Make A Rich Vegetarian French Dip With Portobello Mushrooms And Shiitake Jus

If you're a vegetarian and you think French dip sandwiches are simply not an option, we've got an alternate idea that is just as delicious as the classic version. The key is to swap the beef with portobello mushrooms, an ingredient that provides so much meaty flavor and deep umami that even meat lovers won't miss the beef at all. For inspiration, you can turn to our original recipe for vegetarian mushroom French dip sandwiches which actually uses a double dose of mushrooms.

"Dip the portobello mushroom-laden baguette into the warm shiitake mushroom jus and prepare to be truly satisfied," says Tanika Douglas, the Tasting Table recipe developer who created this recipe. "The flavors work cohesively to create a warming, filling lunch or dinner."

In Douglas' recipe, portobellos and shiitake mushroom jus are joined by other ingredients like caramelized onions, garlic, and slices of provolone cheese to give the essence of an authentic French dip sandwich. If you prefer to ditch the dairy, you can use dairy-free cheese or simply skip the fromage in your version of the sandwich.

Making French dip sandwiches with mushrooms

For this version of a French dip sandwich, our recipe uses portobello mushrooms because of "their robust, meaty texture," says Douglas. However, there are other varieties that work as meat replacements like cremini, white button, king oyster, and shiitake mushrooms. No matter what type you choose, use a brush to clean the fungi instead of water to prevent them from retaining liquid, then cut them into ¼-inch slices before sauteing them until they're caramelized and golden brown.

For the shiitake jus, add butter and garlic to the pan after you've cooked and removed the first batch of mushrooms. You can use dry white wine or vegetable stock to deglaze the pan, then add dried shiitake mushrooms. If you are using our recipe for this vegetarian French dip, you'll remove the shiitakes and blend with the juice to create the jus for dipping the sandwiches. And if you want to make it easier, skip the extra mushrooms and the blender and serve the jus directly from the pan.

To customize your vegetarian French dip sandwich, spread some horseradish aioli for a bit of zest, add crispy onions for texture, or garnish with fresh parsley to brighten up the dish.