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Mushroom street tacos

Mushrooms take on plant-forward creativity

Earthy and humble yet meaty and bold, mushrooms provide the power to plant-based dishes as chefs dig into their complex flavors.

Mushroom street tacos
McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Tacos have proven to be a great vehicle for plant-forward fillings. And with mushrooms’ ability to mimic meaty flavors and textures, it’s truly a match made in taco heaven. These mushroom street tacos, full of Mexican-spiced ’shrooms, crunchy corn and chilies and a cool drizzle of crema, starred at a recent Forward Food event put on by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) at McMaster University earlier this year.

Mushroom chili
University of Washington, Seattle
This vegetarian chili (above), created by the University of Washington Dining’s Chef de Cuisine at Center Table Benton Litteneker, starts with roasted sliced mushrooms, poblano peppers, red bell peppers, onions, garlic and jalapenos. The veggies have been equipped with a spicy blend of New Mexico chili powder, salt, cumin and coriander. “The hard roast on these vegetables and spices helps give it a meaty flavor,” Litteneker says.

Mushroom “carnitas”
Palomar Health, San Diego
In another Mexican street food-inspired use of ‘shrooms, Chef Alicia Bell of Palomar Health has turned mushrooms into…pulled pork? It’s true! She won the People’s Choice award in San Diego Magazine’s Top Doc Competition with these succulent “carnitas.” Just looking at the beautiful shredded texture tells you that these King Oyster mushrooms are up to the task. Along with citrus zest, garlic and spices plus miso paste (secret ingredient alert), shredded mushrooms are sautéed to surprisingly pork-like perfection. (Kambria Fischer Photography)

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