10 Best Oyster Mushroom Substitutes

Oyster mushrooms are not surprisingly popular; their seafood umami taste makes a great addition to any dish. It’s a favorite for most vegans or vegetarians because they are not only tasty, but oyster mushrooms are also very nutritious and can be eaten raw or lightly cooked.

However, you may sometimes crave something new, or you simply can’t find oyster mushrooms. So, what do you do? You simply opt for other suitable oyster mushroom substitutes.

One of the best alternatives for oyster mushrooms is shiitake mushrooms. They can be used for pretty much the same dishes, and although they don’t exactly taste like oyster mushrooms, they are also very delicious.

Other good options you can use to replace oyster mushrooms include cremini, portabella, porcini, and enoki mushrooms.

Let’s quickly learn more about these replacements!

What Are Oyster Mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms, also known as Pleurotus ostreatus, pearl oyster mushrooms, or tree oyster mushrooms, are among the popular types of cultivated mushrooms in the world.

The fungi grow naturally on and near trees in temperate and subtropic regions and are also grown commercially in many countries. Oyster mushrooms are added to a variety of cuisines around the world but are most popular in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cooking.

These mushrooms have a delicate texture and mild, savory flavor. Oyster mushrooms typically have broad, thin, or fan-shaped caps with white, gray, or tan gills lining the underside.

The edges of the caps are sometimes crimped and can be found in clusters of small mushrooms or individually as larger mushrooms.

Oyster mushrooms may not be as cheap as white button mushrooms but not quite as expensive as rarer mushrooms like morels, you can use the mushrooms whole or chopped, and they require a little prepping.

When cleaning out your oyster mushrooms, they should not be left in water for too long as they act almost like sponges and soak up any water they come into contact with.

Commercially cultivated oyster mushrooms usually don’t need much cleaning — you can simply use a dry paper towel to wipe off any bits; you can use a damp paper towel if the mushrooms are extra dirty mushrooms.

You can sauté, stir-fry, braise, roast, or grill oyster mushrooms, and they can be used whole, sliced, or cut up into appropriately sized pieces.

Oyster mushrooms can also be eaten raw and added to salads. Still, it is recommended to allow the mushrooms to undergo some cooking process to remove the slight metallic flavor it has when uncooked.

When cooked, oyster mushrooms develop a delicate flavor, and their spongy texture is turned into something uniquely velvety.

Best Oyster Mushroom Substitutes

1. Cremini Mushrooms

In the absence of oyster mushrooms, one of the best oyster mushroom substitutes you can opt for is cremini mushrooms. 

They are very versatile and have a meaty texture; when the mushrooms are cut in half, it exposes a smooth inner surface with small, dark-grey flaps that are similar to oyster mushrooms. Cremini mushrooms grow in bite sizes, making them the perfect appetizer.

They are also rich in vitamins b1, b3, c, niacin, potassium, calcium, and thiamine. This makes cremini mushrooms a super healthy alternative to oyster mushrooms.

2. Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are another popular vegetable consumed by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.  They have an intense umami flavor than most vegetarian proteins.

Simply drizzle some oil over the portobello mushrooms to bring out their flavor. They make such a fantastic substitute for oyster mushrooms and are also a healthy replacement for meat lovers and vegetarians alike.

Portobello is rich in b vitamins and potassium, with loads of vegetarian protein.

3. Crimini Mushrooms

Crimini mushrooms have a mild and subdued taste but make up for that in their numerous nutritional benefits. Criminis contains 30% fewer calories per cup than your standard white button mushroom. They also contain a high amount of iron, potassium, copper & riboflavin.

These fungus species are very versatile and have a delicate flavor. Adding some crimini mushrooms to your dish adds the perfect amount of umami goodness. They have a slight almond taste, with a texture between oyster and button mushrooms.

4. White Button Mushroom

White button mushrooms also make a suitable replacement for oyster mushrooms. They have a milder taste and soak up any added flavor and seasoning you add while cooking them. They can replace oyster mushrooms in any dish that calls for it.

They’re typically harvested before they grow too old to keep their texture firm and chewy.  White button mushrooms are delicious morsels with a wild-Forestier quality; they can be added to stir-fries or purees. These are tasty treats that can be added to any dish to make it better!

5. Baby Bella Mushrooms

If you are making your favorite Reuben sandwich and find out you are out of oyster mushrooms, you can use baby Bella mushrooms instead. There are tasty and meaty vegetables that are affordable and can add new flavor to any dish!

Baby Bella mushrooms typically grow around the seaside, giving dishes a delicious seafood umami flavor.

They’re a great and healthy substitute for oyster mushrooms; Bella mushrooms add vibrant color to your cooking and cook quickly in about 15 minutes.

6. Shiitake Mushroom

If you are looking for an oyster mushroom substitute that perfectly replicates its taste and texture, then opt for shiitake mushrooms. 

They are low calorie, rich in protein, amino acids (including proteins), b vitamins including riboflavin and niacin, calcium carbonate, iron, and magnesium.

Their unique meaty texture also makes shiitake ideal for pan-frying or sautéing in small amounts of oil.  They also make an excellent vegetarian alternative to beef steak due to their hearty and succulent quality.

If oyster mushrooms are way above your budget or hard to find, then opt for shiitake as it runs a close second in popularity and is more affordable.

7. Wood Ears Mushroom

Wood ears are another excellent alternative for oyster mushrooms. Wood ears is a masterpiece created not only by science but also by an artisan’s touch.

This is not only a vegan substitute for oyster mushrooms, but it is also gluten-free. Wood ears have a similar crunchy texture as oysters without all that pesky cheese.

8. Enoki Mushroom

Enoki mushrooms have an identical appearance to oyster mushrooms, as they grow with multiple caps. 

Enoki mushrooms have a pale white color; their stems are long, slender, and bear a little umbrella cap; this mushroom grows together in clusters to form one big bouquet of mushrooms.

Enoki mushrooms are very versatile and can be used for different dishes like soups and stews, but to avoid overlooking the mushrooms, add them towards the last few minutes of cooking; when overcooked, the taste of the mushroom is ruined.

They are great in salads, sandwiches, or as a side dish. They are available fresh or in cans or jars, and you can purchase them at your nearest grocery or specialty shop.

These mushrooms are not only delicious but pack on a lot of nutritional value. Enoki mushrooms make a satisfactory substitute for certain dishes, and their light and meaty texture may make it hard to tell the difference.

Even if you made a few mistakes with the recipe, enoki mushroom’s huge bulk and wholesome flavor would help cover up lost grounds and keep the dish mouthwatering.

They have a low-fat content, and when cooked, enoki mushrooms develop an enchanting appearance and become crispy. You’ll definitely find it hard to ignore these veggies, and they “steal the light of the show” in terms of flavor and texture.

9. Maitake Mushroom

Maitake mushroom is a plant-based protein; it contains about 30 calories and 8g of organic vegan plant protein per serving.

They make the perfect addition to savory soups; their spicy taste is just the right kick to get cozy during winter days alongside a glass of wine as you relax beside a fireplace.

Maitake has a hairy cap with a more intense earthy aroma. They can be used to make sauces with cream or bacon fat which adds the perfect depth of flavor. 

These mushrooms can be added to meatless lasagna dishes, and it offers a robust umami flavor without being too spicy.

10. Porcini Mushroom

Porcini mushroom has an earthy brown hue and is not your average-looking fungi. It has prominent girth and ridges that enable it to swallow any smaller mushrooms around it easily.

It has a pungent smell, but if you can get past that, its meaty texture is sure to take your dish to the next level. Porcini mushrooms are popular in Tuscany, Italy, and can be used in a variety of dishes.

These mushrooms are available fresh or dried, and both options have similar qualities and can be used for any kind of mushroom dish. Porcini mushrooms have such a great texture that doesn’t shrink even when cooked and added in stews or soups.

Most mushrooms cannot retain their original size after cooking, but with porcini mushrooms, it is quite the opposite; not only does it maintain its size, it tastes even meatier after being cooked.

This giant mushroom with an enchanting appearance mimics oyster mushroom not only with its meaty texture but with a deep, earthy-sweet note that complements any dish it Is added to.

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