When a friend told me about this I really didn’t believe them but tried it anyway…
astonishingly, the end result was deliciously bacon-y.
This is not so much a recipe; more like an amazing chemistry experiment in which a rather fusty-smelling shiitake mushroom is transformed into ‘bacon’.
Vegans and vegetarians should be hopping with delight and meat eaters could be fooled. Obviously, a small slice of shiitake won’t turn into a large rasher of bacon but you’ll have pieces big enough to add to salads, pizza, omelets, soup, baked potatoes with sour cream and anything else that cries out for a bacon flavor.
So throw away that ‘fake bacon’ made from processed soy and get slicing. This couldn’t be easier!
(Makes about 1 cup)
5 oz (160g) of thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms (not dried)
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, if you like pepper bacon
Pre heat the oven to 350F (180C)
Toss the sliced shiitake in a bowl with 2-3 tablespoons of extra v olive oil – make sure everything is well coated and the mushrooms will really absorb a lot.
Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, if using.
Arrange in a shallow roasting pan in a single layer.
Oven temps vary so go by the color of the shiitake – roast for approx 25-30 minutes, giving them a good stir every 10 minutes until they’re a deep brown – you’ll want to take them out of the oven before they get burned black.
They’ll have reduced dramatically and there will be quite a bit of oil in the pan so transfer them with a slotted spoon onto a few sheets of paper towel to drain any excess oil.
I liked them so much I ate them all there and then, so had to make another batch.
So, I decided the real test of roasted shiitakes “bacon-ness” would be to test it on my three dogs, who are all bacon aficionados. The smallest dog, who abhors vegetables, was totally fooled into believing it was bacon and ran off to tell all her siblings of her discovery, and they all agreed it really WAS bacon. So it passed the acid test, and it IS delicious.
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