9 Best Shiitake Mushroom Substitutes – Top Options to Try

Shiitake mushrooms have an umami flavor that is hard to come by in other vegetables. But when you’re in the mood for shiitake mushrooms but they’re not in season, or you just don’t feel like trekking to the store, what do you do? You could go without, but that’s no fun.

Check out this comprehensive guide to shiitake mushroom substitutes!

In it, we’ll explain the differences and similarities between the substitutes. We will also give examples of how we’ve used the substitutes. With this guide, you’ll be able to easily swap for an alternative that tastes the same or similar!

Best Shiitake Mushroom Substitutes:

  1. Dried shiitake mushrooms
  2. Oyster mushrooms
  3. Portobello mushrooms
  4. Porcini mushrooms
  5. Maitake mushrooms
  6. Crimini mushrooms
  7. Enoki mushrooms
  8. Lobster mushrooms
  9. Tempeh

Dried shiitake mushrooms

Dried shiitake mushrooms are a great substitute for fresh shiitake mushrooms. Not only do they have a stronger flavor and aroma, but they’re also more versatile.

You can rehydrate them with water beforehand, or even use them without rehydrating if you want a stronger flavor. And because they’re more concentrated, you can use less of them without sacrificing flavor.

The benefits of using dried shiitake mushrooms as a substitute for fresh shiitake mushrooms are numerous. If you’re looking for a stronger flavor, more versatility, and longer shelf life, then dried shiitake mushrooms are the way to go.

Oyster mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms, also known as the king of mushrooms, are a great substitute for Shittake mushrooms. These mushrooms grow on trees in clusters and have scallops with a snowy white cap.

They have a milder flavor than shiitakes and take a bit longer to cook but the results are well worth it. While you may not get the same umami boost that shiitakes provide, oyster mushrooms make up for it in their delicate delicate flavor and velvety texture.

Portobello mushrooms

For years, shiitake mushrooms have been revered as a culinary staple, prized for their earthy flavor and firm texture. However, in recent years, portobellos have become a popular alternative to shiitakes.

These brown-colored mushrooms have a similar earthy smell and taste, and they also hold up well when grilled or sauteed. Additionally, portobellos are often larger and less expensive than shiitakes.

As a result, they are a great option for those looking to save money on their grocery bill.

Porcini mushrooms

Porcini mushrooms are a type of fungi that is common in European cuisine. These mushrooms are typically characterized by their fleshy and soft texture, as well as their intensive nutty flavor.

When used as a substitute for shiitake mushrooms, porcini mushrooms can provide a similar level of flavor and texture. But porcini mushrooms work best for making brown sauce.

Maitake mushrooms

Maitake mushrooms are often found at the base of oak trees and used in Japanese cuisine. They have a rich, savory flavor that is often used in soups and stir-fries. You can also use it in different types of sauces to get a rich flavor.

Their hearty texture makes them a good substitute for Shiitake mushrooms. Maitake mushrooms are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D. They also contain antioxidants that can help protect cells from damage.

In addition, maitake mushrooms have been shown to boost the immune system and fight inflammation. These mushrooms are an excellent choice for those looking for a healthy, flavorful alternative to Shiitake mushrooms.

Crimini mushrooms

Crimini mushrooms make an excellent shiitake mushroom substitute. These dark brown mushrooms have a firm texture and are covered with a thin sheath of skin.

Best of all, they can be easily found in most supermarkets and are relatively inexpensive. When cooking with crimini mushrooms, it is best to use them in soups or stews as they will hold up well during the cooking process.

Enoki mushrooms

Enoki mushrooms are delicate, thin mushrooms that are commonly used in Asian cuisine. They have a mild flavor and can be used as a replacement for shiitake mushrooms in many dishes.

While they do not have the same umami flavor as shiitake mushrooms, they can still add a nice depth of flavor to savory dishes. Enoki mushrooms are also very healthy, being low in calories and fat but high in vitamins and minerals.

They are also a good source of fiber. When cooking with enoki mushrooms, it is important not to cook them for too long, as they will quickly become mushy. Instead, add them towards the end of cooking or simply use them as a garnish.

Lobster mushrooms

Lobster mushrooms are a type of fungi that have a bright orange color and white meat inside. They are a popular substitute for shiitake mushrooms because they have a tangy, earthy flavor.

Additionally, lobster mushrooms are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B-complex, iron, and selenium. There are several benefits to using this substitute, including the fact that it is more widely available and easier to grow.

However, there are some drawbacks to using lobster mushrooms as a substitute for shiitake mushrooms. For example, they do not have the same umami flavor as shiitake mushrooms. In addition, they can be more difficult to cook because of their tough texture.


For those who are looking for a vegetarian alternative to shiitake mushrooms, tempeh is a great option. Tempeh is a traditional Javanese dish made by fermenting soybeans.

It has a strong, nutty flavor that makes it a great substitute for shiitake mushrooms in many dishes. In addition, tempeh is high in protein and fiber, making it a nutritious option for vegetarians and vegans.

When shopping for tempeh, be sure to look for brands that use traditional fermentation methods. This will ensure that the tempeh has the best flavor and texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are shiitake mushrooms used as a meat substitute?

Yes, shiitake mushrooms are used as a meat substitute. Similarly, if you cannot find shiitake mushrooms, then using meat might bring a similar taste.

What is the best shiitake mushroom substitute for ramen?

If you are looking for a shiitake mushroom substitute for making ramen then consider crimini mushrooms. These mushrooms are dark brown and firm. This makes them best for cooking for a longer amount of time without getting mushy.

In conclusion

shiitake mushrooms are a great umami-rich addition to many dishes. However, if you cannot find shiitake mushrooms or you are looking for a healthier option, then consider using one of the substitutes listed above.

With a little bit of creativity, you can easily find a shiitake mushroom substitute that will work well in your dish.