Crispy Smoked Shiitakes

Crispy Smoked Shiitakes

Most vegetable charcuterie involves several days of curing and smoking, but these crispy smoked shiitakes — mushroom bacon, if you will — can be made from start to finish in less than a half hour. The recipe comes from a terrific vegan restaurant in Washington D.C., called Fancy Radish, by way of the chef and co-owner Rich Landau. It involves a two-step process: First you fry thinly sliced shiitakes to make them crisp, then you smoke them to make them taste like bacon. You can do the smoking in your smoker or a charcoal grill, or indoors with a handheld or stovetop smoker. You’ll love the crisp crunch and rich, baconlike mouthfeel, with a smoky flavor that’s similar to bacon’s but with distinct mushroom overtones. Make shiitake crispy smoked shiitakes for a vegan snack or BLT, or serve it with eggs if you eat them.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 1 person



  1. Step 1

    Stem the shiitake mushrooms (you can save the stems for stock or another use), then thinly slice the caps into thin strips on a mandolin or by hand. The slices should be no more than 1/8-inch thick.
  2. Step 2

    Pour the oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in cast-iron skillet (or other frying pan) and heat over medium-high to a temperature of 350 degrees. (To test the temperature, add a mushroom slice to the oil. When the temperature is right, bubbles will dance around the mushroom slice.)
  3. Step 3

    Working in batches to avoid overcrowding, fry the shiitake slices until golden and crisp, stirring with a slotted spoon, about 3 minutes. Transfer the fried shiitakes to paper towel-lined plate to drain, repeating until all the mushrooms are cooked. Let the fried shiitakes cool to room temperature.
  4. Step 4

    Smoke the fried shiitake slices in a grill or outdoor smoker, or using stovetop or handheld smoker. To smoke the shiitakes on a grill, set it up for indirect grilling and heat to medium (350 degrees). Add wood chips or chunks to the coals and hot smoke the bacon long enough to apply a discernible smoke flavor, 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Step 5

    If using an outdoor smoker, set it up following the manufacturer’s instructions and heat to 250 degrees. Add wood as specified by the manufacturer. Arrange the shiitake slices on a wire rack or in a grill basket, transfer to the smoker and smoke long enough to apply a discernible smoke flavor, 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Step 6

    To smoke the shiitakes using a stovetop or handheld smoker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Step 7

    Let the smoked shiitakes cool to room temperature, season with sea salt then store in an airtight container until serving. They taste best the same day they’re smoked.