Blackened Lion’s Mane Mushroom Steaks

Blackened Lion’s Mane Mushroom…oooh so good!


We love mushrooms at our house! They have a great meat-like texture and impart a lot of umami flavor to food. You can find amazing varieties of mushrooms at your grocer or farmers markets these days, from the standard white button mushroom to portobellos, morels, and more. We’re super fortunate to have a mushroom farm near us, SnoValley Mushrooms. They sell their farm-fresh mushrooms at farmers markets throughout the Puget Sound area and at some local grocery stores as well.

Shiitake and lion’s mane mushrooms from SnoValley Mushrooms of Duvall, Washington.

Due to the coronavirus, Seattle closed all neighborhood farmers markets. Pike Place Market is operating with limitations. While farmers markets are considered essential services in Washington state, many markets are not operating right now and are uncertain as to when and if they will open. However, most farms and vendors are selling directly to customers through online or telephone ordering with on-site pickup or even delivery. We were thrilled to see SnoValley Mushrooms offer this as well. I headed right to their online market page and ordered a bunch of shiitakes and a big lion’s mane mushroom, which I picked up at the farm.

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

1 pound lion’s mane mushroom!

So what are these lion’s mane mushrooms, anyway? Their botanical name is Hericium erinaceus. Lion’s mane mushrooms are native to North America, Asia, and Europe and are also known as a Pom Pom or Bearded Hedgehog mushrooms. They grow in a big, firm clump and look a lot like a cauliflower, in fact, they look just like cauliflower when you cut into them. People say they have a crab- or lobster-like taste, especially if sautéed, but they are particularly good when cut into steaks, again, like cauliflower.

Lion’s mane mushrooms have been studied for health benefits. Studies have shown positive neurological effects with H. erinaceus supplementation with in vitro and animal studies (Dietary Supplementation of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), and Spatial Memory in Wild-Type Mice; Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help?; Lion’s Mane, Hericium erinaceus and Tiger Milk, Lignosus rhinocerotis (Higher Basidiomycetes) Medicinal Mushrooms Stimulate Neurite Outgrowth in Dissociated Cells of Brain, Spinal Cord, and Retina: An In Vitro Study; Neurohealth Properties of Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Enriched with Erinacines; etc) and they are considered by many to be an excellent food for brain health, although there have been few human clinical trials done to support this. NutritionFacts.org also suggests that culinary mushrooms boost our immune system as well. Beyond these potential benefits, we just think they’re delicious!

Blackened Lion’s Mane Steaks

Blackened Lion’s Mane Steaks on a bed of wild Miner’s Lettuce and Arugula, Braised Leeks, and Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes.

I was inspired by the Sarno brothers, Chad and Derek, of Wicked Healthy, and Jenn de la Vega when coming up with this recipe. I’d just make up some Blackening Seasoning and was jonesing for something to use it on—blackened mushroom steaks sounded divine! However, both of these chefs used oil and butter when making their steaks, and I really wanted them to be oil-free. As mushrooms tend to have a lot of water in them, I figured they would cook up just fine without oil, and I was right!

Preparing the Mushroom Steaks

Steaked Lion’s Mane Mushrooms.

Preheat your BBQ grill to medium-low heat (300°F).

Set the lion’s mane mushroom on a cutting board with the bottom side down, as if it were a cauliflower. Use a long, serrated knife to cut from top to bottom into ¾-inch thick steaks. Try to cut them as even and uniformly as possible, which will help with cooking. They stay together beautifully! You’ll have a few smaller pieces, which we called medallions. You’ll want to use these smaller pieces, believe me, as they are the most tasty morsels, tender, juicy, and amazing!

After brushing with vegetable stock and sprinkling with blackening seasoning.

Place the steaks on a baking sheet. Brush them with a little vegetable stock and sprinkle liberally with blackening seasoning. Flip and repeat with the other side.

Searing the Steaks

Fill that whole skillet with a single layer of mushroom steaks.

Heat a cast iron or other heavy skillet to medium heat. Do not oil or add any liquid! Arrange the prepared steaks in a single layer and then set a heavy pot right on top of the mushroom steaks to press them down! I found that my super heavy 9-quart Le Crueset French Oven fit perfectly into my cast iron skillet. You can also use a heavy brick wrapped in foil for this if you don’t have a heavy pot.

It sounds crazy, I know, but you’ll get the best sear by pressing the steaks down with a heavy pot or brick!

Let this cook for a couple of minutes without peeking! You’ll hear them sizzle and then notice a lot of liquid start to pool and bubble around the edges. Remove the heavy pot.

Before flipping seared steaks. Look at all the liquid that came out of the mushrooms!

Carefully flip each steak with a spatula. You’ll see a beautiful sear on the underside of the steak! Return the heavy pot on top of the steaks and cook another couple of minutes.

Golden deliciousness without oil!

Remove the pot and flip. You’ll notice that most of the mushroom liquid has now evaporated.

Second side seared.

Grill the Seared Steaks

Grilling the seared steaks on a low-heat BBQ.

Place the seared steaks onto the preheated BBQ grill. Take the searing skillet back to the stove, add 2 cups of reserved vegetable stock and 1 teaspoon plant-based Worcestershire sauce to the pan drippings, and bring to a boil. Stir with a whisk to bring up all the crispy, stuck-on mushroom bits. Let this reduce to about ⅓-½ cup and pour into a small bowl. Return to the BBQ and brush the tops of each steak with this liquid, flip and grill, basting the other side. Repeat so both sides are nicely grilled and glazed.

Finished steaks.

Serve as desired. They are fantastic with mashed potatoes for a traditional “steak” and potatoes dinner. And save those little medallion pieces for your last bite, they are just amazing!

Blackened Lion’s Mane Steaks on a bed of wild Miner’s Lettuce and Arugula, Braised Leeks, and Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes.

I hope you try these! If you cannot find Lion’s Mane mushrooms, you can use other large, firm mushrooms, like portobello, maitake, or even clusters of oyster mushrooms. Cauliflower steaks would work as well, they may need a little longer searing time.

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5 from 3 votes

Blackened Lion's Mane Mushroom Steaks

Enjoy a delectable "steak" dinner with these meaty mushrooms! If you cannot find Lion's Mane mushrooms, use portobello, maitake, or other large, meaty mushrooms.
Course Dinner
Cuisine BBQ, Cajun, Dairy-free, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, WFPB, Whole Food Plant Based
Keyword BBQ, Blackening Seasoning, Cajun, Grilling, Lion's Mane Mushrooms, Mushrooms, WFPB, WFPBNO
Servings 2
Author Cindy Thompson, Trimazing! Health & Lifestyle Coaching

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat BBQ grill to medium-low heat (300°F).
  • Set the mushroom on a cutting board with the bottom side down, as if it were a cauliflower. Use a long, serrated knife to cut from top to bottom into ¾-inch thick steaks, as evenly and uniformly as possible, which will help with even cooking.
  • Place steaks on a baking sheet. Brush with a little vegetable stock and sprinkle liberally with blackening seasoning. Flip and repeat with the other side.
  • Heat a cast iron or other heavy skillet to medium heat. Do not oil or add any liquid! Arrange the prepared steaks in a single layer and then set a heavy pot right on top of the mushroom steaks to press them down. You can also use a heavy brick wrapped in foil for this if you don't have a heavy pot. Let this cook for a couple of minutes without peeking!
  • Remove the heavy pot and carefully flip each steak with a spatula. You'll see a beautiful sear on the underside of the steak. Return the heavy pot on top of the steaks and cook another couple of minutes. Remove the pot and flip. You'll notice that most of the mushroom liquid has now evaporated.
  • Remove the seared steaks onto the preheated BBQ grill.
  • Return the searing skillet back to the stove, add 2 cups of reserved vegetable stock and plant-based Worcestershire sauce to the pan drippings, and bring to a boil. Stir with a whisk to bring up all the crispy, stuck-on mushroom bits. Let this reduce to about ⅓-½ cup and pour into a small bowl.
  • Return to the BBQ and brush the tops of each steak with this liquid, flip and grill, basting the other side. Repeat so both sides are nicely grilled and glazed.

Notes

Serve as desired. They are fantastic with mashed potatoes for a traditional "steak" and potatoes dinner. And save those little medallion pieces for your last bite, they are just amazing!

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4 Comments

  1. Pam on May 3, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    5 stars
    Just made this! Really really good! Perfect meal to feed our Omni friends!

    • Cindy Thompson, Trimazing! Health & Lifestyle Coaching on May 3, 2020 at 7:06 pm

      Fantastic! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and omni friends did too! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Nicole on June 17, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    How long to leave in the oven…?

    • Cindy Thompson, Trimazing! Health & Lifestyle Coaching on June 17, 2020 at 10:29 pm

      Hi Nicole, I’ve never done them in the oven, only seared on the stovetop and then grilled on the BBQ.

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