Shiitake Mushrooms and Caramelized Onion with Creamy Polenta

Tonight I finally used the last of my home grown shiitake mushrooms. On their last couple of days I didn’t keep the log very hydrated so they went really dry like the ones you buy. Luckily with a bit of water they rehydrated and ready to use. I paired them with creamy polenta flavored with shiitake infused water, oregano and nutritional yeast. Surprisingly Marco really liked this meal. Slowly he has grown to like mushrooms after having years of intense hate for them. So mushrooms are now back on the menu!


Shiitake Mushrooms and Caramelized Onion with Creamy Polenta (vegan, gluten free, soy free option, nut free)


1.5 cups dried shiitake mushrooms

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small brown onion, sliced

1 garlic clove, diced

1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon mirin

sea salt to taste

1.5 cups water

1.5 cups unsweetened plant milk (oat or rice; soy or almond if you can tolerate)

1/2 cup instant polenta

1 tablespoon chopped oregano (more to garnish)

1 tablespoon vegan butter

4 tablespoons nutritional yeast


1. Soak the shiitake mushroom in 1 cup of water. Let it soak for 10 mins. Then remove mushrooms and slice them. Keep the water that the mushrooms were soaked in.

2. Heat a pan with olive oil, then add onion and garlic. Saute until golden, then add shiitake mushrooms. Add balsamic vinegar, mirin and sea salt. Cook until both the mushrooms and onion are nicely caramelized.

3. In the meantime take a medium size pot, add the shiitake broth water, plus another half a cup of water and the soy milk. Bring to the boil, then place on a simmer and add the polenta. Whisk the polenta while it cooks to remove the lumps.

4. Once the polenta has cooked, stir through the oregano, vegan butter, nutritional yeast and sea salt. Let it heat through then serve topped with the onion and mushrooms and garnish with oregano leaves.


6 thoughts on “Shiitake Mushrooms and Caramelized Onion with Creamy Polenta

  1. Home grown shiitake mushrooms! I’m so jealous! I have found that some people really dislike mushrooms and then all of a sudden they can’t get enough of them. I’m sure this recipe helped Marco fall in love with them. I love the idea of sauteing them in balsalmic vinegar and mirin. mmmm!

  2. I echo the previous comment, love the fact that you’re growing your own shiitakes!!! I’ve got a tiny herb patch and home grown kale but that’s it at present. This dish looks delicious (and well done you for getting Marco into the wonder of mushrooms. I did the same with Aaron and brussels sprouts, haha!) x

  3. Thanks for the comments guys! I haven’t had polenta in so long, but I feel more enthused about it now 🙂 If you guys are in Australia and interested in growing mushrooms I bought mine from My City Garden when I was at the Brisbane Food Festival. They post all over Australia and are really easy to grow. Way more successful then the rest of my veggie patch, which has gone a bit wild at the moment. Who knew that pak choy and fancy lettuce could grow over a metre and sprout flowers. Lucky for me Marco is obsessed with growing avocado at the moment, so I’m hoping this extends to the rest of my plants.

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