Chestnut mushrooms, also known as Cinnamon Cap mushrooms, are a type of edible mushroom that is commonly cultivated and easily available in grocery stores. Chestnut mushrooms have a distinctive brown color and are known for their nutty and earthy flavor. They are a good source of protein, fiber, and several essential vitamins and minerals.
Chestnut mushrooms have a meaty texture, which makes them a popular ingredient in a variety of dishes. Some people describe the flavor as similar to that of a chestnut, hence the name. They are known for their rich and savory taste, which can complement a variety of flavors and seasonings.
Chestnut mushrooms can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and pasta dishes. They can also be grilled or sautéed as a side dish. They are versatile ingredients that can be used in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. What’s great about this variety of mushrooms is that it does not have any distinctive odor and can be enjoyed on its own as a side dish.
However, chestnut mushrooms may not always be available. In that case, you can use other varieties of mushrooms to enhance the flavor of your dish. There are several mushrooms that can be used as substitutes for chestnut mushrooms in cooking. Below are six chestnut mushroom substitutes:
1. Cremini Mushrooms
Cremini mushrooms, also known as Baby Bellas, have a similar flavor and texture to chestnut mushrooms. The shape is also quite similar to chestnut mushrooms - kind of like an umbrella. Like chestnut mushrooms, cremini mushrooms also produce an earthy flavor.
If you want cremini mushrooms to remain fresh even after taking them out of the refrigerator, keep them in a paper bag so that the excess moisture is absorbed. If you can’t seem to find any paper bags, you can place the mushrooms in a plastic bag but make sure to insert paper towels inside.
2. Portobello Mushrooms
These mushrooms have a meaty texture and a slightly stronger flavor than chestnut mushrooms. They, too, produce an earthy flavor. Portobello mushrooms produce an intense umami flavor as well. They can be used in a variety of dishes such as stews, soups, and even sandwiches.
You can keep the leftover portobello mushrooms in your fridge for up to 10 days. You can keep them in a paper bag or in an open plastic bag to keep them fresh for longer.
3. Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are known as Japan’s most popular mushrooms. These mushrooms have a strong, earthy flavor and a meaty texture. They are often used in Asian cuisine, but can also be used as a substitute for chestnut mushrooms in a variety of dishes. Although chestnut mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms taste quite similar, you are likely to get a subtle smoky flavor from shiitake mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms should be kept in an airtight container or a paper bag in the refrigerator. If you do keep these mushrooms in the refrigerator, make sure to consume them within 7 days.
4. Oyster Mushrooms
As the name suggests, these mushrooms are shaped like an oyster. The caps are broad and thin. These mushrooms have a delicate, slightly briny flavor and a tender texture. They can be used in dishes like soups, stews, and stir-fries. You can fry, roast, or even grill these oyster mushrooms to add a crispy texture to your savory dish.
It’s best to consume cooked oyster mushrooms quickly as they may become wilted and the moisture may drain out if they are left in the fridge for more than 72 hours. If you do keep them in the refrigerator, make sure to keep them in a loosely closed paper bag. Uncooked oyster mushrooms can be kept frozen for up to 3 months.
5. Chanterelle Mushrooms
Chanterelle mushrooms look very similar to oyster mushrooms but are usually orange or yellow in color. Chanterelle mushrooms grow in forests, meaning they are wild mushrooms that are completely safe for consumption. Some people claim that these mushrooms smell a bit fruity - kind of like an apricot. The flavors these mushrooms produce are rather peppery.
Proper storage will keep your chanterelle mushrooms fresh in the refrigerator for longer than a week. Like other mushrooms, you can place the chanterelle mushrooms in a paper bag. You can also place them in a bowl with the top loosely covered with a paper towel.
6. Enoki Mushrooms
Enoki mushrooms are known for their delicate and crunchy texture. They are long, thin mushrooms that are white in color. What’s great about these enoki mushrooms is that they can be eaten either raw or cooked. Enoki mushrooms are often used in soups and salads but can be sautéed or grilled as a side dish. If you are sauteeing enoki mushrooms, keep in mind not to cook them longer than 2-5 minutes. Otherwise, they may turn extremely chewy!
One rule to follow while cooking enoki mushrooms is to cut off one-third of the stem before exposing them to heat. You should also keep in mind that enoki mushrooms do not need to be washed before cooking. A good thing about these mushrooms is that they last the longest in the refrigerator - a total of two weeks if you keep them in shrink-wrap packaging.
It is true that mushrooms can complement any dish - be it pasta, pizza, salad, or even soup. The six chestnut mushroom substitutes mentioned above may not look exactly like chestnut mushrooms but the flavors of your dish are unlikely to change drastically if you use them.
Trust us when we say this: your guests won’t be able to tell that you haven’t used chestnut mushrooms in your cream of mushroom soup!