Thick mushroom slabs are grilled up with smoky seasonings, stuffed into buns and piled high with toppings to make these vegan portobello mushroom hot dogs.
Every barbecue I ever remember attending has involved one big question: "burger or dog?" For most of my life, the answer was "neither." Even way back when I was a pre-vegetarian kiddo. I'll stick with the tray of pickles and olives thank you very much.
But I guess after going vegetarian I started to favor burgers. Veggie burgers anyhow. Store bought veggie burgers are usually better than store bought veggie dogs, and homemade veggie burgers are definitely more approachable than homemade veggie dogs, or so it would seem.
I did manage to come up with a tofu dog recipe a couple years ago, and I still really like that as an alternative to the veggie dogs they sell at the store. But it's definitely lacking the mass appeal of veggie burgers. Not everyone is a fan of tofu, and if you're feeding a crowd that includes both vegetarians and omnivores...forget it.
Burgers on the other hand you can sometimes sell to non-veggie friends. Especially burgers made from ingredients that everyone loves, like portobello mushrooms. So that got me thinking, why not stuff a portobello mushroom into a hot dog bun? That's just what I did!
When I make portobello mushroom burgers I tend to season them up all kinds of ways, but for these portobello hot dogs I went for a smoky marinade to give them a flavor that's similar to a regular hot dog. (It'll look familiar if you made my tofu dogs!) It's salty, smoky, with a little bit of garlic and maple. Whatever you do, be sure to get nice big portobello caps, and slice them nice and thick so they stay sturdy. I cooked mine in a grill pan-but I'm sure you could barbecue these too if you'd like. And then feel free to pile on any toppings you like. (I like all the toppings!) Because they're seasoned up to taste like hot dogs, they taste good with just about anything you might put on a hot dog.
Portobello Mushroom Hot Dogs
- 4 large portobello mushroom caps
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 hot dog buns
- Toppings of choice
Remove the stems from the portobellos and scrape out the gills with a spoon. Clean them by wiping with a damp cloth, then slice each into 3 to 4 strips, each about 1-inch thick.
In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, maple syrup, cider vinegar, liquid smoke, paprika, onion powder, and garlic. Lightly brush some of the mixture over each of the portobello strips.
Place a nonstick grill pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the mushroom strips in a single layer (work in batches if needed). Cook the strips for about 4 minutes on each side, brushing them with the soy sauce mixture as they cook, until tender and browned.
Divide the strips into buns, placing 2 to 3 into each bun. Top with toppings of choice and serve.
I'm sure you could cook these on a barbecue grill if you're cooking out. Cook over a medium flame until lightly charred on each side. If you're cooking in and don't have a grill pan, feel free to use a skillet.