This question really comes down to exactly what you mean by better, and what you intend to do with them.
Are you comparing what’s better for cooking or nutritional comparisons?
For cooking purposes. In the main, though Portobello mushrooms are best used as a meat substitute for meals like steaks or burgers.
Shiitake mushrooms are smaller in size and used more as flavor enhancers as they add a smoky flavor to dishes.
Nutritionally speaking, the two are similar with similar amounts of carbohydrates, protein, vitamin D, vitamin E, and calcium.
So as you can see there is no definitive and clear answer to that question. But let me delve deeper into the topic.
Shiitake mushrooms have a smoky flavor, and portobello mushrooms are large and meaty.
Both are often used as a substitute for meat but they are different in size, taste, and texture,
Portobello mushrooms are the mature version of the common button mushrooms.
Shiitakes are native to Asia and are consumed in many countries in Asia.
The two mushrooms do still have individual nutritional profiles.
Portobello mushrooms are high in vitamins and minerals including vitamin D, potassium, and iron.
Shiitake mushrooms have several health benefits and research has shown that consuming them can improve high cholesterol.
Per 100g shiitake mushrooms has 34 calories but portobello mushrooms have 22 calories, so a similar amount.
They also have a similar amount of carbohydrates, although shiitake mushrooms have more compared to portobello mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms also have a tad more protein compared to portobello mushrooms.
Portobello mushrooms are often used as a vegetarian version of a hamburger or steak.
Its size and texture mean it makes a pretty good substitute.
Portobello mushrooms soak up tons of liquid, which makes them easy to marinate.
Shiitake mushrooms are smaller in size and are often found in Asian cuisine, and have a milder meaty taste.
They also contain similar amounts of vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, and iron.
Both have high amounts of potassium but portobello mushrooms have more than shiitake mushrooms.
Can I use portobello instead of shiitake?
Yes, you can use portobello mushrooms instead of shiitake.
Portobello and shiitake mushrooms vary in size and taste, but both have a meaty-like texture.
Shiitake mushrooms have a more smoky taste and portobello mushrooms are much larger and meatier.
Portobello mushrooms have a different taste, texture, and size to shiitake.
Portobello is much larger in size and has a meaty texture.
Shiitake mushrooms do have a meaty texture but it’s much milder compared to portobello.
Portobello mushrooms are often used as a meat substitute, and if you don’t have any shiitakes on hand, you can use portobello to amp up the meaty texture.
In dishes that call for this meaty texture or where mushrooms are being used as a substitute for meat, a portobello is a great option.
Fresh portobello mushrooms should be firm and have an earthy smell.
Avoid using mushrooms that are slimy or shriveled up, this is a sign that the mushroom has gone off.
You can grill, roast, or sauté portobello mushrooms.
To grill portobello, brush both sides with olive oil and season to your taste.
Grill each side for 5-6 minutes or until it’s just cooked all the way through.
To roast them, brush the mushrooms with oil and place them on a tray with the cap sides up.
Roast for around 20 minutes.
To sauté, you can slice, chop or keep them whole.
Sauté over oil or butter on medium-high heat, keep stirring until tender, around 5 minutes.
You can cook your other ingredients at the same time such as onions, garlic, or peppers.
Season the mushrooms with herbs and spices.
Because shiitake mushrooms are smaller in size, you might want to slice or chop up the portobello mushroom so that it more closely resembles shiitake mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms are sometimes substituted with dried shiitake mushrooms or brown crimini mushrooms which are sometimes known as small portobellos.
If you use dried shiitake mushrooms, you’ll need to soak and re-hydrate them first.
Which is healthier portobello or shiitake?
There is no clear winner here as both mushrooms are very similar nutritionally.
They both have similar amounts of protein, carbs, and sugar.
Vitamin and mineral content are also similar although there are some slight differences.
Both portobello and shiitake are very similar nutritionally, there are no big differences between each mushroom’s nutritional profiles.
They both have similar amounts of calories, per 100g, with shiitake mushrooms having 34 calories and portobello mushrooms with 22 calories.
They also have similar amounts of carbs, shiitake mushrooms have 6.8g of carbs and portobello with 3.9g, per 100g.
Shiitake mushrooms have more carbohydrates than portobello but it’s not a very significant amount of carbs overall.
Protein-wise, shiitake mushrooms have 2.2g and portobello with 2.1g of protein, per 100g.
Their vitamin content is also similar, their vitamin D, vitamin E and B vitamins are all similar.
Portobello mushrooms have more vitamin B12, folate, and thiamin and shiitake have more vitamin B6.
Sugar levels are similar with shiitake mushrooms containing 2.4g of sugar and portobello mushrooms having 2.5g.
Both mushrooms have similar mineral levels with the calcium and iron levels being very similar.
Both mushrooms have high amounts of potassium but portobello mushrooms have more potassium than shiitake.
Shiitake mushroom benefits
Shiitake mushrooms are said to improve heart health, boost the immune system, and provide the only plant source of vitamin D.
Shiitake is a great source of niacin, important to energy and general health and wellbeing.
Shiitake mushrooms have a strong and savory flavor and are commonly used around the world.
As well as tasting great, they also contain health benefits.
Shiitakes are tan or dark brown and have caps that can be between 2-4 inches.
A majority of shiitake is grown in Japan but is also grown in the US, Canada, China, and Singapore.
Shiitakes are low in calories and are a great source of fiber, B vitamins, and minerals.
Shiitakes are sometimes used as a substitute for meat thanks to their taste and texture and contain many of the same amino acids found in meat.
The B vitamins present are great for producing natural energy.
Mushrooms containing vitamin B3, also known as niacin, are important for overall well-being and health.
Niacin helps allow your cells to turnover and grow, every cell in your body needs niacin.
As it’s water-soluble, your cells don’t store it so you need to consume enough on a daily basis.
Shiitake mushrooms are said to boost heart health, as they contain three compounds that can help lower cholesterol.
Animal studies have shown that taking shiitake has helped prevent an increase in blood pressure.
Human studies need to be carried out to further confirm these effects.
Shiitakes can also help strengthen your immune system, with studies showing that taking shiitake supplements can decrease inflammation levels.
A study on mice found that taking shiitake supplements helped to reverse immune function that’s linked to age.
Because they activate the immune system, those with autoimmune disorders may need to be cautious when consuming mushrooms as it can cause symptoms to flare up.
Mushrooms are the only natural plant-based source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is great for strengthening bones and the immune system.
The amount of vitamin D in mushrooms depends on how they’re grown.
An allergy to shiitake is rare but if it occurs, it might lead to shiitake dermatitis, an itchy rash that happens all over the body.
One way to avoid this is to only consume cooked shiitake mushrooms.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.