When cooking, it is important to be careful where the lobster mushroom has been collected.
Lobster mushrooms are bright red-orange with white spots on their caps, and they have a coral-like appearance.
They grow near pine trees and can often be found in moss or needles under them during the summer and autumn months.
When cooking lobster mushrooms, it is important to note that you will need to substitute lobster mushrooms for more common mushrooms or use them in very small quantities.
Lobster mushrooms are edible, but they aren’t the best-tasting mushroom.
The flavor is bland, so it would be best if you could find another mushroom with a similar texture, like a portobello mushroom.
There are several alternatives that you can use when cooking lobster mushrooms.
We compiled a list of the five best substitutes for lobster mushrooms based on their texture and color and their ability to pair with various ingredients.
What is Lobster Mushroom?
Lobster mushrooms are a species of mushroom that resembles a bright red lobster.
The fungus grows on decaying hardwood trees and creates a reddish-orange color to attract its prey – insects.
They are a popular choice for cooking and are usually used in soups, stews, stir-fries, and can even be breaded and fried.
Lobster mushrooms have been found to contain antiviral proteins that may help stimulate the immune system.
When cooking with lobster mushrooms, it is best to fry them with butter, garlic, parsley, and onion.
Once cooked, they have a firm texture and meaty, spicy flavor.
The texture is similar to that of shiitake mushrooms, also full of flavor.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Lobster Mushrooms
Since lobster mushrooms are difficult to find fresh, many times, they must be purchased online.
If lobster mushrooms are unavailable, there are several great substitutes to try out instead.
1 – Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms are a type of mushroom that is often found in South East Asia.
Thus, they can be easily purchased from an Asian market.
However, oyster mushrooms can also be bought online and at many grocery stores today.
In addition, oyster mushrooms have been known to have a mild flavor and a delicate texture.
Oyster mushrooms are typically light gray, but they may also have a brown color.
Furthermore, oyster mushrooms have a conical shape and are thick, typically white or pale yellow.
They can range in colors from dark brown to pale yellow.
They are often found growing on decaying hardwood trees but growing on the ground and other deciduous woods.
Moreover, oyster mushrooms have a mild flavor and a delicate texture.
They may be served sautéed and can also be substituted for sliced meat.
2 – Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are a type of mushroom often found in China and Japan, where they have been consumed for over two thousand years.
Shiitake mushrooms resemble lobster’s color and burn orange instead of red like most shiitakes but can be used as a substitute for lobster mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms are often known to be versatile.
They have a strong, distinctive flavor and can be substituted for meat in many dishes because of their meaty texture.
It’s crucial to note that shiitake mushrooms are tough woody.
They are also known for being chewy and dense.
Shiitake mushrooms can be purchased fresh or dried at most grocery stores today, while they may only be available in Japan while fresh.
3 – King Trumpet Mushrooms
King trumpet mushrooms are also referred to as king oyster mushrooms.
However, these mushrooms are not related to shellfish.
King trumpets have a light, fresh flavor, and their texture is tender.
The fungus grows on decaying deciduous hardwood trees as well as coniferous wood.
The best way to cook king trumpet mushrooms is to sauté them with butter, garlic, onions, parsley, and chicken stock.
However, king trumpet mushrooms are also used in soups, stews, stir-fries and can even be breaded and fried.
King trumpet mushrooms are known for being soft with a natural butter flavor.
4 – Chanterelle Mushrooms
The chanterelle mushroom is a type of yellow-orange mushroom found in North America, Europe, and Australia.
They have a fruity smell and a nutty flavor.
Chanterelles are delicious sautéed with butter, garlic, oil, or chicken stock.
In addition to being used in soups, sauces, casseroles, and risotto, chanterelle mushrooms are also known for being great substitutes for seafood dishes.
Chanterelles may be substituted with any orange or yellow mushroom.
However, it is important to remember that chanterelles can grow to six inches in size and tend to be thicker than most other types of mushrooms.
5 – Porcini Mushrooms
Porcini mushrooms are a popular type of mushroom found in Italy.
Porcinis have a full, earthy taste and a deep brown color.
Today, Porcini mushrooms grow in the wild and may also be purchased dried at most grocery stores.
They can replace any dried mushroom because they contain a lot of flavors and a meaty texture.
However, porcinis are only available fresh in Italy and should be exported to other countries when found.
Porcini mushrooms can grow up to two pounds and are thin and wrinkly.
Porcini mushrooms can be used in soups, pasta, risotto, and stir-fries.
Lobster mushrooms are known for having a smooth, lobster-like color and flavor.
They are found in the wild and may also be purchased fresh or canned at most grocery stores.
Lobster mushrooms can be used as a great substitute for any dish that calls for lobster, crab, or shrimp because of their rich flavor.
The substitutes mentioned above include shiitake mushrooms, king trumpet mushrooms, chanterelle mushrooms, and porcini mushrooms.
They can be purchased fresh or dried and sautéed in butter, garlic, oil, or chicken stock.
However, it is important to remember that each of these substitutes has different textures and flavors, so they should only be used as a substitute for lobster mushrooms if specifically called for in a recipe.