Crispy, meaty, and smoky, our vegan mushroom bacon packs a ton of umami flavor to add a boost to your favorite salads and sandwiches.
- 16 oz cremini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced into ¼ inch thick pieces
- 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp high heat oil (canola, safflower, sunflower, etc)
- ½ tbsp liquid smoke
- ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- ¾ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Canola oil to cover a deep pot 1-2 inches
- Briefly wash mushrooms to remove dirt and chop off and discard stems. Pat dry with paper towels and slice into ¼ inch thick pieces. Place in a large bowl.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the tamari or soy sauce, oil, liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, paprika, onion powder, and black pepper. Pour the mixture over the mushrooms and use your hands to gently toss the mushrooms to coat with the marinade. Let mushrooms marinate for 40-45 minutes, tossing 3-4 times with your hands or a large spoon.
- Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Using a slotted spoon, add your sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook down for 5-6 minutes. Don't throw out the marinade!
- Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring frequently for another 5-6 minutes. Continue to add the marinade that's left in the bowl until all of the liquid is completely absorbed. The mushrooms should be browned by the time all of the liquid is used up.
- You can enjoy the mushrooms as they are, or if you would like for them to be a little crispier, add oil to a deep pot over medium heat, enough to cover the bottom to a height of 1.5-2 inches. You'll know the oil is ready when you add a few drops of water to the oil and it sizzles.
- Once the oil is hot enough, add the mushrooms in 2-3 batches to the pot. Stir well when you add them so they don't stick together. Let them cook for 3 minutes, stirring once while cooking. Remove with a slotted spoon and lay on a few layers of paper towels on a cutting board. Pat dry to remove excess oil.
- The mushrooms will crisp up a bit more as they sit. You can also lay them on a drying rack to help facilitate this until you are ready to use them.
Don't skip the deep frying if you care about texture! We tried this recipe many, many different ways. Oven-baking resulted in crispy, but often overcooked (read: burnt) mushrooms and could be very finicky. Sautéing retains the flavor, but doesn't get the mushrooms crispy enough. Deep frying from the start makes the mushrooms crispy, but they tend to lose the flavor from the marinade. All of that to say, the BEST method we tested is sautéing the mushrooms, then deep frying them for a crispy, bacon-like texture that's also packed with smoky, umami flavor.
Cremini mushrooms: White button mushrooms would be a fine substitute as they have a similar texture, water content and flavor. We don't suggest swapping with another variety of mushroom, as this may alter the cook time and ingredient proportions significantly.
Opt for a high heat oil when cooking your mushroom bacon. Peanut and canola are two oils that are easily found and have high smoke points.
Keep an eye on the mushroom bacon as it can burn easily.
Coconut sugar: can sub with brown sugar.
- Category: Sides
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: mushroom bacon