Portobello Mushroom “Jerky”

Portobello Mushroom jerky raw

If there’s one thing you learn right away when you go vegan (or vegetarian), it’s that Portobello mushrooms make for a good “meaty” substitute. If you don’t happen to figure this out on your own, any number of restaurants nationwide will show you: grilled Portobello “steak” is often offered as a substitute for chicken, fish, or meat on salads and in other entrée dishes. Though I do know a number of veg*ns who don’t care for Portobellos—they find the texture off-putting—most plant-based eaters I know are delighted to use this mighty mushroom as a satisfying centerpiece in any number of special meals.

Recently, I was reminded of how much I like to use Portobello caps when I whipped up an old favorite for dinner: my raw, vegan “steak and potatoes”:



Recipe is here. This is raw comfort food at its finest—let remind you all that Chloe’s husband, who is a lover of traditional meat and potatoes, goes a little crazy for my raw mashed potatoes!

Today, I’m taking a slightly different spin on raw Portobello. Instead of eating it whole, like the proverbial “meat” of a dish, I decided this week to slice it up, marinate it, and create a high raw vegan’s version of “jerky.” Part of the inspiration, naturally, was my eggplant bacon:


And in fact, this recipe uses the very same marinade. The results, though, are slightly different: the “jerky” has more chew, and I actually found it more accessible tasting than the eggplant bacon.

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It’s salty, smoky, and absolutely delicious. It’s also an ideal way for students and other busy folk to get veggies in on-the-go. Which means it’ll be a true staple this semester!

Raw, Vegan Portobello Mushroom “Jerky” (raw, vegan, gluten free)

Makes about 2 snack sized portions

2 Portobello mushroom caps, sliced into strips about 3/4 inch thick

For the marinade:

3 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
3-5 drops liquid smoke OR 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (omit to make 100% raw)
Black pepper to taste

1) Soak the mushrooms in the marinade for about 4 hours or more (overnight is good).

2) Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 4-6 hours, or until mushrooms are dried out but still chewy (not crunchy). Dehyrating time will vary according to how much liquid the mushrooms absorbed, so check them and adjust time accordingly.

A very typical snack for me when I come home in the afternoon after class is a small plate of greens and veggies, some raw crackers, and 1/4 cup homemade hummus. Below you’ll see a snack plate featuring the “jerky”:

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The whole point of this recipe is ease. So if you don’t have time to throw together a little plate like that, just pack up the jerky along with some fruit or crackers or almonds, and munch on-the-go!

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Hope this inspires you all to add more veggie power into your snacking routine!

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Mushrooms are powerful sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Note that their nutrition power is best harnessed through eating a mix of raw and cooked ‘shrooms. This fills the raw quota very nicely Smile

Happy MLK day, everyone: I hope you’re commemorating in a special way.


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Categories: Uncategorized
Dietary Preferences: Raw

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  1. Do you cut these before or after they dehydrate? Do you dehydrate them as a whole cap?


  2. Looks sooooo incredibly delish! Does dehydrating the mushroom at 115F destroy the hydrazines or do you not worry about that? Excited to try this one out:)

  3. I LOVE this. Seriously love. We have a dehydrator and I am always looking for new recipes. I admit, I am a meat eater, but we are more importantly, clean eaters who avoid processed foods (and dairy) and try to eat more meat-less than not. Love the recipe and love your site.

  4. I’m so excited for the steak and potatoes, and the jerky. The boyfriend loves traditional jerky (ew, never liked it even pre-vegan), but perhaps he;d be willing to give this a try.

  5. Portobello mushrooms are my summer bbq standby! There’s nothing better than a marinated mushroom burger. Can’t wait to try your jerky to add to my bag of mushroom tricks!

  6. Gena – This looks delicous and inventive! Is there anyway to make the jerky without the use of a dehydrator?

  7. Sounds yummy, I love raw marinated and dehydrated mushrooms in general. I’ve only recently started to buy portobellos, as when I still lived in Finland they were quite rare and very expensive.

    Judy: It’s easy to make delicious raw soups without any “real” recipe by blending greens, water and nuts and/or seeds and/or avocado. Celery, miso, leon, onion, garlic and fresh herbs (especially basil and thyme, but why not parsley, mint or cilantro) can be added for flavour. Zucchini is also a nice addition.

  8. Portobellos are one of the foods I really miss on the ACD. Can’t wait to get back to them–and this is the first recipe I’m going to!

  9. potassium, selenium and even some protein portobello’s pack a nutritional punch and one my run yesterday, I thought, I wonder if I’ve got any free radicals floating around in my system (I’m a nerd and that’s the only explanation for a weird wonder like this!) and portobello’s are known to fight against the free radicals! super food portobellos! thanks gena! – jasper

  10. This looks great. I will have to make it soon. I made your zucchini muffins Sunday morning, and they were sooo good. I would love to see more muffin recipes, especially ones with hidden vegetables in them. 🙂 I will be making more this weekend!

  11. I made Ani Phyo’s eggplant bacon/jerky and loved it so I bet I would love this, too! It looks fantastic and is such a good idea!

    I will have to pass this along to my vegan mom and reluctant dad. It was an awesome marinated portobello mushroom burger that first got my dad to question his meat eating ways! I bet he would love this!

  12. Oh hell yeah! I’ve always loved mushrooms more than eggplant anyway.

    And hmm, it’s not MLK Day here in Australia, clearly, but I’m currently watching The West Wing. Does that count as commemorating a dream of a better America? 😉

  13. This is such a great idea! Having been vegetarian since I was 3 I’ve never even tasted real jerky, but love the sound of this version. That snack plate looks awesome… i love an arvo snack of a veggie plate and dip too!

  14. My dad has recently been put on a high-veggie, low-animal i.e. healthy diet by the docs (now maybe he understands my veganism a little better?) and jerky has always been like a drug for him so I’ll have to pass this recipe along! Thanks!

  15. That mushroom jerky sounds delicious! I’ll definitely have to try it.

    Gena, do you have some ideas for raw soups? I would especially like some that use greens. Being a diabetic, I don’t tolerate fruit based green smoothies well, and green salads are a bit rough on my weakened digestive system. I would like to eat more greens, though, because they are so good for you, and I’m trying to find ways to sneak more greens into my diet.

  16. This is an incredible idea, Gena! I have never thought to make my own jerky (why?!)…and it is so hard to come across a good vegan one that’s also GF, save a few varieties. One of my favorite pasta sauces uses raw marinated mushrooms, and I know this method will translate brilliantly into jerky. I am all over this!

  17. Ok this looks awesome. I’ve seen eggplant bacon lots but never have seen ‘shroom jerky. This is perfect! And that you didnt use garlic, onions, or added salt. I love you even more because of that! I need to make this but first, must go pick up some shrooms.

  18. I really want to try this. Is there any other way to make it without a dehydrater? I don’t have one.

    • Yes I have usedmy oven on the very lowest setting be sure to clean your racks well and put some foil on the bottom rack y to catch the droppings my dehydrator heats to 160 r that is about the Lowest setting on the oven…just stay around and check it every hour or so.good luck

  19. I personally love a good portobello as an entree with some other veggies, but I know someone who was transitioning to vegetarianism who found the idea insulting as a meal and decided he’d rather eat steak. A mushroom is delicious, but as good veggie restaurants know, we need more to make a meal.

    Love the idea of jerky! I love a good marinated mushroom in the dehydrator for a few hours, but never let it go all the way. I’ll have to add this to my dehydrating repertoire.

  20. LOVE this. I think that the bitterness in the eggplant is a little challenging to get around, so the use of mushrooms is much better for a more delicate pallet. Awesome idea girl. I seriously think you need to make a recipe book. <3

  21. I made something similar years back & really liked it. Thanks for the reminder!! Don’t know why I have waited so long to do it again. The mushrooms look good too-have found that I am not crazy about all raw mushroom dishes but portabellas generally seem to work!