7 Easy To Find Oyster Mushroom Substitutes

Culinary enthusiasts all around the world share their love for exotic Oyster Mushrooms. The obsession with this mushroom isn’t unsurprising as every tongue finds it quite hard to resist their mildly woody umami. 

It was this craving that compelled me to cook Creamy Chicken Marsala Fettuccine one afternoon. But upon foraging, I realized I couldn’t find any oyster mushrooms, and all supermarkets were closed in honor of a national holiday.

But, deflated as I was, I decided to continue with my cooking. I’ve had my share of ingredient mishaps in my years of cooking, and this was no different. So I sat down and brainstormed a list of all potential Oyster Mushrooms substitutes, including the rarest but edible, white truffle mushroom.

If you are reading this, I’m sure you wonder: what is a good substitute for oyster mushrooms? Fret not, because we will get to that, but first, let’s do an overview of Oyster Mushrooms.

What are Oyster Mushrooms?

Mushroomed throughout the tropical range, these are easily found in most markets. They have two types:

  • King Oyster Mushroom
  • Pearl Oyster Mushroom

There is still debate on the best-tasting oyster mushroom. But generally, King Oyster mushroom is fancied over Pearl Oyster mushroom. 

Freshly plucked mushrooms have a slightly sweet and anise scent and flavor. Usually, this quality dissipates after 24-hours of harvesting, so I recommend you buy them fresh. Most people grow oyster mushrooms on oak logs. 

 

How to Cut Oyster Mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms grow on wood, so they aren’t in contact with dirt. You can gently clean them with a cloth. If you wish to rinse them, do not soak them in water for too long. As that ruins the flavor. Cut away the center firm stem, and the rest of the mushroom will fall away on its own.

How to Prepare Oyster Mushrooms?

To prepare the most flavorful Oyster mushrooms, you can sauté them in a skillet or stir fry with other vegetables. 

For people trying to go green, King Oyster Mushroom as a meat substitute works best. While on the topic, let’s discuss how to make oyster mushrooms taste like meat. The easiest way to do so is by cooking the mushrooms till it’s al dente and then add some spices and sesame oil. Of course, if you don’t have the mushrooms, you can always use oyster sauce to spice up your dish. 

What can I use instead of Oyster sauce?

But in the unfortunate chance you don’t have that either, here’s a small list of oyster mushroom sauce substitutes that may come in handy in the situation:

  • Fish Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce (couple it with soy sauce, and the results are pretty remarkable).

Are you wondering how to make oyster mushroom sauce at home? Well, all you need to have is Oyster mushrooms (psst! reserve the water) and a smattering of spices. Finely chop the mushrooms and simmer with the oyster liquid for 10 minutes. Drain and stain!

Are you wondering about an oyster mushroom powder substitute? If so, then Garlic is the answer. It is a widespread ingredient and one you certainly won’t run out anytime soon. It has the same texture as mushroom powder and a similar, if not the same taste.

What does a bad Oyster Mushroom look like?

Oyster mushrooms go bad very quickly. However, it’s easy to identify an expired Oyster mushroom. If it has darkened in color and formed a slimy, slippery sheen, throw it away. Using such mushrooms can cause illness. 

 

7  Substitutes for Oyster Mushroom

Given below is the list of all mushrooms, adequately tested and tried, that can replace oyster mushrooms:

1. Shiitake Mushrooms

Robbing these earthy mushrooms of first place would indeed be an act against nature. Shiitake Mushrooms are the most edible mushrooms in Asia. They are the best oyster mushroom alternative I’ve ever used. They come in a range of shades, from slightly tan to a darker color. They are easily identifiable and even easier to cook. But, delicious as they are, it’s advised to avoid ingesting them raw. As some people can develop an allergy with similar symptoms to food poisoning.

Nutrients  Per Serving (100g)
Calories 34
Dietary Fiber 2.5g
Protein 2.2g
Fat 0.5g

 

Oyster Mushroom Substitutes - Shiitake Mushrooms

 

2. Chanterelle Mushrooms

These golden-brown mushrooms have a distinct wavy cap that makes them stand out. They have a peppery taste and are described as fruity by some. Chanterelles have a very chewy and meaty texture. Their fine taste can only be appreciated when cooked thoroughly. These mushrooms are known to boost the immune system and lower the risk of cancer. 

Despite reigning supreme in other regards, this type of mushroom is usually disfavored because of its expensiveness. But if that’s not an issue for you, by all means, go ahead and try it! And remember to trim the bottom of the stem before cooking.

Nutrients  Per Serving (100g)
Dietary Fiber 3.8g
Protein 1.49g
Fat 0.53g

 

Oyster Mushroom Substitutes - Chanterelle Mushrooms

 

3. Maitake Mushrooms

I’ve never eaten a mushroom I didn’t like (alert: I speak strictly of only edible mushrooms). Also known as Hen-of-the-wood, this type of mushroom boasts a savoury taste. It is an excellent replacement for oyster mushrooms, especially for people suffering from diabetes or hypertension. 

It’s easy to identify; it’s light brown and has a feathery or frilly form. A quick fact about Maitake mushroom, literally dancing mushroom, here: such are its benefits; legend says people danced with happiness upon its discovery. It is also the best-tasting mushroom of all.

Nutrients  Per Serving (100g)
Calories 31
Dietary Fiber 2.7g
Protein 1.9g
Fat 0.2g

 

4. Portobello Mushrooms

This particular variety of mushrooms is perhaps the most common one. Portobello mushrooms are easy to cook, flaunt a beefy flavor and come without any pungent smell. In addition, they are rich in antioxidants that help prevent cancers. 

Nutrients  Per Serving (100g)
Calories 22
Dietary Fiber 1g
Protein 3.1g
Fat 0.3g

When foraging Portobello mushrooms, always go for ones with uniformly colored caps. But if you wish for a more earthy taste, mushrooms with dark veiled caps are best. They are generally easy to cook. Try frying them in olive oil as it enhances their flavor by several folds. 

Oyster Mushroom Substitutes - Portobello Mushrooms

 

5. Domestic Button Mushrooms

Button mushrooms are easy to plant at home. They grow all year round and are cheaper than Oyster mushrooms. Button mushrooms are a rich source of vitamin B12, protein, and vitamin D. I found them the best vegan alternative to chicken.

Easy to cook and naturally flavorful, you can prepare them without hassle. Both the stem and cap are edible but don’t forget to trim the base of the stem. Cook them with garlic, ginger, bell peppers, or zucchini. Everything works! 

Nutrients  Per Serving (100g)
Calories 22
Dietary Fiber 1g
Protein 3.1g
Fat 0.3g

Oyster Mushroom Substitutes - Domestic Button Mushrooms

 

6. Matsutake Mushrooms

Best cooked with cream and butter, Matsutake mushrooms have a spicy aromatic scent. They have a unique flavor that many like (and dislike). No wonder it is hailed as the ‘Taste of Autumn.’ Unfortunately, these mushrooms cannot be grown artificially and are very expensive. 

Matsutake mushrooms have a sharp taste and an even pungent smell that can overpower other ingredients’ taste. To preserve the flavor, avoid rinsing them and always cut them into thick slices. Matsutake mushrooms can be cooked with oil and salt, or broiled, skewered, boiled, etc. 

Nutrients  Per Serving (100g)
Calories 23
Dietary Fiber 1.3g
Protein 0.58g
Fat 0.17g

 

Also known as pine mushrooms, they are a rare delicacy found in red pine forests. Rich in fiber and low in fat, they also relieve constipation problems and boost digestion. An interesting fact about its history: this mushroom was a signature gift exchanged among imperialist rulers. Now, however, it has become a symbol of local Japanese culture. Although, it still maintains its importance among the wealthy. 

Oyster Mushroom Substitutes - Matsutake Mushrooms

 

7. Morel Mushrooms

Never judge a book by its cover and never judge a mushroom by its cap. Although distasteful to the eye, ‘The Sacred Mushroom’ has a pleasing nutty taste which I found worked well with my recipes. In addition, morels have deep roots in French cuisine. So my fellow French food lovers might find it a great substitute for oyster mushroom

Morels are terrifically versatile in flavor and go well in any dish. So you may wonder why they are so low on the list. The problem with Morel mushrooms is that they have an abridged growing season. Therefore, they are scarce to find and subsequently expensive to buy. 

Nutrients  Per Serving (66g)
Calories 20
Dietary Fiber 1.8g
Protein 2.1g
Fat 0.4g

If you are a beginner or don’t know the proper info about morels, please avoid foraging it on your own. They have a poisonous twin, False Morel, which can cause vomiting, cramps, abdominal pain, and headache. If left untreated, the victim can likely suffer from delirium, seizure, or even coma. But, being careful pays too.

Avoid cooking Morel mushrooms with intense flavors, as they might lose their mild taste among all the other ingredients. Morels taste best in risotto, soup, or a sauce. 

Oyster Mushroom Substitutes - Morel Mushrooms

 

FAQs

What is Oyster Mushroom used for?
Oyster mushroom is a widely loved delicacy in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cuisine. It is a common ingredient in soups, substitutes for steak or meat in stuffed or stir-fry recipes. You can also use it to make the incredibly tangy oyster sauce.
Is Oyster Mushroom good for health?
Oyster mushrooms aren’t popular because of flavor alone. They are highly nutritious and promote healthy blood sugar levels. Moreover, they also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Are Oyster Mushrooms rich in Iron?
Most mushrooms are a good source of Iron. But Oyster mushrooms offer twice the amount of Iron than button mushrooms or any other varieties.
Is Oyster Mushroom Poisonous?
Oyster mushrooms are 100% edible. They do not have a fake type, and most similar-looking fungi are not very toxic. However, keep an eye out for the dangerous Jack-o-lantern mushroom.
Does Oyster Mushroom cause gas?
Most, if not all, mushrooms cause gas. This is because mushrooms are rich in oligosaccharides, which makes them harder to digest. This causes flatulence and other digestive issues. This is also a side effect of eating Oyster mushrooms.

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