even makes a batch of this every week as part of his meal prep. It’s great in soups, in sandwiches, on top of mac and cheese, as a snack and anywhere else! My one suggestion… make a lot! They definitely shrink and will go quickly. Trust me, your family, guests and friends will be impressed.
Once you get the hang of a basic shiitake bacon, feel free to experiment with fun additions like smoked paprika, tamari, maple syrup, cayenne, liquid smoke and other flavor enhancers.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Thinly slice the shiitake mushrooms.
3. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt (add any of the optional ingredients here).
4. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer – make sure not to crowd them.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on how thin the mushrooms are sliced).
6. Remove from the oven and flip, baking another 10 minutes until the mushrooms are crispy. Feel free to cook to your personal taste. I like mine a little less well done, other people like them on the verge of being burnt.