Maitake Mushroom Steak

Hen of the Woods, also known as Maitake, is an incredible and complex mushroom, with many small lips, and has a tendency to crumble.  Pressing the mushrooms condenses the flavors, and squeezes out the natural liquid, allowing it to soak up a delicious marinade while firming the texture into a bite-perfect steak.  Joining the already meaty flavor and texture of this mushroom, the steak will brown and bring on the smokey flavors of the marinade leaving an aroma in the air and a bold flavor on the palette. This recipe is a sneak preview inspired by the recipe in my upcoming book: Plant Based Gourmet

2 maitake mushrooms, sliced in half through the stem (4 steaks)


For the Marinade:

1 Tbs smoked paprika

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cumin powder

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tbs sesame oil

¼ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

1 tsp apple cider cider vinegar

½ cup vegetable broth


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the two marinades together, and whisk vigorously to combine.
  3. Take the two mushrooms, split into flat broad pieces, and press them in between two salt blocks or between two baking sheet weighted down for 45 minutes.
  4. Place the pressed mushrooms in a clean bowl, and pour in the marinade, helping to get the mixture in all the nooks and crannies of the mushroom. Delicately flip the mushroom in the sauce a few times, and let marinate for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the mushrooms, and reserve the liquid.  Place the salt blocks or the baking sheets in the oven, with pressure maintained on the mushrooms. Cook for 10 minutes, and flip for another 8-10.  A stronger and browner mushroom, that is dry at the edges but still moist in the center is the goal.
  6. Heat a cast iron skillet, and pour some of the remaining marinade mixture in to heat.
  7. Finish the mushroom steaks in the pan, searing and browning until a good maillard reaction is covering the mushroom. 
  8. Serve with Jus, and pair with the two incredible accompaniments in the picture below: the Iberico Mousse (vegan, of course!) and fava bean tapas, and the Paris at Sunset cocktail– ALL can be found in the upcoming book Plant Based Gourmet.


Photo by Tina Picz-Devoe for Plant Based Gourmet.

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