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Cooking Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Porcini Mushrooms

Got a craving for that earthy, umami kick only porcini mushrooms deliver but you’re staring at an empty spot on the shelf where they should be? No sweat.

Sometimes, the kitchen throws us curveballs, and the trick is knowing how to swing back.

Finding a substitute for porcini mushrooms isn’t just about keeping your dish on track; it’s a chance to get creative and maybe even stumble upon a new favorite.

Each alternative brings its own unique zing to the table, turning what could have been a cooking setback into a flavor win.

Ready to flip the script on missing ingredients?

We’ve got the rundown on the top swaps that will keep your cooking game strong without missing a beat.

What is Porcini Mushroom?

what is porcini mushroom

First discovered in the 16th century, porcini mushrooms, also known as boletus or ceps, is highly prized gourmet mushroom.

A member of the Boletaceae family and its close relatives, it is considered edible and delicious and can be found in many markets worldwide.

Porcini mushrooms are readily available due to commercial cultivation.

They consist of a brown tone with white pores and can be recognized by their pleasant smell, indicating that they are edible.

They were originally found in European regions such as Italy and France, where they are famous for their culinary value and have gained popularity over time.

This mushroom has also been introduced to Asian countries such as China and Taiwan, gaining great popularity.

These mushrooms can be used in a wide variety of dishes from soup to pasta, sauces, etc.

The best way to cook porcini mushrooms is to fry with a bit of salt and garlic, or they can also be roasted in the oven with a bit of olive oil.

However, it is important to note that they must be cooked before being used in other dishes since they are very tough to chew raw.

When cooking porcini, it is also good to keep the water used for washing them as this can be made into a tasty stock that can be used later on in the dish.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Porcini Mushrooms

Porcini mushrooms, known for their earthy and nutty flavor, are a popular choice in various culinary dishes.

However, if you cannot find porcini mushrooms or are looking for alternative options, there are several substitutes available.

In this guide, we will compare the top 5 substitutes for porcini mushrooms, discussing their key characteristics and suggesting proper ratios to help you achieve similar flavors and textures in your recipes.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Shiitake MushroomsEarthy and savory flavor with a meaty texture; can add depth and umami to dishesUse an equal amount of shiitake mushrooms as a substitute for porcini mushrooms
Crimini MushroomsSimilar taste profile to button mushrooms but with a deeper, earthier flavor; have a slightly firmer textureUse an equal amount of crimini mushrooms as a substitute for porcini mushrooms
Button MushroomsMild flavor with a firm and delicate texture; versatile and widely availableUse an equal amount of button mushrooms as a substitute for porcini mushrooms
Portobello MushroomsLarge, mature version of crimini mushrooms with a rich, meaty flavor; have a dense and hearty textureUse an equal amount of portobello mushrooms as a substitute for porcini mushrooms
Oyster MushroomsMild and delicate flavor with a slightly sweet and briny taste; have a tender and velvety textureUse an equal amount of oyster mushrooms as a substitute for porcini mushrooms

Now let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Shiitake Mushrooms

shiitake mushrooms

When it comes to preserving a dish, shiitake mushrooms are among the best.

These mushrooms can be dried and added to other dishes for both taste and texture.

Additionally, these mushrooms’ meaty texture makes them perfect as an alternative to porcini mushrooms.

It is also available in different colors, which will alter the color of your dish.

Shiitake mushrooms come from East Asia and are also known as winter mushrooms.

They have an unusual flavor that is a little bit sweet, but they do contain a lot of glutamates.

In addition, the caps taste less bitter.

They can be found fresh or dried in most Asian grocery stores and supermarkets worldwide.

It is also possible to find it powdered or as an extract.

  • Key Characteristics: Shiitake mushrooms have an earthy and savory flavor profile with a meaty texture. They are known for adding depth and umami to dishes, making them a suitable substitute for porcini mushrooms.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of shiitake mushrooms as a substitute for porcini mushrooms. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired flavor intensity.

2 – Crimini Mushrooms

crimini mushrooms

Crimini mushrooms are similar to white button mushrooms but with a brown color.

The best way to describe these mushrooms is to have the same texture as porcini mushrooms but without flavor.

Crimini mushrooms have a firmer texture and stronger flavor when compared to white button mushrooms.

In addition, they are much cheaper when compared to porcini ones.

However, it is not recommended that you use them as a replacement in dishes that require the mushroom to be cooked for a long time, such as stews.

The best way to use crimini mushrooms is to fry them in a pan with some rosemary and thyme.

They are also used in dishes cooked for short, such as pasta.

It is important to note that crimini mushrooms are becoming increasingly popular with chefs.

This is because they can be used in different types of meals and greatly improve the dish’s flavors.

  • Key Characteristics: Crimini mushrooms have a similar taste profile to button mushrooms but with a deeper, earthier flavor. They have a slightly firmer texture, which can be used as a substitute for porcini mushrooms in various dishes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of crimini mushrooms as a substitute for porcini mushrooms. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired flavor intensity.

3 – Button Mushrooms

button mushrooms

Button mushrooms are the most common types of mushrooms found in grocery stores.

They are often white, but there is also a brown version that closely resembles porcini mushrooms.

Although these two varieties have different names, they are very similar.

However, button mushrooms contain less umami than porcini ones.

Although they do not contain as much flavor as porcinis, they give a dish an earthy and mild flavor.

If you cannot find porcini mushrooms, it is recommended that you use button ones.

They are a great substitute as they can be cooked for long without losing flavor.

In addition, button mushrooms have been cultivated to make them larger and tastier.

It is also possible to find white and brown versions of these mushrooms, which will alter the color of your dish.

Button mushrooms can be found easily at grocery stores and supermarkets worldwide.

They are also used in dishes cooked for a long time, such as stews, where the high water content of button mushrooms is beneficial.

  • Key Characteristics: Button mushrooms have a mild flavor with a firm and delicate texture. They are versatile and widely available, making them a convenient substitute for porcini mushrooms in many recipes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of button mushrooms as a substitute for porcini mushrooms. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired flavor intensity.

4 – Portobello Mushrooms

portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are a great alternative to porcini mushrooms because they have similar textures and flavors.

These large brown mushrooms often contain more moisture, which will make your dish more succulent.

These mushrooms are known for their characteristic large, dark caps, measuring up to 4 inches in diameter.

Additionally, they taste better than most white mushrooms because they contain more carbohydrates.

They can be found fresh or dried at grocery stores and supermarkets worldwide.

They come from North America and will give your dish a smoky flavor.

Portobello mushrooms are great for dishes cooked for a short amount of time, such as pasta.

It is also possible to marinate them to enhance their taste.

  • Key Characteristics: Portobello mushrooms are larger and more mature versions of crimini mushrooms. They have a rich, meaty flavor and a dense, hearty texture, making them a suitable substitute for porcini mushrooms in dishes that require a substantial presence of mushrooms.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of portobello mushrooms as a substitute for porcini mushrooms. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired flavor intensity.

5 – Oyster Mushrooms

oyster mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are a great choice because they have the same texture as porcini ones.

They are related to shiitake but will taste slightly sweeter.

In addition, oyster mushrooms are not as expensive compared to their Boletaceae family counterparts.

They are commonly used in Asian cooking due to their umami flavor.

You can find fresh oyster mushrooms in most grocery stores around the world.

They are a great replacement for porcini ones in pasta dishes and soups, among others.

  • Key Characteristics: Oyster mushrooms have a mild and delicate flavor with a slightly sweet and briny taste. They have a tender and velvety texture, making them a suitable alternative to porcini mushrooms in various dishes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of oyster mushrooms as a substitute for porcini mushrooms. Adjust the quantity based on your recipe requirements and desired flavor intensity.

Conclusion

Porcini mushrooms are very popular in the culinary world.

They have a specific flavor and texture that gives dishes an extra kick.

However, it is impossible to find fresh porcini mushrooms at every grocery store.

For this reason, you should consider alternatives such as button, crimini, portobello, or oyster ones if you cannot find porcinis.

Each type will give your dishes a different flavor, but they are all good substitutes for porcinis which you might not be able to find.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Porcini Mushrooms

Craving the rich umami of porcini mushrooms but can't find any? Don't worry – we've got you covered! Explore our list of the 5 best substitutes for porcini mushrooms that will add depth and flavor to your dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Crimini Mushrooms
  • Button Mushrooms
  • Portobello Mushrooms
  • Oyster Mushrooms

Instructions
 

  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for porcini mushrooms
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