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BEST Oyster Mushroom Substitutes + 3 To Avoid

I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of oyster mushroom substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion. Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or want a swap that fits your diet, I’ve got the answers.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

King oyster mushrooms or abalone mushrooms are the closest match in terms of texture and flavor to the oyster mushroom. But if you’re looking for a cheap and easy substitute, button mushrooms will work. For a non-mushroom alternative, try tempeh, tofu, or eggplant.

The experiment

I made a simple stir-fry to try out several different oyster mushroom substitutes (it was yummy!).

Oyster mushrooms are one of the more popular mushroom varieties. They have a springy, tender texture and a very mild flavor that’s sometimes described as briny (hence the seafood-inspired name!). They’re a favorite for use in soups, stir-fries, and even tempura! Oyster mushrooms are also commonly used as a meat substitute.

Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:

SubstitutesSubstitute directionsVerdict
King oyster mushroomsGood as a meat replacement9/10
Cremini or button mushroomsCheap and accessible7/10
Shiitake mushroomsStronger flavors6/10
Abalone mushroomsVery similar, bit hard to find7/10
Enoki mushroomsGood for bulking5/10
Non-mushroom optionsTofu, Tempeh, Eggplant5/10

King oyster mushrooms

If you can’t find regular oyster mushrooms, King oyster mushrooms, also known as trumpet mushrooms, are the next best thing. They look completely different from oyster mushrooms but are actually a member of the same family.

They have a long (edible) stem and a defined cap. In terms of texture, they’re pretty similar and both varieties have a fleshy, chewy bite that makes them ideal for mimicking meat. I found the flavor of King oyster mushrooms to be more meaty and nuttier than the light oyster mushroom, but the difference wasn’t too pronounced, especially once I added my sauce.

One downside to King oyster mushrooms is that they tend to be more expensive than oyster mushrooms because they’re harder to farm.

How to substitute: Replace oyster mushrooms in a 1:1 ratio with king oyster mushrooms.

Cremini or button mushrooms

Regular button or cremini mushrooms may not be as exciting as oyster mushrooms, but they’re decent substitutes in terms of flavor. Both types of mushrooms are relatively mild, though cremini mushrooms have a slightly richer flavor than both oyster and button mushrooms.

All of these mushrooms are great at soaking up the taste of whatever you cook them in. Cremini and button mushrooms have a firmer texture, but I didn’t notice this once I sliced them up.

And the biggest bonus is how cheap and accessible button mushrooms are. You might already have some in your fridge.

Pssst… you can use these mushrooms when raw too – they won’t have a metallic taste like oyster mushrooms. 

How to substitute: Replace oyster mushrooms in a 1:1 ratio with cremini mushrooms.

Shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are actually pretty different from oyster mushrooms when it comes to flavor, but if you’re just looking for an exotic mushroom, they’re perfect. They’re much bolder in flavor, with earthy and umami being the main tasting notes compared to the delicate brininess of oyster mushrooms.

If your dish is mainly made up of delicate flavors, the shiitake mushrooms might overpower everything. But this wasn’t the case in my stir fry, I think they actually made the dish better.

You’ll be able to find shiitake mushrooms in most grocery stores and Asian markets, making them hard to beat in terms of accessibility. And if you can’t get them fresh, you can buy them dried and rehydrate them.

How to substitute: Replace oyster mushrooms with half the amount of shiitake mushrooms if you don’t want the flavor to be too strong.

Abalone mushrooms

Abalone mushrooms look very similar to oyster mushrooms because they come from the same plant family, and just like oyster mushrooms, they’re named after a shellfish. Abalone and oyster mushrooms both have delicate flavors, with abalone mushrooms tasting more buttery than sweet and oceanic (like oyster mushrooms).

Both mushrooms also have a tender, velvety texture that works well in stir-fries, soups, stews, and as a meat substitute.

The only reason these mushrooms aren’t higher up on the list is because they’re tricky to find if you want fresh mushrooms. They’re more readily available in cans, which you can find in Asian grocery stores.

How to substitute: replace oyster mushrooms in a 1:1 ratio with abalone mushrooms.

Enoki mushrooms

Enoki mushrooms aren’t an exact stand-in for oyster mushrooms, but they’re a solid alternative if you’re mainly looking to bulk up a dish. 

They have a mild flavor like oyster mushrooms with a hint of nuttiness that’ll allow other boldly-flavored ingredients to shine. But there are big differences in texture. Enoki mushrooms come in clusters of mushrooms with very thin stalks and caps. They’re crunchy when lightly cooked, becoming chewier the longer they’re heated.

Psst… these are actually my favorite mushrooms!

How to substitute: replace oyster mushrooms in a 1:1 ratio with enoki mushrooms.

Non-mushroom options

Not a mushroom fan? There’s still a world of options to explore!

These substitutes won’t mimic oyster mushrooms’ mild earthy taste, but they’re great for bulking up your dish and bringing a different texture.

Let’s start with firm tofu and tempeh, two meat alternatives made from soybeans. Both have a dense, meaty texture that gives them a satisfying bite. Tempeh actually has a mild mushroom-like flavor, but tofu is pretty flavorless so will need a sauce or a marinade.

Eggplant is another great option for adding volume to a dish. This veg turns tender once cooked and becomes a flavor sponge just like oyster mushrooms – it soaked up all my stir-fry sauce wonderfully.

How to substitute: Replace oyster mushrooms in a 1:1 ratio with your choice of firm tofu, tempeh, or eggplant. 

Substitutes to avoid

There are loads of mushroom varieties out there, but some are better alternatives to oyster mushrooms than others! Here are a few I would avoid using.

  • Portobello mushrooms: While these can work if you already have them in your fridge, button mushrooms are a cheaper and more accessible alternative.
  • Porcini mushrooms: These are very similar to shiitake mushrooms but cost twice the price! If you liked the sound of a bolder mushroom, stick to shiitakes.
  • Matsutake mushrooms: I saw a few blogs suggesting these as a good substitute for oyster mushrooms, but I have to disagree. They have a very strong, unique flavor that’s described as spicy and pungent with notes of cinnamon. They’re also very expensive, so when they’re used they’re normally the center of attention. It would be a waste to use them in something like a stir fry.

Psst… None of these substitutes work for you? You could always grow your own oyster mushrooms!

Best Oyster Mushroom Substitutes + 3 To Avoid

I tested several different oyster mushroom substitutes to find the best one. I was looking for substitutes that was just as versatile as oyster mushrooms.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: oyster mushroom substitutes, substitutes for oyster mushrooms
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 28kcal


  • 125 grams cremini mushrooms
  • 125 grams shiitake mushrooms
  • 125 grams chopped portobello mushrooms
  • 125 grams abalone mushrooms
  • ½ king oyster mushroom
  • ½ bundle or head of maitake mushrooms
  • 125 grams enoki mushrooms
  • 125 grams tempeh/tofu/eggplant


  • Cook your meal according to the recipe.
  • Add your chosen oyster mushroom substitutes at the appropriate cooking time.
  • Mix untl thoroughly combined and continue with the recipe.


Serving: 125grams | Calories: 28kcal

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