Guyanese style garlic mushrooms are a vegan alternative to crispy garlic pork. Portobello mushrooms are pickled and then sautéed until crispy in this meatless version of the beloved Guyanese recipe.
Guyanese Garlic Mushrooms
Guyanese Garlic Mushroom is a vegan alternative to Guyanese Garlic Pork. If you are a purist this recipe is not for you, enjoy your garlic pork! But if you are like some of us who prefer to enjoy the flavors of traditional Guyanese food with our own little twists, stick around!
And most certainly if you are vegan and always wondered what the fuss about garlic pork was. Or maybe you are newly vegan and you are missing garlic pork this Christmas season, then this Garlic Mushroom recipe is for you!
Why You’ll Love This Garlic Mushrooms Recipe
- Delicious Vegan Alternative: If you’re hosting a Guyanese celebration during the holidays, it’s great to have a vegan alternative to Christmas pork for guests. You still get that tangy, savory flavor and crunch with less calories!
- Easy to Make: Mushrooms only need to be pickled overnight, unlike garlic pork which can take at least 3 days. And it only takes about 20 minutes to cook.
- Healthier Than Pork: Portobellos are a source of plant-based protein, making them an excellent option for those practicing a vegetarian or vegan diet. These mushrooms are naturally gluten-free and low in carbohydrates.
Ingredients for Garlic Mushrooms
When pickling mushrooms, it’s best to store them with plenty of fresh, flavorful ingredients like herbs and aromatics.
- Portobello Mushrooms: I use portobello mushrooms for their very meaty texture. Baby portobello would also work here and any other “meaty” variety of mushrooms. Since we will soak the mushrooms in vinegar we want to ensure that the mushroom variety that we use can hold up to the acidity of the vinegar.
- Pearl onions: Peeled or a small white onion sliced.
- Garlic: Peeled.
- Herbs: You can use fresh thyme (preferably Guyanese or Portuguese thyme) or dried thyme.
- Iodized sea salt: The mushrooms are coated in salt to inhibit spoilage and enhance the flavor.
- Distilled white vinegar: White vinegar is a key ingredient in pickling and preserving fruits and vegetables. Its acidity helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and molds. It adds an acidic flavor to the mushrooms.
- Wiri wiri peppers: Add these for a kick of spice or substitute with 1-2 habanero peppers.
- Oil: Use this to sauté the pickled garlic mushrooms.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Garlic Mushrooms
An overnight pickle
This recipe is very simple. I made a smooth paste by blending the garlic and pepper. Then I added the paste along with my sliced mushrooms, garlic, and thyme (Guyanese thyme is best in this recipe) to a glass jar. Next, I added the vinegar, stirred it all up and set it on the counter overnight. Unlike garlic pork, I didn’t need to pickle it for 4-7 days. If you are living in the US you can get Guyana thyme from Kasaito.com!
Just note that the mushrooms will float to the top of the pickling liquid but have no fear just push it down with a spoon and you should be good.
Cooking the Garlic Mushrooms
Before cooking I drained off the pickling liquids with a sieve retaining the thyme, onions and any bit of the garlic paste that clung to the mushrooms. Then I sautéed it with some oil in a large skillet. The smell was heavenly and the flavor was amazing. Dare I say I preferred this to garlic pork!
I know what you are thinking, I can’t be serious, but believe me it was that good. The addition of the pearl onions gave the dish a sweetness that the garlic pork didn’t have.
These are best enjoyed immediately but you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat them in the oven or air fryer to keep them crisp.
Tips for the Best Garlic Mushrooms
- Start with fresh, firm mushrooms. Clean them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris before pickling.
- Although I prefer portobello mushrooms for this recipe, any firm-textured mushrooms will do. Try button mushrooms, cremini, or shiitake as alternatives.
- Choose a vinegar that complements the flavors you desire. White wine vinegar is a classic choice but you can also use red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Consider combining different vinegars for a unique flavor.
- Patience is key. Let the mushrooms marinate in the pickling solution for at least a few hours or overnight to absorb the flavors fully.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook mushrooms in batches if necessary. Overcrowding the pan can lead to steaming rather than sautéing, resulting in mushrooms that are too moist.
Frequently Asked Questions
Be sure to drain the liquids from the pickled mushrooms with a sieve or colander before adding them to a preheated skillet. Don’t overcrowd the pan and serve them immediately.
Pickling the mushrooms first certainly helps but adding aromatics adds fresh flavor. Allow the mushrooms to develop a golden brown color. This caramelization adds depth and intensifies the natural flavors.
When properly stored, pickled garlic mushrooms last up to 2 weeks. Keep them in a cool, dark space. If you notice any unusual odors, colors, or textures, discard the pickles.
- 6 Portobello Mushrooms cut into thick slices
- 1 cup pearl onions peeled or a small white onion sliced
- 1/2 lb garlic peeled
- 1 cup fresh thyme preferably Guyanese or Portuguese thyme, or 1/2 cup dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon iodized sea salt
- 4 cups Distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup wiri wiri peppers or 1-2 Habanero Peppers
- 2 tablespoons oil
Make the garlic paste:
- Add the peeled garlic and pepper to a blender with 1/2 cup of vinegar.
- Then blend until it forms a smooth paste and set aside.
Making the pickle:
- Sprinkle the salt over the sliced mushrooms, mix together well then set aside.
- To a large glass jar add about 1/2 cup of vinegar then a layer of mushrooms followed by the garlic paste, pearl onions and thyme. Then top off with another 1/2 cup of vinegar.
- Repeat the layering until all of the ingredients are layered nicely in the jar.
- You may use a spoon to mix it all up before sealing the jar.
- Leave to marinate over night.
Cooking the Garlic Mushrooms:
- When ready to cook, drain the liquids from the pickled mushrooms with a sieve or colander.
- Then add a large skillet to medium heat and bring up to temperature, then add the oil.
- When the oil comes up to temperature add the drained mushrooms and sauté (stirring often) until the onions are a little translucent and some what toasted.
- Then remove from the heat and serve with your plait bread (preferably anise seed plait bread).
The information listed in the recipe card is an estimate provided by an online nutrition tool. The tool evaluates ingredient names and amounts then makes calculations based on the number of servings listed for the recipe. It is provided as a general guideline and not as a precise calculation. For precise nutrition information please feel free to add the ingredients to your preferred nutrition calculator or consult a doctor or licensed nutritionist.