Top 7 Porcini Mushroom Substitutes

Best Porcini Mushroom Substitutes

Porcini mushrooms, with their nutty flavor and meaty texture, work well in risottos, sauces, dips, or even as a side dish.

However, porcini mushrooms are difficult to source and are found for a limited period, making them a rarity in most grocery stores. Plus, they are also expensive!

Therefore, we decided to list out the top porcini mushroom substitutes to cook your tasty dishes without worrying about availing yourself of porcini all the time. Read on to find out some of the best, closest, and cheapest alternatives to porcini that are readily available and convenient.

 

Porcini Mushrooms – Overview

 

Porcini Mushrooms are seasonal and found only during winters. They are thick with brown caps and have white stalks. Porcini mushrooms are used in exquisite cuisines and have a refined, rich, and meaty taste. Porcini mushrooms are also tough to cultivate; hence they are available for a concise span. These factors make them very expensive.

However, not to forget, they taste exquisite and can be a perfect meat replacement for vegetarian eaters. It has a very nutty and earthy taste, just like other mushrooms. However, the taste notes are much more profound, which adds to the refined flavor of your recipes.

These mushrooms are rich in nutrition and contain a high amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It is also rich in antioxidants, making it an excellent addition to your recipes. The nutty, creamy flavor comes after cooking these mushrooms, and the texture becomes very tender.

Porcini mushrooms are best used in soups, risottos, and also to make thick, creamy sauces, etc.

Benefits of Porcini Mushrooms 

Apart from its refined nutty and earthy taste, Porcini mushrooms are known to have several health benefits.

1. Facilitates Weight Loss 

Since Porcini mushrooms are low in calories but high in protein and fiber, they can be incorporated into diet dishes.

2. Prevents Damage to Cell 

The antioxidants present in the Porcini mushrooms neutralize the free radicals and prevent any damage to the cells. This helps reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases.

3. Promotes better Digestive Health 

The high fiber content in Porcini mushrooms helps prevent constipation and facilitates better and regular bowel movements.

7 Best Porcini Mushroom Substitutes

 

1. Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms are the best and the closest substitutes to Porcini mushrooms. This is because they look the same in terms of texture, taste almost similar, and have a very earthy, umami flavor.

This goes well with non-vegetarian and meaty preparations, especially stews, gravies, marinades, sauces, etc. You can also use them as a sider with risottos.

Use dried shiitake mushrooms instead of the minor ones for a minimal difference. The only difference would be that Shiitake mushrooms offer a slightly thicker texture in sauces and gravies. They are also sweet as compared to Porcini mushrooms.

For vegetarian eaters, shiitake mushrooms offer a meaty flavor, so they can be used as a good substitute. The nutritional content of both porcini and shiitake mushrooms is also the same.

 

2. Portobello Mushroom

Portobello Mushroom

The second closest substitute for shiitake mushrooms is the portobello mushroom. It is thicker and larger as compared to porcini mushrooms. They usually grow up to have a large head and are categorized as a mature form of a button mushroom.

Portobello mushrooms have a rich, creamy taste and texture. They even offer a tinge of musky flavor, making it a great addition to meaty preparations. Secondly, you can even use portobello mushrooms in place of meat in burgers.

Portobello mushrooms soak up water very easily. Therefore, for saucy and gravy-like dishes, portobello is an excellent substitute for porcini. You can use it in similar quantities as porcini mushrooms, with slight to no difference in taste and texture.

 

3. Truffle Oil

Truffle Oil

Truffle oil is prepared by mixing oil with fresh or dried truffles. However, it is not easy to find these truffles, so creators have to use animals like pigs or dogs to hunt for them specially.

Therefore, these are an expensive substitute for porcini mushrooms and are usually not found in households. You commonly find them in high-end restaurants as a topping for stews, soups, salads, etc.

These are oil-soaked mushrooms, meaning they are rich in fat, have a very bland taste, and offer an unforgettable fragrance. Therefore, they have a slightly close resemblance to porcini mushrooms in terms of texture and the initial bland taste.

Truffle oil is abundant in nutrients like sodium, potassium, fats, etc. But for weight watchers, you may want to be careful before consuming truffle oil regularly.

 

4. Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is one of the most readily available substitutes anywhere. Although it may add a slightly tangy taste, it is excellent for gravies, stews, marinades, etc. So if you have run out of porcini mushrooms, the easiest alternative is tomato paste.

Tomato paste is thicker depending on the brand you purchase and adds an excellent umami flavor to your dishes. You can use it in soups, broths and also for sauteing. You may find a significant difference in the taste and texture. However, if you are looking to surprise your taste buds, then tomato paste is a good substitute.

 

5. Dried Thyme

Dried Thyme

Dried thyme is an excellent replacement for dried porcini mushroom. So if you intend to use porcini mushroom in a powdered form, you can opt for thyme instead.

However, thyme is a shrub, unlike porcini mushroom, but it has a startling resemblance to dried porcini mushrooms in terms of nutritional value. It has 80% of the same nutrients as dried porcini mushrooms.

Additionally, it offers an earthly and slightly pungent flavor compared to porcini mushrooms, which have a robust earthy flavor. You can also use them along with porcini mushroom preparations.

To use as a substitute, just half a teaspoon of dried thyme should work wonders. You can add more or less based on your taste preferences.

 

6. Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce

For an excellent umami taste, soy sauce is your go-to substitute. First off, it is readily available and cheaper than porcini mushrooms. Second, it’s relatively easy to use in recipes like stews, risottos, sauces, and soup condiments.

Although, you need to be careful of the quantities and use only a few spoonfuls. Else, your dish might lose its attractive color and taste too sour and salty.

 

7. Zucchini

Zucchini

Not an exact substitute for porcini mushrooms, but zucchini is considered a very juicy and watery green vegetable. You can use it in salads such as toppings or siders instead of porcini mushrooms.

It will surely not deliver the same taste as it is much sweeter than porcini. It is deficient in calories, unlike porcini mushrooms. You can combine it with olive oil or fresh cannabis to complement and enhance the flavor of the main dish.

If you are looking for an exact alternative to porcini, zucchini is not as close but adds a different taste and flavor that compliments porcini dishes. It is rich in nutrition like sodium, potassium, etc. Therefore, it makes for an excellent substitute for the calorie-conscious.

 

FAQs

1. Are dried porcini mushrooms the same as fresh porcini mushrooms?

No! Dried porcini mushrooms have a thicker and powdery texture than the fresher ones. Dried porcini mushrooms offer a better umami flavor and richer taste. They need to be rehydrated in hot water before you can use them for recipes.

On the other hand, fresh porcini mushrooms can be directly used for cooking. Use it for the same dishes as you would with dried porcini, and it offers the same earthy taste and flavor.

 

2. Where can I find dried porcini mushrooms in the grocery store?

You can generally find dried porcini mushrooms in the dehydrated foods section. You may also find it near the pasta or spaghetti aisle. You may also find it in the Asian section and some supermarkets.

They are not usually kept with fresh porcini mushrooms as they last longer than the fresh variants.

 

3. Can I substitute fresh mushrooms for dried porcini mushrooms?

Yes! You can use fresh porcini mushrooms in all the dishes as you would use the dried variant. You will notice a slight change in flavor, the dried ones being richer in flavor and adding a more extraordinary umami taste. Dried variants will also have a thicker texture and concentrated taste than fresh porcini mushrooms.

 

Conclusion

Porcini mushrooms are one of the best meat alternatives. They are thick, add a creamy texture to your dishes, and are dense in nutrition. However, you are likely to run out of them in stores around you for the reasons mentioned above.

Therefore, we listed the best porcini mushroom substitutes for you. The best one, according to us, is shiitake mushrooms. However, if you want a slight change in taste, then truffle oil, dried thyme, etc., are also suitable alternatives.

Please read our article above and tell us which one you would use as a suitable porcini substitute through the comments section below.

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