If you love mushrooms and are eating more plant-based meals, you’ll love how easily mushroom tacos satisfy your tastebuds. I got mushroom-inspired by my recent Plantfull Life podcast guest Jeff Chilton, who is a mushroom expert and all around fun guy. (Yes, fungi.) During our podcast conversation, Jeff mentioned enjoying shiitake mushroom tacos as a great way to get more mushrooms into your life. I agree, shiitake mushrooms make an excellent “meaty” taco filling! So do portobello, maitake, cremini, and the typical button mushroom, aka, agaricus. Mushroom taco filling can be made with sautèed mushrooms of your choice — I recommend shiitake — add them in with black beans, vegan chorizo, or taco seasoned tofu for a delicious meat substitute.
Mushrooms can also be used as medicine to boost our immune system. Jeff shared some information about mushroom supplements that I wasn’t aware of. I’ve definitely bought into the medicinal mushroom hype—as in latte boosters and health elixirs—so I got the insider lowdown on what type of “mushrooms” are really used in those fancy “medicinal mushroom” supplements. Maybe you bought some mushroom latte mix at the health food store. Guess what? Sometimes they don’t contain the actual type of mushroom it claims on the label. We also talk about one of the most prized medicinal mushrooms: Reishi. Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Cordyceps, and Turkey Tail are among the top healing mushrooms used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
As far as culinary mushrooms go, Jeff highly recommends organic agaricus (button) and shiitake mushrooms, and we both agree that wood ear mushrooms are super tasty too! I recommend wood ear mushrooms in a Chinese style stir-fry. There are so many other species of culinary mushrooms— portobello, chanterelles, morels, maitake, porcini, etc., but shiitake mushrooms are one that everyone should be eating as they have so many great health benefits.
After chatting with Jeff about all the different types of mushrooms and how they can be used for health and healing, I got hungry and made some shiitake mushroom tacos. So I made a recipe to pair with the podcast episode, naturally!
Well, I’m buying a new house! Until I move in and (finally) have my dream kitchen, I’m not actively cooking and creating plant-based recipes for Plantfull Kitchen. To be honest, when I made this simple taco recipe, the shiitake mushrooms alone weren’t quite working for me. I soon discovered how essential black beans and lime juice are to enhance the savory shiitake mushroom flavor. Making tacos is easy enough. As I quickly took some iPhone photos without evidence of the black beans or limes, the tortillas went soggy, the mushrooms went cold, and the cilantro wilted. The photos weren’t up to my standards. But what totally works is the flavor of black beans plus soy sauce marinated shiitake mushrooms plus a squeeze of lime. All of that equals delicious taco filling. That much I can tell you.
Fungi expert guest Jeff suggested a few key things: don’t wash your mushrooms—rub them clean instead! Then cook them on high heat in a pan. That way you get the best umami flavor and texture out of the mushrooms. Try my mushroom taco recipe below and also check out the extra recipes I added into this post.
Shiitake Mushroom Tacos
7 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 tbl cooking oil of choice – I recommend avocado oil
4-5 tbl organic shoyu or soy sauce – or coconut aminos
1 tbsp chipotle powder
2-4 corn tortillas
1 cup black beans
1 lime, juice, to taste
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup shredded red cabbage
Cilantro, chopped, garnish to taste
Chop the shiitake mushrooms and place in bowl. Drizzle with soy sauce/coconut aminos and let them marinate for a few minutes while preparing tacos.
Heat the black beans in a pot and set aside.
In a wide frying pan, add the oil to sauté the mushrooms. Turn on medium high flame and prepare to sauté the mushrooms. Strain the marinated shiitake mushrooms and add to the pan. Sauté until cooked, about 5-8 minutes. Season with chipotle powder.
Warm the tortillas in a pan or on stove flame. Remove and place on serving plate.
Add a spoonful of black beans to each tortilla. Top black beans with sautéed shiitake mushrooms. Squeeze lime juice over the mushrooms and black beans. Top with shredded red cabbage, cilantro, and avocado.
For some extra shroomy inspiration, check out these Pinterest recipe finds:
Shredded Mushroom Carnitas by The Curious Chickpea
Mushroom Al Pastor Tacos with Garlic Lime Special Sauce by Half Baked Harvest
Vegan Chipotle Mushroom Tacos by Dining with Skyler