Who can’t get hooked with the seafood umami taste of oyster mushrooms? As a vegan or vegetarian, this is a perfect substitute if you’d like to enjoy it the healthy way. Oyster mushrooms can be eaten raw and slightly cooked to enjoy every bit of it. It’s not surprising anymore how the demand for this delicious mushroom is still in abundance.
If you’re the one who doesn’t like oyster mushrooms or it’s not just available in your area, no worries! You can substitute Oyster Mushrooms with shiitake mushrooms. Other substitutes that you can also use are matsutake mushrooms, portabella mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, chanterelle mushrooms, and morel mushrooms.
You’ll be surprised how these mushrooms can step up your mushroom game in the kitchen.
Oyster Mushrooms Substitute
1. Shiitake Mushrooms
If you don’t have oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms are definitely your best bet. In the market, you can find a different range of colors from light to dark brown. Its cap has an imperfect wide umbrella shape that at first glance, you will never think that it’s edible.
But don’t be intimidated with the looks because this mushroom offers a great wholesome flavor that when you cut it, it almost resembles a good piece of steak. You can use shiitake in any of your favorite recipes using oyster mushrooms.
2. Matsutake Mushrooms
Matsutake mushrooms are widely popular in the areas of Asia, Europe, and North America. It’s mostly common in Asian cuisine, namely Japanese and Korean. Matsutake is in demand for it’s distinct spicy aroma with a taste that is almost the same as the expensive truffles.
No wonder the price is going high in the market because of its uniqueness and undeniable goodness. You can also eat this raw but best enjoyed when cooked stir-fried, in stews or soups.
3. Portabella Mushrooms
Most of us go for mushrooms that offer that perfect meaty taste. I get it, especially if you’re a practicing vegan or vegetarian, mushrooms can totally save the dish entirely. To achieve the meaty taste just like how oyster does, portabella mushrooms is one of the perfect substitutes.
It’s one of the biggest commercially produced mushrooms in the market that has a thick texture and meaty taste. Unlike other mushrooms, portabella has no trace of any pungent smell. You can cook it no matter how you want to enjoy it. Just remember to take off the fibrous part of the stem before cooking them.
4. Porcini Mushrooms
If you don’t mind the pungent smell and you’re all about the meaty goodness, porcini mushrooms are also a great substitute to consider. This type of mushroom is popular in Tuscan recipes in Italy and is used in so many dishes.
You can find this in the market either fresh or dried. Whichever is your pick, both hold the same quality that is perfect for any kind of dish. The best thing about porcini mushrooms is that it doesn’t shrink when cooked even in stews or soups. Other mushrooms can’t hold their original size when cooked but porcini remains the same and tastes even meatier.
5. Enoki Mushrooms
Enoki mushrooms may be mistaken as a type of oyster mushroom as it grows in multiple caps. However, this mushroom is unique on its own. Its color is white and has slender long stems with a little umbrella cap. All growing together in one big bouquet of mushrooms.
This too is diverse when it comes to uses in cooking dishes. You can add it in soups and stews, just be sure to add it at the last minute so you won’t overcook the enoki and ruin its taste. It’s also perfect in salads, sandwiches, or as a side dish. If it’s not available fresh in your area, you can always find this variant in cans or jars at your nearest grocery or specialty shops.
6. Chanterelle Mushrooms
When you forage wild mushrooms a lot, chanterelles must be a familiar sight to you. Chanterelle mushrooms are a staple in French cuisine due to their nutty flavor and meaty texture. Just like other wild mushrooms, chanterelles can just be a bit pricey on the side because of their rarity and unique characteristics.
Chanterelle mushrooms have a yellow to bright orange color and with a cap formed like a vase. Be wary though if you’re not an expert with foraging wild mushrooms, chanterelles have poisonous doppelgangers. If in doubt, do not harvest and consume. You can also find some dried chanterelles in the grocery stores and can be cooked in any way you want it.
7. Morel Mushrooms
Last but definitely not least on our list is the morel mushrooms. Also, a type of wild mushrooms that can be seen in lush greeneries in the middle of the woods. Although it’s physical appearance is not that appetizing, you’ll be surprised how meaty and nutty its taste is.
Again, just like chanterelles, be also wary when foraging on your own as it also has a poisonous look-alike that you need to avoid. As good as it gets, it is however expensive because of the way it’s foraged and it’s only available in a certain season. But if you ever get a chance to grab one of this fresh goodness, make the most out of it and enjoy its nutty and savory taste.
Oyster mushrooms might be irreplaceable to some of us, however, when the odds are against us the help of substitutes can definitely save the day. Although all these substitutes offer that meaty and nutty taste that you’re after, expect that it will not have that same seafood taste from the oyster mushrooms.
If you prefer your dish to have that seafood taste, you can always use seafood seasonings such as oyster sauce, soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce.
You will not even notice the difference in the substitutions you’re making. As long as you follow the same recipe and study what type of mushroom you are substituting.
Remember, if you’re not an experienced mushroom forager, just stick to the ones that you can find in the grocery stores. If you really want to experience foraging fresh edible mushrooms such as chanterelles and morels, you have to be with an expert to avoid getting the poisonous doppelgangers.
There were a lot of cases in the past where unprofessional foragers were poisoned due to consuming inedible wild mushrooms. No matter how much you have this urge to try fresh wild mushrooms, it’s better to stay on the safe side and eat the ones that are certified edible.
Let us know down the comments below, which oyster mushroom substitute do you like the most?