Plant Pushing Bacon


Who doesn’t love shiitake bacon?! We’re into it! Sure, it’s easy to select from the abundant variety of prepared, plant-based meat products at the grocery store, but when you can make something similar at home with whole food ingredients using simple techniques that also allow you to flex your cooking muscles, it’s always a wicked smaht choice.

Here we’ve karate-chopped some portobellos into 1/4-inch slices, then marinated them a while in a salty, smoky marinade to infuse flavor into every nook and cranny. Then we crisped them up in a hot cast-iron pan to create this wicked easy plant pusher style bacon! You can also use shiitakes, eggplant or tempeh here … they all create a flavorful and crispy plant bacon that you can throw onto sandwiches, use as toppings on soup or in casseroles, or anything that loves a crispy smokiness added to it.


  • Choice of product being used: Couple handfuls of shiitakes stemmed, 4 portobellos sliced, one 8-ounce package tempeh or a medium-sized eggplant
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ C Tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke, mesquite preferred (optional for that smoky flavor)
  • 2 T real maple syrup
  • 1 T onion granules
  • 1 T Ninja Squirrel Sriracha, or other sriracha
  • pinch of sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 3 T
 canola or olive oil, for frying


  1. If choosing to use tempeh, steam the tempeh whole for 5 minutes to infuse more moisture. Let cool, then slice into ¼-inch strips.
  2. If choosing to use mushrooms, slice into ¼-inch slices. If choosing to use eggplant, Slice into ¼-inch slabs and halve.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients (except the oil) in small bowl and whisk thoroughly.
  4. Pour marinade over the product you are using and carefully toss well to coat all slices taking care not to break the product.
  5. Allow to marinate overnight, or gently place in seal-able bag.
  6. For a faster infusion, vacuum seal the bag and allow to sit for at least 2 hours to overnight.
  7. Using a cast iron pan on medium to high heat, add the oil and place an even layer of shiitake bacon and pan fry, turning each side until darkens and crisps.


  • For the smokiness: if you don’t have liquid smoke, add 1 tsp of smoked paprika.
  • For do-ahead shiitake bacon: assemble marinated product evenly onto an oil brushed,  parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Low and slow roast the ‘bacon’ in a 300 degree oven for about an hour or slightly more until the pieces begin to dry and crisp. Flip mid way through this process.

Imma gonna go make myself a sandwich now!

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