Almost as Good as Bacon (but Healthier)

by Elizabeth on October 2, 2013

I’ve wanted to post this one for awhile – it’s one of the coolest and easiest recipes I learned at Natural Gourmet: Shiitake Bacon. I’m not going to lie and say it’s 100% the same because (at least in my opinion) does anything beat the taste of real bacon? But it’s a very good alternative. And this is coming from someone who does not like truffles and with a few exceptions, is not a huge lover of mushrooms. As Chef Elliott explains in the video below, umami is the key to success – mushrooms, like bacon, are one of the most umami-rich foods and shiitakes live near the top of the list within the mushroom family. To read more about umami see my earlier post here.

Recipe (see link below for printable version)

Shiitake Bacon

• 1/2 pound shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (about ¼ inch thick)
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon sea salt

Cooking instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a bowl combine the mushrooms, oil, and salt.
3. Spread mushrooms on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in oven.
4. Roast mushrooms until dry and crisp, stirring about every 10 minutes, approximately 45 minutes to one hour.

Option-if you are short on time or don’t want to use your oven you can cook up a batch in a sauté pan on the stove top 

• 1/2 pound shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (about ¼ inch thick)
• 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or EVOO)
• 1 teaspoon sea salt and pepper to taste
• *optional 1 clove of garlic grated (using microplane)

Combine butter (and if using, garlic) on medium high heat until butter is melted (do not brown garlic). Add the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes (or longer if you want them more crisp), stirring a few times, until well browned (should look like bacon!) While the garlic addition and shorter cooking time make it a little less bacony, I find the end result just as satisfying.

Printable Recipe Shiitake Bacon

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