With their chewy texture and meat-like savoriness, shiitake mushrooms—aka Black Forest or Japanese mushrooms—pair well with light, crispy spring vegetables like asparagus and tktk and creamy whole grains like quinoa or risotto’d rice. My new favorite shiitake recipe is the simple and awesome shiitake bacon (the ‘shrooms shrivel up so nicely that you can use them like bacon bits on tops of salads, soups and dips). Here are more than a dozen vegetarian recipes featuring shiitake mushrooms, to help you find your favorite. And in case you need more reason than utter deliciousness to start eating more shiitake, here are few of this fungi’s health benefits:
- Shiitakes are one of the highest non-animal food sources of iron.
- Animal studies have found shiitakes to have antitumor, cholesterol-lowering and virus-inhibiting effects.
- Recent studies have shown shiitake mushrooms may help protect against heart disease by preventing too much immune cell binding to the lining of blood vessels.
- They’re an excellent source of vitamins B2, B5 and B6 and a very good source of vitamin D.
- Shiitakes are also high in dietary fiber; protein; a wide variety of phytonutrients and the minerals manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, copper and zinc.
Shiitake BaconI've had shiitake bacon before, made (in the toaster over) by a wonderful vegan cook at whose home I was subletting. It's really, really good. Here's a take from Olives for Dinner
Corn & Shiitake FrittersThis recipe isn't vegan, but you could easily make it so (and replace the vegetable oil with canola or grapeseed oil). GET THE RECIPE, via Food and Wine
Shiitake Nori RollsMartha Stewart calls it "a vegetarian take on sushi," which ... all right, sure. Soba noodles replace the rice, though (+ shiitake, cabbage, ginger and cilantro). GET THE RECIPE, via Martha Stewart
Chipotle Grilled Cheese With Shiitake Mushrooms & ChipotleShiitake, cilantro, cheddar and spice. GET THE RECIPE, via Domestic Fits
Gingery Sautéed Watercress and Shiitakes6 ingredients + 10 minutes. GET THE RECIPE, via Real Simple
Crispy Shiitake Mushroom ChipsAll it takes is shiitake mushrooms, salt and an oven. GET THE RECIPE, via Healthy Bent.
Yaki ShiitakeYakitori consists of chicken on skewers, cooked over a charcoal fire; this vegetarian take replaces the chicken with shiitake and scallions. GET THE RECIPE via The Mushroom Channel
Avocado Shiitake Spring RollsCrispy, crunchy, vegan, gluten-free and raw. GET THE RECIPE, via SpaBettie
Poached Duck Eggs Over Shiitake & Garlic ToastsGET THE RECIPE, via Brooklyn Supper
Spring Vegetable Risotto with Shiitake MushroomsA light, vegan rissotto that uses vegetable stock, olive oil and white wine. GET THE RECIPE, via Vegan Miam
Raw Shiitake Kale SaladThe Daily Meal describes this recipes as "Low-Sodium, Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free and Sugar-Conscious. And yet somehow it still sounds and looks really good, no? GET THE RECIPE, via The Daily Meal
Balsamic Shiitake Rice SaladA light, fresh spring side with black rice, shiitake, scallions, carrot, celery and shallot. GET THE RECIPE, via
Sage Stuffing and Shiitake-Shallot GravyThis vegan sage stuffing and shiitake shallot gravy might be more fall/winter than spring, but it sounds too good not to include. GET THE RECIPE, via Olives for Dinner.
Lemongrass Consommé with Matzoh Balls Leeks and Shiitake MushroomsSub vegetable broth for the chicken stock to keep it vegetarian, obviously. GET THE RECIPE, via Epicurious