If you have not heard of or tried shiitake bacon until now, then I am so happy to be the one to share this totally awesome little secret with you. If you have made shiitake bacon before, then you already know how shiitake mushrooms magically taste just.like.bacon when baked in the oven on low heat for 1 hour. Amazing, right? I think so.
The first time I tried shiitake bacon was when Alexandrea Jamieson came to speak at one of our classes at NKCS ... and my mind was blown. Of course, being an ex-bacon lover I was skeptical. Nothing can ever really (naturally) replace or imitate the taste of bacon, right? Wrong.
Now granted, it's not like having a large greasy piece of bacon, think more like bacon bits. But for certain purposes like in a salad, over eggs, or in this BLT lettuce wrap - it does the job quite well.
These lettuce wraps are the perfect way to get a party started. Everybody loves bacon ... right? Everybody except for people who don't eat meat, or pork, or things that are no so good for you. So, who wouldn't love bacon that came from a mushroom. You cannot go wrong.
Yay for (shiitake) bacon!
BLT lettuce wraps
This recipe was inspired by a similar recipe by Alexandra Jamieson. It can be made totally vegan by opting to use vegan mayo. Or, you can use real mayo if you prefer and it will still be vegetarian friendly.
about 10 or so wraps
for the shiitake bacon:
3 cups of shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons of braggs amino acid or tamari or soy sauce
for the chipotle mayo:
1/2 cup of vegan mayonaise (or regular mayo if you prefer)
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
1 tablspoon of fresh lemon juice
2 medium garlic cloves, crushed
for the wraps:
1 head of really good looking boston bib lettuce, rinsed, and individual leafs removed
4-6 plum tomatoes, insides removed and sliced
1 large or a few small shallots, sliced super thin (on a mandolin, if you have one)
to hold it all together: 5-7 green onions sliced in half lengthwise (look for the longest, thickest ones you can find since this is for tying the wraps), or alternatively you can use tooth picks to hold them together but I prefer the green onions since they're pretty and edible.
Start by making the shiitake bacon:
- Pre-heat the oven to 325º
- Toss the shiitake mushrooms with the olive oil and Braggs or tamari. Lay them out on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 1 hour, and tossing and turning every 15 minutes. The mushrooms will shrink considerably and become crunchy. When they are nice and crunchy and browned, remove and set aside.
While the bacon is cooking, prep your veggies and make the chipotle mayo:
- To make the mayo, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir really well until everything is combined. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.
When everything is ready, assemble the lettuce wraps:
- Place the green onion down, and a leaf of bib lettuce on top.
- Layer the ingredients in the center of the wrap, staying away from the ends: chipotle mayo, 4-5 slices of tomato, shallots, and then crumble the shiitake bacon on top.
- Very gently roll the lettuce wraps. If you have very large leaves you might want to fold in the sides, but just be careful that the lettuce does not rip. It might take a few tries until you start to make them look pretty.
- Tie up the wrap by very gently making a knot with the green onion. If you are careful it should not rip, and it will hold nicely.
- Continue until you have used up all of your (useable) lettuce leaves.
- Serve immediately, or you can make ahead a few hours and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.