Whether you are a local or just visiting the Northwest, chances are you have heard about the wonderful taste and texture of a Chanterelle mushroom.
This fungus is a must-try for anyone who loves richly flavored foods, but its rarity also means that it can be hard to track down.
These mushrooms are a type of wild mushroom that is highly sought after for their flavor.
The chanterelle has a fruity, peppery taste, unlike mushroom variety.
Because of their unique flavor, chanterelles are almost always served uncooked.
They can be enjoyed in salads or added to cream sauces for a flavorful touch of the forest.
Unfortunately, chanterelle mushrooms are not very common, and their steep price point makes them out of reach for most people.
Luckily, several substitutes can mimic the flavor and texture of a chanterelle mushroom to bring the taste of the Pacific Northwest to your dinner table.
What is Chanterelle Mushroom?
The chanterelle mushroom, also spelled as ‘chantarelle’, is a bright yellow-orange mushroom often found in mountainous regions.
It can be identified by its rich fruity and apricot-like smell and taste, along with the characteristic wrinkly surface of the cap.
The chanterelle mushroom typically appears in the summer and autumn months across North America, Europe, and Asia.
However, they can also grow in New Zealand and Australia, referred to as ‘paddy straw mushrooms.
Chanterelle mushrooms have a wide range of culinary uses, including a key ingredient in soups and stews.
They can also be used in pasta sauces, omelets, and stuffing.
When cooked, chanterelles emit a distinctive fruity smell that can infuse into other foods.
For this reason, it is best to cook the mushrooms on their own and then add them to your dish afterward.
The chanterelle mushroom’s medicinal properties are also widely known.
They have been used to treat fungal diseases for centuries due to the anti-fungal properties found within their composition.
Though not recommended, chanterelles can be eaten raw, as cooking will significantly reduce their bitter taste.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Chanterelle Mushrooms
Have you ever heard of chanterelle mushrooms but never tried them before because they are hard to find?
Are you looking for a substitute if you cannot find chanterelles in your local grocery store?
Whatever the reason, many great substitutes can be used, so you do not have to miss out on your favorite dish.
The following are five substitutes that can be used for chanterelle mushrooms:
1 – Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms are commonly known for being incredibly versatile.
These mushrooms work on their own, but they are often used as a meat substitute due to their texture and size.
When cooked, oyster mushrooms have a buttery flavor that is complex enough to be enjoyed alone or with other ingredients.
They can also infuse their flavor into whatever they are cooked with.
Oyster mushrooms vary in color from light gray to medium gray, and they typically have a fan shape.
However, a pearl form of oyster mushroom also features a white cap and stem.
These mushrooms also normally grow in clusters due to their proximity during the cultivation process.
The next time you want to cook up some chanterelle mushrooms.
2 – Lobster Mushrooms
Lobster mushrooms are prized for their color and taste.
They also offer a seafood-like texture that is incomparable to any other mushroom.
This mushroom is most often found in the wild, although it can be grown on logs and stumps with sawdust and grain.
The lobster mushroom has a delicate flavor that works well with white wines and provides a meaty texture similar to fish or chicken.
The lobster mushroom does not have gills on the underside of its cap, but it does feature a network of ridges that resembles the pattern found on a lobster’s shell.
As such, these mushrooms are aptly named and easy to recognize.
3 – Trumpet Mushrooms
Trumpet mushrooms are well known for their distinctive trumpet shape, so they are often named after trumpets or other instruments.
However, they also have various culinary uses that make them very popular.
The texture of these mushrooms offers a pleasantly chewy mouthfeel that works perfectly in stir-fries and other dishes where meat might normally be used.
They also have a subtle taste that works well with other strong flavors in traditional dishes.
Trumpet mushrooms are typically small, making them ideal for use in bite-sized appetizers or side dishes.
They can also be used to make a variety of soups and sauces.
4 – Cremini Mushrooms
While cremini mushrooms are a popular substitute for many different mushroom varieties, they also happen to be a wonderful substitute for chanterelle mushrooms.
Cremini mushrooms have a rich and creamy texture that works well in creamy dishes.
They can also be roasted or grilled without losing their firmness or shape.
The name cremini is a derivative of the Italian word ‘cremigiano’, which means ‘like cream’.
They also go by baby Bella mushrooms because they resemble portobello mushrooms in both flavor and texture.
Cremini mushrooms are a natural substitute for chanterelle mushrooms because they have a similar appearance and taste.
As such, you can try them as a substitution without worrying about the dish not tasting as good as it would if chanterelles were used.
5 – Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are often used in Asian cooking.
They have a rich, earthy flavor that works well with other strong flavors.
Additionally, they are firm enough to hold up well under high heat without losing shape or texture.
The shiitake mushroom has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine because of its health benefits.
Simply eating these mushrooms is believed to promote good health and ward off disease, but they can also be blended into creams for use as topical ointments.
Shiitake mushrooms are distinctive umbrella-shaped caps with small, dark brown gills underneath.
They also have a slightly sweet flavor that works well in many dishes.
Chanterelle mushrooms have a unique appearance and flavor that many people love.
However, if you can’t find chanterelle mushrooms where you live or don’t want to pay the high price for them in a specialty market, there are several other substitutes that you can try.
Oyster mushrooms offer a similar shape and texture, while lobster mushrooms provide the same seafood-like taste.
Trumpet mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms are all good substitutes that work well in most dishes and can successfully mimic the chanterelle’s taste and appearance.
Remember: when using substitute ingredients, be sure to use equal amounts unless otherwise directed by the recipe you are following.