I fell in love with portabella mushroom at a fine South American restaurant. My husband and I were looking for appetizers and the waiter suggested the Sauteed Portabella with Garlic. One bite and I was hooked. Since then, I have been buying it regularly and adding it to my favorite dishes or cooking it by itself.
A Bit Of History
The Portabella mushroom originated from Italy. It got its name from Portobello, the town where it came from. It is now a cultivated mushroom and is available year-round. Both portabella and portobello names are acceptable but here in the US, it is more popular as portabella. It is a large, meaty mushroom, often bigger than the palm of your hand.
This mushroom is actually a more mature form of the white mushroom. At some point in its growth, it is also called button mushroom, baby Portabella, baby bella and crimini mushroom.
Portabella is a vegetarian’s delight and can be substituted for other proteins. You can use it in soups and stews, baked pasta or rice dishes. You can substitute it for beef or pork or add it to salads.
Mushroom caps should be kept dry and refrigerated until ready to use; they will keep for up to a week. I wrap them in paper towels and put them back in the plastic bag they came in before I store in the vegetable crisper.
Prepare whole by grilling or stuffing. Pair with fresh herbs, fresh cow’s milk cheeses, tomato or cream-based sauces, leafy greens, garlic and onions.
Here I will list a couple of the best portabella mushroom cap recipes I have found through the years. My favorite is still the basic sauteed in garlic but I have tried other recipes as well. Enjoy!
Sauteed Portabella with Garlic
Portabella Mushroom caps sauteed in garlic and soy sauce and vinegar. Tangy and savory and a vegetarian's delight!
- 3 or 4 portabella mushroom caps stems removed and sliced 1/4 inch cross section
- 2 tbsp vinegar - balsamic vinegar or apple cider or any other will work
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cooking wine or water
Heat olive oil in a wok or sauce pan
add garlic and saute for 2 minutes until brown
add all the other ingredients and stir until mushrooms are browned and liquid has rendered, about 5 minutes
Reduce heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes more
Baked Stuffed Portabella
- 4 large portabella mushroom caps
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp vinegar or Italian salad dressing
- 1 10 oz bag fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup chopped pepperoni (optional)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 tbsp bread crumbs
How to Cook:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Brush both sides of mushroom with Italian dressing or vinegar
- Arrange on a baking sheet, gill side up
- bake in the oven for about 12 minutes. Drain liquid.
- Whisk egg, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl
- Mix in pepperoni, the 2 kinds of cheese, spinach and bread crumbs
- divide spinach mixture over mushroom caps
- sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs on top
- put back in oven and bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted
- 3 – to 4 portabella caps
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
How to Cook:
- In a small bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients
- place mushroom caps top side down in a shallow dish
- pour marinade on top of the mushrooms
- leave for 15 minutes, turn every 5 minutes
- Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, basting with marinade occasionally. You can pan grill or use the indoor grill below if grilling outside is not an option.
- place provolone cheese on top of each mushroom right after taking out of the grill
- serve like a burger on a bun with sliced tomatoes, lettuce, mayo or avocado if desired
Dishes I have added portabella to:
Chicken and Pork Adobo – reduce amount of meat by using portabella
Bistek – traditionally done with beef, mushroom can be mixed in or used as substitute for beef
Pancit Bihon – stir- fried rice noodles, cook the mushroom with the chicken, garlic and onion before adding noodles
Chicken Afritada – this is chicken cooked in tomato sauce. Mushroom can be added while sauteing together with the garlic, onions and potatoes.
Fried Rice – dice mushrooms and saute with other meat and vegetables before adding rice
Pasta -add to creamy based or tomato based pasta dishes. Add while sauteing other ingredients so that the liquid renders.
Salads – wash and chop before adding to greens
Soups – saute with other ingredients before adding liquid to the soup
Health Benefits of Portabella
Portabella mushrooms are one of the best sources of Vitamin D. They are also a good source of copper and selenium, Vitamin 6 and niacin. It can be used as meat substitute. It tastes more like meat than vegetable.
It is a low carb food and is good for ketogenic diets. It is cholesterol-free, fat free, low sodium and gluten free. The only thing that can make it unhealthy is what you add to it. It is very filling so you will eat less of other less healthy foods.
What do You Think?
I know this is more Continental or Mediterranean than Filipino but I cannot resist. It is a very good food item and provides lots of healthy options for your diet. Filipino food is heavy on meats and adding this mushroom helps to wean ourselves from meat-heavy dishes. It is very versatile and can work with any cuisine.
I hope you will start incorporating portabella into your diet. You will find that it is very tasty and can be cooked and prepared many ways. A good practice to start is to dedicate one day of the week as Meatless Day ( for example Meatless Monday). Gradually, you can add more days into it and reduce your meat consumption significantly.
As promised here are some indoor grilling options:
This indoor smokeless grill has a lot of good reviews. The price is over $200 but it uses infrared heat and is verified smokeless.
If you do not want an appliance and just want a good pan to use on your stove to grill, this is a good one I have personally used: Staub Indoor Grill. This cast iron pan requires no seasoning.
Kain Na! (Let’s Eat).