One of the most popular types of mushroom for cooking and eating is the oyster mushroom.
Oyster mushrooms, in particular, have a delicate flavor with a texture that can range from crisp to tender.
The main reason to substitute oyster mushrooms when cooking with them is their availability or lack thereof.
Many people can’t find this type of mushroom at their local grocery store, so it may be necessary to use a substitute.
Depending on what kind of dish you’re making, there are a few substitutes for oyster mushrooms that can be used.
In this article, we will discuss the substitutes for oyster mushrooms and why you should use them.
What are Oyster Mushrooms?
Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) are a variety of edible mushrooms.
They can grow naturally on trees, stumps, or dead roots and cause white rot by breaking down the wood in these plants (Wood-decay fungi).
These mushrooms characteristically grow in clusters on tree trunks and branches.
The caps usually grow in a fan-like shape looking somewhat like an oyster shell, hence the name.
They are soft and have a unique texture when cooked.
Oyster mushrooms are known for their unique, slightly peppery flavor with a hint of seafood, making them a popular choice among chefs and mushroom enthusiasts alike.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Oyster Mushrooms
When these mushrooms are no longer in season, or you want to try something new, several substitutes can be used in oyster mushroom recipes.
1 – Shiitake Mushrooms
If you’re looking for a substitute that’s abundant and easy to find, this is the mushroom you want.
Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) are often sold fresh in bunches.
They have a light brown color on the top with white underneath and several sizes.
Fresh shiitakes can also be found canned or dried.
Like oyster mushrooms, they are also commonly used in Asian cooking.
You can find shiitake mushrooms for sale at most grocery stores.
This makes them an accessible and affordable substitution any time of year.
2 – Button Mushrooms
Button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) are the most common variety available at grocery stores.
They’re a good choice for a substitute if you want a mushroom that’s similar in color, texture, and shape to oyster mushrooms.
This includes a white button, brown Crimini mushrooms, and Portobello.
These are the most commonly found variety of all supermarket-purchasable mushrooms.
They account for over 60 percent of all types sold.
Button mushrooms are what most people picture when they think of a classic mushroom, and they’re perfect for adding to soups, stews, and pasta dishes.
3 – Enoki Mushrooms
If you’re looking for a healthy substitute that adds a delicate flavor to your meals, then enoki mushrooms are a great option.
Enoki mushrooms have a delicate yet slightly sweet flavor.
These can be found fresh or canned and usually look like small white stalks with caps similar to caviar pearls.
In addition, they’re available in dried form as well.
Enoki mushrooms are usually found in the produce section of most grocery stores.
However, they’re very delicate and need to be placed in a perforated plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator immediately.
If you can’t find them fresh, they can also be purchased online.
4 – Matsutake Mushrooms
The fifth and final alternative for oyster mushrooms is matsutake mushrooms.
These are becoming increasingly popular. However, they’re still relatively rare in the United States.
Matsutakes have a strong, almost spicy flavor with a hint of cinnamon or clove.
When fresh, these are usually very firm to the touch and have an earthy scent with gills usually light brown or yellow.
When dried, matsutake mushrooms have a long shelf life and will last for several months with no refrigeration required.
They’re another great substitution if you want to try something new while still maintaining the flavor of your food.
5 – Portabella Mushrooms
Last but not least, Portabella mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) are a popular substitution for oyster mushrooms.
This is because they’re widely available and provide the same texture as oyster mushrooms when cooked.
Portabellas are larger than a button or crimini mushrooms, with an open cap usually around 4 to 8 inches in diameter.
When cooked, Portabella mushrooms have a hearty and meaty flavor that’s especially good for grilling or roasting.
In addition, they look almost identical to oyster mushrooms, with a light caramel color and long, thin stems.
This makes them a great choice as a substitute for any dish that calls for oyster mushrooms.
Oyster mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms used in recipes.
They’re often found in Asian dishes and can easily be substituted with several other types of fresh or dried mushrooms, depending on your tastes.
These include button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, matsutake, and Portabella.
Each one comes with a slightly different taste, but they’re all excellent choices to use as substitutes for oyster mushrooms in any recipe.