Remember back when I made this mushroom free green bean casserole and I talked about how much I really don’t like mushrooms? Well, my mind has been changed..but just slightly! Ever since a gross mushroom pizza incident in first grade, I’ve always had a big aversion to mushrooms in any form. Mushrooms in salad, mushrooms in pot pie, I will leave them rather than take them, thank you very much. So, when I went to dinner with my fiance and parents for my dad’s birthday and saw portobello mushroom sliders on the menu, I was automatically all ‘Um NOPE’, you guys can have those. We were at one of those shared plates restaurants, where everyone orders different dishes and hopefully shares them with everyone else. Now, keep in mind that everything else I had ever eaten at this restaurant has been brilliant and delicious, so this would be the place to try mushrooms if I was going to make the leap.
So, my dad ordered the sliders while I just assumed that I would take one bite, hate them, and relegate myself back to my beet and blood orange salad (so good!). But, as soon as they came and we all grabbed a slider to try, we all just kind of looked at each other, amazed that mushroom bacon could be THIS good. It was crunchy and smoky, without being all mushy and gross like mushrooms are sometimes. The sauce on the slider was a perfect and I’m pretty positive the buns were homemade, so double win on that one. My dad and I immediately swore to re-create these at home and swap notes, because if I finally found a mushroom dish I liked, it begged to be a dinner staple from now on.
One of the keys to making the ‘bacon’ is slicing the mushrooms super thin, but not so thin that they burn when you go to cook them in the pan. Also, I tried two batches of this bacon, one that was marinated overnight and another that was marinated for 15-20 minutes. I logically thought that the overnight batch would work better, but as it turns out, when I went to cook the overnight batch, all the liquid from the marinade came out and started smoking up my kitchen, fun! So, marinade for at least 15 minutes and don’t try to sub in anything else for the liquid smoke, it just won’t do. The mayo is a combo of my favorite sauce thickener, cashews and a touch of lemon juice. It isn’t technically mayonnaise, but that hasn’t stopped me from slathering it on every sandwich I’ve made in the past three days.
I didn’t make the rolls from scratch, because sometimes, you just don’t have time for that, right? Between making the bacon and mixing up the mayo, I knew I wouldn’t want to mess with trying to fresh bake rolls in the meantime. A few slices of whole grain bread or a baguette would be perfect, but I chose to use a fast and easy rise and bake version from Rhodes Rolls. These rolls are actually vegan, which I wouldn’t have realized if I hadn’t looked closely at the packaging. I loved that they were super easy to let rise overnight, then bake off the next day when I went to assemble my sliders. Bonus, they are available all over Wisconsin and are made in Wisconsin, love! I’ve come to appreciate all the awesome brands that are made right here, especially when they do/make good things.
I hope you are staying warm where you are! It’s going to get to a balmy 28 degrees today, but back down to single digits tomorrow. I’ll just be here, drinking alllll the hot cups of tea and wearing alllll the scarves.
Thanks to Rhodes Bake N Serv for sponsoring this post. I received product and was compensated for my time, but all opinions are my own.
Adapted from VeganosityPrint
Portobello mushrooms make for the perfect vegan bacon, especially when they are sliced thin and marinated in a combination of liquid smoke and maple syrup. Siracha mayo makes for a perfect condiment to these vegan sliders!
- For the bacon:
- 3 portobello mushrooms (rinsed and patted dry)
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup liquid smoke
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the siracha mayo:
- 1 cup cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours and drained)
- 2–3 tablespoons siracha sauce (depending on taste)
- 1/4–1/3 cup water
- For the sliders:
- 6–8 rolls or piece s of bread (whichever you prefer)
- Siracha mayo
- Mixed greens
- To make the bacon: Stir together the maple syrup and liquid smoke in a wide, flat bowl, set aside. Slice the portobello mushrooms very thinkly, about 1/4 inch thick and place in the bowl of marinade. Allow to sit for at least 15-20 minutes, moving around the slices as necessary so they all are submerged in the marinade. You may have to marinade them in batched, to make sure they all get a chance to soak up the liquid. Place a pan over medium heat and spray liberally with cooking spray or melt a teaspoon of coconut oil in the pan. When melted, cook the mushrooms slices for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are dark golden brown, but not burnt. Cook in batches and allow to drain on a paper towel after they have been cooked.
- To make the mayo: In a food processor or high powered blender, blend together the cashews, water and siracha, adding salt and pepper to taste and until mixture is smooth. Add more water is necessary.
- To assemble: Spread both sides of the rolls cut in half with the mayo and place the back and greens on them. Serve immediately.