For health reasons, environmental concerns, and culinary potential, many people are seeking out mushroom jerky as a plant-based alternative to beef jerky.
Mushroom jerky is popping up on store shelves, gourmet markets, and online marketplaces all over the place. You have many options to purchase mushroom jerky online or even make it at home.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about mushroom jerky.
What is mushroom jerky?
Mushroom jerky is a plant-based snack that shares many of the characteristics of beef jerky such as flavor, texture, portability, and convenience. The primary difference is the main ingredient.
Mushroom jerky can be made with different types of mushrooms, where beef jerky is made with the beef. Because of that, mushroom jerky is a great vegan and vegetarian alternative to beef jerky.
Depending on the ingredients, mushroom jerky can be organic, gluten free, sugar free, kosher, and all natural.
Mushroom jerky ranges from sweet, to mild, and spicy. It all depends on how the mushroom jerky is made, similar to beef jerky.
Beef jerky and mushroom jerky use a lot of the same ingredients such as garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, soy sauce, maple syrup, worcestershire sauce, sesame oil, avocado oil, rice vinegar, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, and chile peppers.
How is mushroom jerky made?
Mushroom jerky and beef jerky are made in a very similar way.
The mushrooms are harvested, sliced or shredded, marinated, cooked and dehydrated, then packaged.
One step that is different for mushroom jerky as compared to beef jerky is the boiling step. Some mushroom jerky makers will boil the mushrooms to make them more receptive to the marinade.
Mushrooms are like sponges. They absorb the flavors of a marinade really well, making them a solid comp to beef and beef jerky.
What is mushroom jerky made with?
A variety of mushroom types can be used to make mushroom jerky. The most common mushrooms are Portobello, Shiitake, Oyster, and King Oyster.
Mushrooms are one of the most sustainable foods on the planet. They require minimal water and power to grow. They can be grown indoors year-round from compostable material and the soil can be used again and again.
What does mushroom jerky taste like?
Mushroom jerky has the earthy, umami undertones of mushrooms.
Umami is the fifth taste discovered by Japanese food scientists. It is the salty, savory, and earthy flavor endemic to Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, and soy sauce.
Mushrooms have a natural umami flavor that make them a fantastic snack and something that closely resembles beef and beef jerky.
Mushroom jerky has a fleshy, fibrous, and chewy texture that vaguely resembles beef jerky. It has a slightly chewy texture, closer to rubber (in a pleasant way) than beef which tears a little more.
Put simply, mushroom jerky is close to beef jerky, but not quite the same.
Mushroom Jerky Nutrition Facts
Here are the nutrition facts for a popular, store-bought mushroom jerky.
Per 1 Serving (30 grams)
- Calories: 110
- Total Fat: 7g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Sodium: 190mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 15g
- Dietary Fiber: 6g
- Sugar: 5g
- Protein: 1g
Is mushroom jerky good for you?
Mushrooms offer unique health and nutrition benefits.
Some registered dietitians consider them “nutritional powerhouses.” They are a great source of B vitamins, niacin, and pantothenic acid. They are also high in antioxidants such as selenium and glutathione. They are also a good source of fiber. Mushrooms are one of the few naturally occurring vegan sources of Vitamin D.
One main difference in the nutritional composition of mushroom jerky versus beef jerky is protein. Beef jerky is an excellent source of complete protein, where mushroom jerky offers little to no protein per serving.
Another thing to keep an eye: most of the mushroom jerky brands on the market pack the mushroom jerky with sugar and oils. Double check the nutrition label on each package to confirm it fits your dietary needs and goals.
Here is a great resource for Mushroom Health Benefits.
How to make mushroom jerky?
Mushroom jerky is a fun and easy snack to make at home. We’ve used our expertise handcrafting beef jerky to come up with our very own recipe for homemade mushroom jerky.
Here’s a great option for a Mushroom Jerky Recipe.
Where to buy mushroom jerky?
If you’re wondering, where can I buy mushroom jerky, we have the list for you.
We recently compiled a Best Mushroom Jerky list that reviews the top store bought mushroom brands on the market.
Mushroom jerky is a great alternative to beef jerky. It offers many of the same flavor and texture benefits as beef jerky. If you’re a true beef jerky lover, we recommend giving mushroom jerky a try.
Looking for a great beef jerky option?
We bring the old school to the new school. Our jerky is handcrafted in a family tradition that spans four generations and 90+ years in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. A tradition built on quality ingredients and a handmade process that delivers a better-quality, better-tasting, better-for-you jerky. This is not gas station junk food. This is not a trendy snack concocted for product benefits instead of flavor. This is real food, made by real people. Small batch, artisan-quality beef jerky delivered direct to your door.