On a whim I decided to see if I could turn my sliced shiitake mushrooms into bacon, and I’m so glad I did. They hit the spot so much better than turkey bacon could ever hope to do, and they had a perfectly satisfying, crisp and soft combination of textures without those wobbly, gag-worthy chunks of fat you get with your pork bacon.
Fungi friends, I’m in love.
I can’t wait to try this with even better ingredients and with different cooking methods. I definitely don’t want to have the mushroom bacon on a sweet potato again. This meal would have been even better if I just used a basic bun, and then made the sweet potatoes into fries.
If you’re a sweet potato fanatic, though, or you just don’t eat bread, sweet potato toast would probably be even better than a baked sweet potato.
For now, here’s how I made this tasty little number.
Vegan Shiitake Mushroom BLT Sweet Potatoes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup (I only had cheap, corn-syrup based pancake syrup. It worked fine, but real maple syrup would be even better.)
1 tablespoon cooking oil of your choice
Additional salt & pepper
2 large sweet potatoes
Wash and poke holes in sweet potatoes. Dry. Bake at 425 for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, start to cook your mushroom bacon.
Preheat cast iron on stovetop on medium-low heat for about ten minutes.
Add shiitake mushrooms. They should be dry. You do not need to wash them, but if you do, pat dry with paper towels.
Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, turning every five. Do not cook in oil or season just yet. At this step, we're cooking out the moisture to help us achieve a crispy end result later.
In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, salt, black pepper, chili powder, syrup, and oil. Oil and syrup will not mix, and that's okay.
Brush sauce onto mushrooms. Toss to coat, then cook for 15 minutes longer. Avoid turning too often. Let mushroom-bacon have time to sit and contemplate identity crisis.
Cook bacon until crispy edges form. They will be brown and shrunken in volume.
Lay bacon on paper towel, pat excess moisture. Let cool to aid further crisping.
Season tomatoes with salt and pepper.
Cut sweet potato down the middle and stuff with lettuce, tomato, and mushroom bacon.