“Beefy” Compressed Mushroom Steaks Recipe

Photo of “Beefy” Compressed Mushroom Steaks

“Beefy” Compressed Mushroom Steaks

Serves 2

Mushroom steaks are the closest vegan alternative to beef we’ve found. This recipe compresses clustered mushrooms to create a fibrous, meaty texture and a satisfying chew. It also boasts beautifully crispy edges. Combined with a super savory and beefy marinade, it’s the perfect plant-based grilling solution.


  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 2 mushroom clusters, largest you can find, approximately 1 1/2 pounds each (See Cook’s Tips)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon marmite yeast extract (See Cook’s Tips)
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder


  1. Preheat a large skillet on medium heat. Add neutral oil. Place mushroom clusters, whole, into pan. Place a second, heavy skillet on top of mushrooms to weigh them down. Allow mushrooms to slowly compress and reduce, about 20 to 30 minutes. Flip mushrooms occasionally. They will flatten into concentrated mushroom steaks.
  2. While mushrooms are reducing, make marinade. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients into a thick sauce. Set aside.
  3. Transfer concentrated mushroom steaks to a small dish or plate. Spoon half the marinade onto one side of mushrooms. Flip mushrooms over and repeat on other side with remaining marinade. Wrap plate tightly with plastic wrap and cool completely.
  4. When ready to cook, season mushrooms with your favorite spice mix or just add salt and pepper, to taste. Note that the marinade already contains salty ingredients so choose a seasoning mixture low in salt. Cook as you would a steak, either pan-frying or grilling, until well caramelized and heated through. Slice and serve.
  5. Cook’s Tips:
  6. You’ll have the best results with large clusters of lion’s mane, oyster, or maitake mushrooms. Avoid using mushrooms with large caps, such as portobellos.
  7. Marmite is a savory food spread made from concentrated yeast extract. It is popular in the UK simply spread on buttered toast. On its own, it can be an “acquired taste.” However, we find that using a bit as an ingredient does wonders for boosting umami in foods. A little goes a long way, so use sparingly. An Australian version called Vegemite can also be used here.
  8. Each component of the marinade contributes in its own way to the overall beefy flavor. Marmite is deeply savory and meaty on its own. Tomato paste is savory, tangy, and lends red color to the finished steak. Molasses is rich in irony flavor. Cocoa adds a touch of bitterness, balance, and depth. Altogether, this steak is so satisfying and filling that you just might not miss the meat!
  9. If preparing mushrooms for a crowd, step 1 can be done on a sheet pan in the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Arrange mushrooms on pan with an inch or two of space in between them. Drizzle each mushroom cluster with neutral oil. Place a second sheet of parchment paper on top, followed by a second sheet pan. Place a heavy, oven-safe pan on top of the second sheet pan to weigh it down. Transfer the whole thing to the oven. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until mushrooms flatten and compress. Proceed with step 2.


Amount Per Serving (based on 2 servings)
Calories: 320 undefined
Fat: 22 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 1090 mg
Carbohydrates: 25 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sugar: 7 g
Added Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 14 g
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