Substitute For Shiitake Mushrooms

One of the most well-known types of mushrooms is the Shiitake. These mushrooms are brown-capped mushrooms most often grown in Japan, having a meaty, savory taste. Its meaty texture and savory flavor make it an excellent addition to many different recipes and people also like to shallow fry them and enjoy with homemade mushroom sauce.

However, it can be difficult to find a mushroom in certain areas. There are many wonderful substitutes available for shiitake mushrooms if you don’t live in an area that has them. 

Shiitake Mushrooms

Alternatives and Substitutes For Shiitake Mushrooms

Below are some of our top picks.

Portobello Mushroom

Portobello is a large-sized cultivated variety of button mushrooms. Because they are similar in texture and meatiness, you can substitute them for shiitake mushrooms in many dishes. They are more versatile than shiitake mushrooms in cooking; however, they have a stronger taste.

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms is a great recipe that uses the Portobello mushroom. They are quick and easy to prepare and can be prepared hours ahead of time. They are safe for vegetarians who substitute meat with them. These mushrooms can be cooked in soups, gravy, and other dishes, like shiitakes.

Both mushrooms share the same characteristics, with their brown-colored tops and texture and their flavor. You should cook them the same as shiitake mushrooms, and these can be used as a meat substitute. Although they are slightly more tender than portabella mushrooms, you can still enjoy their great taste by replacing them with portabellas.

Portabella mushrooms are also easy to find in the grocery store. Their popularity is one of their most popular and widely appreciated attributes. When prepared properly, they are pretty firm but tender and meaty texture. 


Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are covered with dark brown, scallop-like leaves and grow on trees. They can be used as a substitute for shiitake in many dishes. However, you need to be careful when setting them up. They are very similar to fish as they have a gentle and unpretentious flavor. Their unique and rare appearance is due to their large surface. Thus, you must prepare it properly. You can roast, grill, or fry an oyster mushroom the same way as shiitake mushrooms. 

Cook these mushrooms the same way as shiitakes, but they should be cooked longer or until their water content is gone. This will ensure that you don’t get mushy mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms are versatile ingredients used in various dishes, such as soups, stews, and vegetarian burgers. T-Bone Steak is a great way to use the oyster mushroom served with a mushroom-cognac cream sauce.

This recipe is a great choice for entertaining guests. They are a perfect replacement for seafood because of their delicate flavor and buttery texture. They can be used in place of shiitake mushrooms because of their mild flavor. Vegetarians and vegans often substitute sea scallops with oyster mushrooms. To do this, slice them 12 inches thick and lightly fry them in butter or olive oils.

Oyster mushrooms can be delicate, so best to saute or fry them. Oyster mushrooms don’t stand up well to grilling and aren’t thick enough for a burger substitute. They can be cooked for only 2-3 minutes. Oyster mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties, are high in antioxidants, and can help regulate blood sugar.

Oyster mushrooms, like all mushrooms, are low in calories and fat but high in protein. Oyster mushrooms are identifiable by their scallop-like caps, snow-grey or yellow color. 

These mushrooms are found on dead hardwood trees, and they are also available as blue, yellow, and pink capped oyster mushrooms. The largest type of this mushroom, King oysters, has a slight abalone hint. Because of their thin caps, oyster mushrooms are often used to make stir-fry dishes.

To avoid burning oyster mushrooms, add them last to dishes that require much preparation time. Because insects can hide in stems, discarding them and thoroughly rinsing the gills is best.

Oyster Mushrooms

Porcini Mushrooms

Porcini mushrooms are round, sweet, and mellow mushrooms popular in many European dishes. Its unique, nutty flavor is similar to that of the shiitake mushrooms making it an excellent swap. Porcini can be used in many soups and pilaf-style dishes.

When cooking with porcini mushrooms, make sure to remove any tough stems. You can substitute them for shiitake mushrooms in American and Italian recipes. They are hardy and have a strong earthy/nutty taste, similar to shiitake. They can be cooked in any way you want, as they retain their texture. You can fry, stir-fry, grill, bake, roast, or bake them. 

Porcini are great in brown sauces, bbq, and other recipes. You must remove the stems from shiitake mushrooms before you cook them. These mushrooms won’t work for budget-minded people because porcini mushrooms are quite expensive.

It is noteworthy that these mushrooms are good for your health as they have low calories and provide you with protein, fiber, and iron. Porcini mushrooms are also rich in antioxidants which may help reduce inflammation, aid weight loss, and kill colon cancer cells.

Porcini mushrooms have a brown color, which is common in European cuisine. These mushrooms are round, tender, delicate, and smooth. Its rich, nutty flavor will make you want to cook your favorite dish. They can also be used in brown sauces and give a strong flavor to barbecued steaks.

Porcini mushrooms are great with meat burgers and pasta. Porcini mushrooms can also be used as a substitute for shiitake mushrooms in many of your favorite baked treats. Like shiitake mushrooms, porcini mushrooms can be purchased fresh or dried at superstores.

If you want to make delicious pasta or risotto, use the fresh porcini. They also taste great in various side dishes, such as fried or sauteed. If you want to make delicious stews, soups and sauces, choose dried porcini mushrooms.

Porcini Mushroom

Cremini Mushrooms

Cremini mushrooms are a great substitute for shiitake mushrooms. They have the same properties: firm texture, smooth caps, and an earthy taste. Cremini is easy to prepare, and you don’t need to take out the stems. Cremini mushrooms are great for soups, stews, sauces, pasta, salads, and other dishes. A cremini mushroom can be used in place of shiitakes in any recipe.

Cremini mushrooms, also called baby Bellas, are another great alternative to shiitake mushrooms. When harvested, Cremini mushrooms are slightly older than button mushrooms, so their flavor is stronger than those of their closely related cousins.

This mushroom has more liquid. This mushroom is not perfect for replicating the complex texture and umami taste of shiitake. However, cooking time and spice usage can make up the difference. Cremini mushrooms take longer to cook to achieve the desired color and crispness than shiitake. Stir-frying takes longer to remove excess water.

Cremini, on the other hand, is very simple to prepare. To achieve the same softness with shiitakes, you must separate the hard stem from its cap. You can also dice, slice, or throw cremini in any dish you wish, as its entire body is smooth.

Cremini mushrooms, like all mushrooms, are low in calories and fat; however, they are rich in potassium, fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Consuming cremini mushrooms can help prevent constipation, oxidative stresses, heart disease, pregnancy-related high pressure, and diabetes.

Cremini Mushrooms

Maitake Mushrooms

The delicate texture and creamy umami taste of maitake mushrooms are well-known. These mushrooms have a mild but strong earthy scent and are used in many cooking recipes. They are a good match for other mushrooms. They are almost as rich and full-flavored as shiitake mushrooms.

They can be substituted for shiitake mushrooms when used in sauces, stews, and salads. These vegetables are great boiled, fried, or steamed and can be used as a side dish to meat, fish dishes, and potato dishes.



Although Zucchini is a native plant of Mexico and Central America, it has gained popularity in many other cuisines. Because it is similar to mushrooms but has a milder taste, the Zucchini can be used in many dishes as a substitute. It is a mid-year vegetable and herbaceous plant harvested when the young epicarp and seeds are still edible.

This is a great way to incorporate Shiitake into any recipe, and you can add it to your recipe to get a similar flavor. You can use Zucchini in almost any way you like. They taste great when stuffed. You can also add a sweet, herbaceous flavor to foods. 

Zucchini can be used to add flavor to sauces or to give texture to any prepared meal. In pasta recipes, Zucchini is a great substitute for Shiitake in your vegetables blend dish, and you won’t feel like you are missing out on the texture and flavor. You can use Zucchini in place of shiitakes by cutting them up and sauteing them.

Then, add butter to the vegetables before adding them to your pasta. Vegetable pasta with meaty flavors like Worcestershire sauce will have a stronger flavor and a meaty kick. It is noteworthy that it is available in two variants: yellow and green Zucchini.

Zucchini has the same earthy flavor and crisp texture as Shiitake.  Some people find Zucchini a bit bland. You can add salt to taste. You will be happy to know that Zucchini can be grown in a mild climate while Shiitake prefers a hot, humid climate.

substitute for zucchini

Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

When fresh shiitake mushrooms are unavailable, dried shiitake mushrooms can be used as a substitute. Because they are essentially the same, dried shiitake mushrooms can substitute for fresh shiitake mushrooms. Dried shiitake mushrooms can be stored longer than fresh ones, and they can be cooked the same way.

Before cooking, soak them in boiling water for at least a few minutes. Dried shiitakes take longer to cook because they are dehydrated. Although they may be the same thing, fresh and dried shiitake mushrooms can be quite different. 

Although dried shiitakes may not taste as good, they are still convenient, especially when they can be grown more frequently in certain parts of the globe. In Asian grocery shops, dried Shiitake can be found easily.

They have a stronger smell and flavor than fresh mushrooms. Before you cook, rinse them under cool water for 15 to 20 minutes. Both dried and fresh versions have the same flavor and aroma, but the dried version has a stronger aroma.

Dried or drained Shiitake mushrooms should be covered with a darker brown cap or umbrella and have a nice shine. There are three types of dried shiitake mushroom: Donko (or Kouko), Koshin (or Koshin), depending on how the cap looks. These mushrooms are common in Asian and Chinese cooking.

Dried Shiitake Mushrooms


Tempeh is also a great option for people who don’t like Shiitake’s texture. It is a great choice, as it has a mushroom-like flavor and can be used in any dish that contains mushrooms. Additionally, tempeh is bursting with umami, concrete and delicious flavor.

It is suitable for mushroom allergies and can be used in many dishes. It is as popular as any other substitute, but it is just as good as a shiitake replacement. Tempeh is another nutrient-dense ingredient which can be frozen and preserved for long time to enjoy always.

It’s less well-known than the other shiitake substitutions on this list, but it’s worth trying. The high protein and savory flavors of this soybean product make it a favorite ingredient in the vegan diet in Java (Indonesia).

Fitness fanatics, pay attention! Because tempeh is fermented, it has probiotics to aid digestion. The soy protein also keeps you fuller than meat-based proteins and lowers cholesterol levels.

can you freeze tempeh

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you store shiitake mushrooms in your home?

To absorb as much moisture from the air as possible, dry shiitake mushrooms should be kept in a sealed container (or bag) that is hermetically sealed and protected from light. Fresh shiitake mushrooms must be kept in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 days.

Should shiitake mushrooms be washed before use?

Cleaning mushrooms is a smart idea as they grow in dirt. However, many people believe that washing mushrooms in water are a bad idea as they absorb liquids and can become difficult to cook.

Do you eat the stems of shiitake mushrooms?

Before you can cook shiitake stems, it is important to remove stems. You will need a sharp paring blade to remove the stems from the caps. Shiitake stems can be difficult to twist. Stems are too tough for you to eat. However, they can be saved and used to flavor your soup or risotto.

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