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If you are a vegan, mushroom, or meat lover, you’d probably be at the edge of your seats for this one! Because “Porcini mushroom” only grows in the winter and fall, there will ALWAYS be grievous scarcity after its season and that’s why there is need to know some porcini mushroom substitutes.
And knowing how this mushroom tastes, the intoxicating aroma, and the meaty texture, many people could lose it! But Porcini mushroom isn’t the only favored mushroom perfect as an ingredient for your recipes.
Some cool substitutes for porcini mushroom, such as shiitake mushroom, portobello mushroom, oyster mushroom, button mushroom, cremini mushroom, etc., could make you forget or miss the Porcini less, especially if you are using them in risotto for sauteing, gravies, and soups.
What Is Porcini Mushrooms?
Porcini Mushroom (Boletus edulis) is an edible mushroom you could get fresh or dried.
This ingredient is incredibly popular in the Northern Hemisphere across North America, Europe, and Asia. It rarely grows in the Southern Hemisphere, although you can find it in Australia, southern Africa, New Zealand, and Brazil.
Porcini mushrooms smell woodsy and earthy, providing a meaty texture with a punch of umami flavour to any dish. Among other things, it grows from small to large sizes with a rounded cap about 7-30 centimeters in diameter on average with a very thick stem.
And they are a versatile add-on in our dishes. Aside from using them in soups and stews, here are some popular ways to add Porcini to your diet:
- Use in homemade pizza
- Sautéed, fried, or eat with eggs
- Sprinkle chopped porcini mushrooms on salads
- Use mushrooms as an ingredient in pasta sauce
- Mixed into cooked beef, turkey, or chicken
- Cook it with garlic and butter for a side dish
- Toppings on pizza
- Add in a stir-fry alongside other vegetables
Benefits Of Using Porcini Mushrooms
Porcini Mushrooms are not just a tasty and aromatic ingredient but are also known widely for their amazing health benefits.
It has tons of essential vitamins and minerals, which makes it an excellent addition to your diet —health-wise.
Best Porcini Mushroom Substitutes
Don’t worry. We have hand-picked ONLY the best options, and that include portobello mushrooms and Shiitake Mushroom — the closest you can get to Porcini.
1. Portobello Mushrooms
Portobello Mushrooms are the Goliath in the mushroom realm and can be bigger than your hand when allowed to mature.
The rounded, flat cap is firm, think, and spongy about fifteen centimeters in diameter and is attached to a thick stem. Don’t even think for a moment they are big for nothing. Since this mushroom is intimidating in size, that is the point because just two to three pieces will be enough for your recipes.
Portobello Mushrooms is almost everyone’s favorite whenever Porcini is not around. It has that meaty texture that is juicy and a mild umami flavor that could complement any dish like the Porcini mushroom.
The best part?
Portabella mushrooms are available year-round and available in almost all supermarkets. On top of that, it is rich in vitamin D, vitamin B6, copper, selenium, phosphorus, and niacin.
However, they are best suited for cooked applications like sautéing, broiling, and grilling. It can be hollowed out for a pizza crust or grilled whole to make a vegetarian burger.
You can also chop and mix them into stews, soups or bake them into pasta and rice dishes. You would enjoy them sliced into salads and many more.
2. Shiitake Mushroom
If you are out of Porcini, you should be using Shiitake Mushroom because they are the closest porcini mushroom substitute you could get.
Shiitake has the EXACT SAME texture and looks like the porcini mushroom, only they have a stronger meaty flavor, are less earthy, and have short stems that are not edible.
Aside from that, go ahead with this Porcini twin for that umami, aromatic flavor.
You can even swap these mushrooms for equal quantities in every dish, whether in stews, gravies, risotto, soups, pies, and any other dish. They are also healthy and nutritionally valued.
3. Button Mushroom
As the name suggests, Button is a draft mushroom — smaller and less meaty in texture.
Like Porcini, they are seasonal; even worst, they are grown in environment-controlled cropping houses. But don’t be discouraged. They also have that umami, earthy flavour, and are very versatile.
They are not as expensive as the Porcini mushroom, and are the most common type in the supermarket. That means you can use them in all Porcini recipes at anytime. But since they are smaller in size, keep in mind that you’ll be using more quantity for replacement.
4. Oyster Mushroom
Oyster Mushroom is also a common edible mushroom famous for their distinctive oyster look. Beautiful and delicious — that is the perfect description for this mushroom.
Although, Kennett Mushrooms reigns supreme when it comes to the most beautiful and exotic mushrooms on the planet.
In honor of our delicious Oyster mushrooms, we have placed it among our top picks because of its meaty texture as well as umami flavor like Porcini.
When in your mouth, the texture feels like a chicken, and they goes well with any dish. You can add them to stews and soups, sauces, stir-fry, or use them as a pizza topping. However, they are quite pricey but readily available in all supermarkets.
5. Chanterelle Mushroom
Another preferable alternative to Porcini is the Chanterelle mushrooms, they look pretty much like oyster mushrooms and have a similar earthy and meaty texture.
The umami flavor is also their slogan, but chanterelle is unique on its own. Unlike Porcini and many other mushrooms on this list that taste like beef gravy, chanterelles have a mildly peppery taste and smell fruity like apricots.
Sadly, dried chanterelle tends to lose most of its glory after rehydration. Many home cooks go for the fresh ones, and they taste great in any recipe calling for mushrooms. Whether it is in soups, fried, sautéed, stews, or whatnot, chanterelle will do justice.
6. Cremini Mushrooms
Cremini looks like the Button Mushroom. They are also dwarfy yet have a meaty texture with an umami flavor like Porcini. It’s an excellent substitute because Cremini mushrooms are available year-round.
So whenever the Porcini is out of season, you can fall back to Cremini. Moreover, they are nutritious, containing considerable potassium, vitamin D, selenium, amino acids, riboflavin, zinc, phosphorus, folate, and manganese.
Uses of this mushroom are almost limitless, as they are ideal for both raw and cooked applications such as stewing, roasting, baking, or sautéing.
You can cut them raw and mix them into grain or salads; stuffed with cheese, crab, and meats for a bite-sized appetizer. They are also exceptionally good in sauces, soups, and topping for pizza.
Other Porcini Mushrooms Alternatives That Might Work
If you are only interested in the porcini taste and not much about the meaty texture, you might want to check these other substitutes for porcini mushroom.
These are the options that we separated from others.
7. Dried Thyme
Sounds weird, right? But dried thyme is among the best alternatives for dried porcini mushrooms.
Again, forget about the chewy part. Thyme also has that earthy and slightly spicy flavor like dried Porcini. And remembered, Mushrooms are mostly cooked with thyme because of this, to intensify the flavor even more.
8. Tomato Paste
For your stews, soups, and sauces, tomato paste will work in the absence of Porcini. Tomato paste is has a wonder savory umami flavor and is thick.
But have it at the back of your mind that you are also welcoming a tomato touch, so it is not suitable for sauteing.
9. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is known for its provision of umami flavor. Hence, add this condiment in soups, sauces, and stews that taste like Porcini.
Just add a few dashes of soy sauce and use only a small amount of salt as this sauce is salty on its own.
10. Dried Truffles
Last on our alternative list of Porcini mushroom substitute is dried Truffles.
Truffles generally have an earthy umami flavor, though they might taste slightly different. But they can still hold the fort for Porcini mushroom. At least they are quite chewy as well.
Frequently Asked Question
What Can I Use Instead Of Dried Porcini Mushrooms?
In terms of matching the same flavor profile, dried truffles, soy sauce, thyme, and tomato paste will do, as they all have concentrated umami flavor.
Each of these alternatives is easily accessible and affordable in your local stores. However, while they might not provide that meaty feel, they will add almost the same depth of flavor to your dishes.
Where Are Dried Porcini Mushrooms In The Grocery Store?
You can easily locate dried Porcini mushrooms where other dried or dehydrated foods can be found.
Also, they are often placed alongside the pasta aisle —depending on the grocery shop. In some supermarkets, you only see them in the Asian section but won’t be close to the fresh ones as they can last longer.
Are Dried Porcini Mushrooms The Same As Fresh?
They are, but they both have their fair share of indifferences. For instance, dried porcini mushrooms tend to have a tougher texture with a more concentrated umami flavor than fresh ones.
They are often sliced before dried, and you need to rehydrate them with warm water before you can use them. Fresh porcini mushrooms, on the other hand, can be used straight away.
Can I Substitute Fresh Mushrooms For Dried?
You can use both interchangeably in most cases. It doesn’t matter, especially in soup or risotto — as long as you rehydrate it for a few hours before use.
It would be best to replace every pound of fresh Porcini with three ounces of dried Porcini in the recipe. I know it sounds like it’s not enough, but they will give you the pound of the fresh Porcini once they expand.
So there you have it, the best porcini mushroom substitutes. Unlike the other mushrooms, Porcini are mycorrhizal, and due to this complex relationship with their environment, cultivation might be challenging.
Depending on your location, it could be hard to find them fresh. Even if you do, it is expensive. Note that some of these alternatives aren’t mushrooms, but they mimic the taste of Porcini.
Meanwhile, others might be mushrooms but might not have that robust “mushroomy” flavor and less meaty like Porcini. This is why we recommend portobello mushrooms and Shiitake mushrooms as our top picks. Again, they are the closest you could get to Porcini mushroom.