Sweet, smoky, and crisp mushroom "bacon" that can be used anywhere that you'd use regular bacon bits or cooked bacon slices. It has that perfect crisp-but-pliant texture of the best bacon.
Why this recipe works:
- Dehydrating thin sliced mushrooms in the oven gives them a tender-crisp texture very much like real bacon.
- A balanced sweet and savory marinade and a quick trip to a jerry-rigged stovetop smoker gives them sweet, bacon-like flavor.
- 8 ounces King Oyster (also sold as Trumpet Royale) mushrooms, cut lengthwise into 1/8th- to 1/6th-inch slices (see note)
- 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1 chunk applewood, hickory, or mesquite
Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Add 2 tablespoons oil and brush with a pastry brush to coat evenly. Lay sliced mushrooms on sheet in a single layer (you may have to work in batches or on two trays). Season with salt and pepper. Flip slices and season with more salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and cook for 20 minutes. Turn mushroom slices carefully with a thin metal spatula. Return to oven and continue cooking until well-browned and crisp, about 20 minutes longer. (Mushrooms will quickly overcook, so monitor them carefully.) Remove from oven and transfer mushrooms to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and toss with maple syrup, sugar, garlic powder, paprika, and remaining oil. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Transfer mushrooms to the basket of a steamer insert and space evenly over bottom.
Ignite wood chunk over a burner or with a torch. Transfer to a large pot. Add steamer insert and cover pot with a tight-fitting lid. Let mushrooms smoke for ten minutes. Remove from pot. For crisper mushrooms, return to lined baking sheet and continue baking until sugars start to caramelize gently, about 5 minutes longer. Allow to cool completely before transfering to an air-tight container and storing at room temperature for up to a 5 days.