If you’re looking to increase your plant-based meals, these mushroom tacos are a great lunch or dinner option. They’re hearty, filling, and the use of king oyster (also called king trumpet) mushrooms means they’re quite meaty too. This variety of mushroom is perfect for replicating a pulled pork/brisket dish. Why? They shred easily, take on a lot of flavour, and keep their texture well.
When making foods from a culture that isn’t my own, I enjoy doing some research on its history. Tacos were no different, and I was interested to read there is no real definitive answer on when they were created. There is however, a solid theory that this dish dates back to the silver mines in Mexico in the 18th Century though. It’s a fascinating story and I encourage you to read about it too.
For far too long, the only kind of tacos we knew here in Australia were those served in a crispy shell. Thankfully the days of TexMex being passed off as authentic Mexican food are behind us. I certainly hope so anyway! We now have some extraordinary places serving up delicious, traditional Mexican meals. And it’s at such places that I first came to try tacos in a soft tortilla. Definitely no turning back. Two of my favourites in Sydney are Itacate in Redfern and Tamaleria in Marrickville. Both created by Rosa Cienfuego. If you haven’t been to try them out, they’re a must.
Ingredients to make mushroom tacos
King oyster mushrooms are available year round, and I’ve found them in most supermarkets. If however you can’t find them, enoki mushrooms are a great substitute.
The spice mix in this recipe gives the mushrooms a sweet, smoky flavour. It makes them perfect for mushroom tacos, but they’d actually work well in lots of things. You could make mushroom sliders, have them on toast, or add them to a nourishing bowl of roast veg and rice.
- King oyster mushrooms – These are relatively mild tasting mushrooms to me. They still have an earthiness about them, but are not as pungent as others such as Swiss brown or button mushrooms.
- Olive oil – Enhances all the other flavours here but also adds its own herbaceous goodness. This is an ingredient I splurge on in the kitchen. I use a lot of it, and a good olive oil can make a huge difference to the final taste of your meal.
- Smoked paprika – The base smoky flavour in this recipe.
- Cumin (ground) – Helps to add sweetness, warmth, and a touch of smokiness. A great match for the smoked paprika.
- Chipotle (ground) – This is still not a common ingredient in Australia and not widely available in supermarkets. If it’s not at your local, you can order it online or omit it if you don’t have the time or interest in hunting down ingredients. If you still want some spice, replace it with a little cayenne pepper.
- Tomato passata – The base for the sauce that gets lovely and thick one reduced. It also helps to take the flavour of the mushrooms up a notch once it’s added to them.
- Dijon mustard – Helps to balance out the flavour of the passata so the end result is not overly acidic.
- Maple syrup – Like the dijon, this also balances acidity but adds a touch of caramel flavour. This really works with the smoky flavours of the spices once the sauce is added to the mushrooms.
- Apple cider vinegar – Adds a little sweetness and tanginess to lift the sauce.
- Salt and pepper to taste – You do you here. I rarely give measurements because our tastes all differ.
As to toppings, you can really choose anything you like. My favourites are pico de gallo, avocado, grilled corn, a little shredded manchego cheese, and a sprig of coriander (cilantro).
How to make mushroom tacos
This recipe does require a few steps but they’re relatively easy and not time consuming. I’ve just given the instructions for the mushroom filling here. I often make my own tortilla, but have used store bought for this recipe. That makes it even faster! My preferred brand is La Tortilleria (not sponsored).
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF), and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Prepare the mushrooms by cutting the caps (tops) and the very bottom off, which is a little woody (toss this bit out). Thinly slice the tops, then shred the stems with a fork. See video below if needed.
- Combine the olive oil, smoked paprika, cumin, chipotle if using, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well. Add to mushrooms and toss gently to coat.
- Transfer mushroom mix to the baking tray and cook for 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened and shrunk.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce while the mushrooms cook. Add the passata, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper to a small saucepan. Stir to combine, bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes to thicken.
- Remove mushrooms from oven, add to a bowl and spoon over half the sauce. Toss to combine. Add more sauce to your liking if needed.
- Assemble tacos with your toppings of choice and enjoy!
No, but it does have a meaty texture to it. Unlike other vegetables that can go quite soft when cooked, these hold some firmness, which is not unlike the texture of pulled meat.
Unlike most other mushrooms where you discard the stem – it’s the stem you actually want with a king oyster mushroom. You do want to cut off the very end of the stem before cooking because that part is quite woody. The rest of it though – definitely to be enjoyed.
Yes! The best substitution is enoki mushrooms, but if you want to get creative try it out with any kind you like. Enoki can just be pulled apart into clumps. All other varieties, should be thinly sliced.
Mushroom tacos (king oyster)
- 400 g king oyster (also called king trumpet) mushrooms (can substitute with enoki in need)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin, ground
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp chipotle, ground (optional, remove if you don't like spice)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper (or to your taste)
- 4 tortilla (I used corn tortilla from La Tortilleria)
- Your toppings of choice for the tacos. I used pico de gallo, grilled corn, avocado, shredded manchego, and coriander (cilantro)
Ingredients for the sauce if using
- 200 ml tomato passata
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF), and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Prepare the mushrooms by cutting the caps (tops) and the very bottom off, which is a little woody (toss this bit out). Thinly slice the tops, then shred the rest with a fork. Start by making deep grooves into the mushroom on all sides, then start to shred it with your hands (see the video above for exactly how it's done).
- Combine the olive oil, smoked paprika, cumin, chipotle, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix to combine, then add to the shredded mushrooms and toss gently to coat well.
- Transfer mushroom mix to the prepared baking tray and cook for 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened and shrunk.
- Make the sauce while the mushrooms cook. Add the tomato passata, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper to a small saucepan. Stir to combine, bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. The sauce should have reduced and be quite thick by this time.
- Remove mushrooms from oven, add to a bowl and spoon over half the sauce. Toss to combine. Add more sauce to your liking if needed and toss through again.
- Heat your tacos as per packet instructions then assemble. Start by adding the mushrooms then anything else you'd like on top. Enjoy!