With its unique earthy flavor and enticing aroma, porcini mushroom is an excellent ingredient that can totally transform a dish – however, if you can’t get hold of this fabulous flavor-maker, you’ll need a porcini mushroom substitute or two ready to take its place!
Thankfully, there are quite a few options when it comes to finding a suitable substitute for porcini mushrooms. Here’s our pick of the bunch, as well as a few less effective, but more readily available alternatives that can step in to save the day at a moment’s notice.
The Best 14 Porcini Mushroom Substitutes
Are you looking for a Porcini Mushroom Substitute? In this comprehensive list you’ll learn 14 ideas for an alternative.
The Best Substitutes for Dried Porcini Mushrooms
An excellent alternative for dried porcini mushrooms, dried shiitake mushrooms have a delicious earthy flavor and fragrant aroma. They are crisp, brittle, and lightweight.
When cooked in stew, casserole or other hearty dish, they become tender with a meaty texture and an earthy, rich, smoky umami flavor.
Replace dried porcini mushroom with dried shiitake mushroom at a like-for-like ratio.
A very versatile ingredient that is an excellent way of bringing big flavor to all kinds of dishes, dried truffles bring a sophisticated, deep earthy flavor that is similar to porcini mushroom.
Dried truffles tend to be more expensive than dried porcini mushrooms, so only make a suitable alternative if you’re thinking of bringing a touch of luxury to your dish.
Swap at a like-for-like ratio. Dried truffles work best when cooked into a liquid, in order to rehydrate them.
If dried mushrooms aren’t an option, you instead opt for an earthy herb to replicate that flavor and aroma of a woodland mushroom. Dried thyme is your best bet – it has a wonderful fragrance that can add a depth of flavor to sauces, stews and casseroles.
Other herbs that are suitable include rosemary and sage, but use with care as you don’t want to overpower the dish. Dried herbs work best when standing in for powdered dried porcini. Substitute for dried porcini at a like-for-like ratio.
A natural mild earthy herbal flavor, dried zucchini can bring a fresh savory flavor, ideal as a substitute for dried porcini mushrooms.
You can use either shop bought dried zucchini (if you can find it) or your own dried zucchini. While it’s not as effective as other dried mushrooms when it comes to replacing porcini mushrooms, dried zucchini can be a decent, healthy alternative.
Replace one teaspoon of dried porcini mushrooms with one teaspoon of one dried zucchini.
If you can’t find any alternative mushrooms to replace porcini mushrooms, you can look towards ingredients that can replicate that rich umami flavor. In terms of getting those taste buds zinging with a rich flavor, soy sauce is an ideal ingredient.
Of course, you won’t get that meaty texture or the specific mushroom tastes of porcini and the like. However, as a readily available flavor-maker, soy sauce is a good alternative.
Swap dried porcini mushrooms for soy sauce at a 1:1 ratio.
Similar to soy sauce, shoyu is the Japanese version of the flavorful sauce and brings a big hit of umami flavor. It’s best used in stews, soups and sauces when you’re trying to bring an extra depth of flavor in the absense of dried porcini mushrooms.
Swap dried porcini mushrooms for shoyu sauce at a 1:1 ratio.
The Best Substitutes for Fresh Porcini Mushrooms
A super mushroom that makes an excellent alternative to porcini mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms should be top of your list of porcini substitutes. Just as porcini mushrooms add earthy umami flavor and a meaty texture, shiitake mushrooms do the same.
Perfect for frying or adding to casseroles, soups, sauces or any kind of recipe that calls for porcini, shiitake might have a slightly less strong mushroom taste than porcini, but they are less expensive, making them a great replacement if you’re looking to spend a little less.
Replace porcini mushrooms with shiitake mushrooms at a like-for-like ratio.
Probably the most widely available mushroom, button mushrooms have a mild flavor and can be either brown or white. They are a very versatile ingredient and can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from stews and mushroom sauces to omelettes and risottos.
While these common mushrooms might not have the deep earthy, concentrated umami flavor, they have a meaty texture that makes them a decent substitute for porcini.
Swap button mushroom for porcini at a like-for-like ratio. You can combine them with a more umami rich sauce to get closer to the taste of porcini mushrooms.
Portobello mushrooms are the same as button mushrooms – the only difference is maturity. Portobello mushrooms are aged longer than white button mushrooms, which gives them a stronger flavor and meatier texture – making them an even better substitute for porcini mushrooms.
Swap portobello mushroom for porcini mushroom at an equal ratio.
These mushrooms are essentially the same as button mushrooms and portobello mushrooms, but are in between the two in terms of taste and texture. A cremini mushroom is matured longer than a button mushroom, but is less mature than a portobello.
If you can’t find portobello mushrooms, cremini mushrooms would make an ideal replacement for porcini mushrooms. Again, a like-for-like ratio is best.
Sometimes called oyster fungus, hiratake, or pearl oyster mushrooms, oyster mushrooms have a delicate texture and mild, savory flavor. They bring an almost nutty taste, with an earthy aroma and umami flavor.
While oyster mushrooms aren’t quite as robust as porcini mushrooms, meaning they don’t hold their shape and texture, they do well to replicate the earthy taste and meaty flavor of porcini – especially when it comes to mushroom sauce, casseroles or stews.
Swap oyster mushroom for porcini mushroom at an equal ratio.
These wonderful mushrooms have a very unique flavor, unlike almost any other type of mushroom. Chanterelles have an almost fruity flavor – with apricot undertones that make them a very interesting ingredient when used in the right recipe.
While the taste and texture is quite different, chanterelles can make a good alternative. The key is to use them wisely – the unique flavor profile makes them better suited to some dishes than others.
Simple soups, casseroles, risottos and pasta dishes are ideal. Chanterelle mushrooms also pair perfectly with meat.
Some Other Porcini Mushroom Substitutes
These are some porcini mushroom substitutes that aren’t as good a match as the options above, but can be an effective alternative if nothing else is available.
Okay, so tomatoes taste nothing like mushrooms. However, tomato paste brings a big, powerful, concentrated burst of flavor that can, with the right recipe, work as a substitute for dried porcini mushrooms.
Tomato paste brings a more acidic tomato flavor, which means it works in hearty dishes that call for extra flavor – think soups, stews and casseroles. Combine with other ingredients such as thyme, soy sauce or Worcestershire Sauce to try and get closer to the earthier flavor of porcini mushrooms.
Another tomato-based entry on the list of porcini mushroom substitutes, sun-dried tomatoes are intensely flavored tomatoes that are steeped in olive oil. In terms of replicating taste and texture, they aren’t a great substitute. However, they do bring a deep umami flavor, which makes them a decent stand in if other ingredients aren’t available.
What Does Porcini Mushroom Taste Like?
Porcini mushrooms have a meaty, intense flavor that brings a real depth to all kinds of dishes. A rich, almost ‘woody’ taste, with a wonderful aroma that’s quite specific to hearty, woodland mushrooms, the flavor of porcini mushrooms goes a long way.
The taste of porcini mushroom stands up really well to herbs, butter, green vegetables and particularly meat – most notably with a delicious steak.
Porcini vs. Shiitake – Which Is Better?
These mushrooms are quite similar – which is why shiitake are probably the best all-round substitute for porcini mushrooms.
It can be said that porcini has a more pronounced typical mushroom flavor, whereas shiitake is the more ‘meatier’ mushroom.
Porcini mushrooms are typically more expensive than shiitake – whereas shiitake cost between $12 to $24 per pound, porcini mushrooms are usually $30 to $50 per pound.
Where Can you Get Dried Porcini Mushrooms?
You can get them in most good supermarkets, grocery stores and health food stores.
What’s the Difference Between Dried and Fresh Porcini Mushrooms?
Dried porcini mushrooms have a far more intense, concentrated flavor than fresh porcini mushrooms. The dried kind are usually dehydrated and finely chopped, used mainly as a flavor enhancer in soups, stews, casseroles and sauces.
Can I Substitute Fresh Mushrooms For Dried?
Yes you can. Use about three ounces of dried mushrooms for every pound of fresh mushrooms.
What recipes are good for porcini mushrooms?
These fantastic mushrooms are delicious when used in or on the side of a wide variety of recipes, including: