By Carl Hanson

Let's be clear, you won't mistake oven-blasted, maple-glazed mushrooms for actual bacon made from the belly of a pig. But the maple syrup, smoked salt, and smoky paprika -- plus a very hot oven -- really do give shiitake mushrooms an intriguing essence of crispy bacon.

Photo by Meredith

This is to say, mushroom bacon tastes pretty darn good in its own right.

And you know what mushroom bacon might taste extra good with? A smattering of actual bacon. Because ultimately the best thing about this fake bacon could be that it makes cutting back on real bacon a bit easier. So instead of, say, adding four slices of bacon to your carbonara recipe, try 1 or 2 slices of bacon and some mushroom bacon.

Mushroom Bacon Recipe adapted from this Salad with Mushroom Bacon Recipe from the Harvard School of Public Health | Photos by Harvard School of Public Health

How To Make Bacon From Mushrooms

  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms
  • 1.5 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Sprinkle ofsmoked salt(if available)
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 dash chipotle powder (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

1.) Crank the heat to 450 degrees F. Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up.

2.) Clean off the mushrooms with a cloth but don't wash them. You don't want them water-logged.

3.) Remove mushroom stems.

4.) In a bowl, mix the caps with olive oil and salt.

5.) Spread the caps in a single layer on the pre-heated baking sheet. Cook for 8 minutes. If they look nice and toasty roasty, remove them from the oven and set aside.

6.) Mix together maple syrup, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, and black pepper.

7.) Combine the caps with the maple syrup mixture, and spread them out again on baking sheet.

8.) Bake again for about 3 minutes or until beautifully browned and crisp.

Mistake to Avoid

You've already taken care not to wash your mushrooms so they don't get soggy. But also be careful not to saturate them with too much olive oil. The key is to make them as crispy as possible.

Alternate Way to Make Them

We might try these again on the stovetop. Same directions as above except we'll fry them in a heavy cast-iron skillet.

Where To Put Your Fake Bacon

Try your mushroom bacon on omelettes, pastas, pizzas, salads, as a garnish for soups...pretty much any place you'd put bacon or mushrooms.

Photo by Meredith

Add mushroom bacon to these popular recipes. Each one calls for real bacon, of course. So if you're not feeling fully committed to the fake-bacon concept, try adding real bacon and mushroom bacon in a half-and-half split. Or go whole hog -- er, no hog -- and sub in 100-percent mushroom bacon.

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