Ok, so clearly my obsession with shiitake mushroom continues but in the most wonderfully awesome recipe EVER. I was inspired after having a mushroom cheesesteak from a local restaurant that sounded awesome but didn’t live up to the hype (bummer). So of course, I    set out to recreate my own version of this vegetarian cheesesteak! Y’all know I’m a sauce person so I  made a spicy spread for the inside of the roll and instead of the usual crushed peppers topping served on deli cheesesteaks – I  opted for a quick pickled carrot and cucumber slaw and turned this into a cheesesteak/banh mi hybrid.

If you really are a meat lover and mushrooms aren’t going to cut it- make sure you try my Spicy Chicken Cheesesteak recipe inspired by one of my favorite places in Philly (there’s also a little child hood story in this post !).

I  know some of you will ask me what a good substitute for mushrooms would be, but honestly- the flavor and texture of the mushrooms are KEY in this recipe! If you want another option, try my delicious Eggplant & Spinach Paninis !



Shiitake Mushroom Cheesesteaks with Siracha Aioli and Pickled Cucumber Carrot Slaw




Yield 2 Cheesesteaks


  • 4, 3.5 oz packages of Sliced Shiitake Mushrooms (about 4-6 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced in short 1.5 inch strips
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp onion powder (Trader Joe's Onion Salt optional)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • buns for cheesesteaks (I  used small 6 inch club rolls)
  • sliced cheese (I love cooper's sharp cheese from the deli or pepper jack or american work great too)

Siracha Aioli:

Combine the following in a bowl:

  • 1/2 cup mayo 
  • 2tbps siracha (or more for spice)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

Quick Pickled Cucumbers and Carrots:

In a mason jar combine the following and then refrigerate for one hour :

  • 1 cucumber , shaved into long strips
  • 2 carrots shaved into long strips
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 4-6 coriander seeds crushed
  • 2-3 black pepper corns


  1. First, make the siracha aioli and the pickled cucumber/carrot mix and set aside (aioli can be left out, cucumber /carrot needs to go in the fridge). 
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add oil. Once oil is hot, add the red peppers and let them cook until slightly softened, stirring constantly (try to achieve a slight char without burning them). If you have an airfryer- place the red peppers in the air fryer for about 5-6 minutes instead until they're soft!)
  3. Once the red peppers have softened slightly, remove them from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, add a little bit of oil and add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt. The mushrooms will seem dry at first but they will eventually release their water, keep them spread out and lower the heat and cook slowly if necessary. Continue to cook them until soft and fork tender.
  5. Once the mushrooms are soft add the red peppers back into the pan along with garlic, soy sauce, onion powder, chili flakes and cilantro. Stir well continuously until garlic is fragrant and no longer raw.
  6. Place sliced cheese over the mushroom and peppers and let it melt (cover pan with lid to help melt the cheese)
  7. Toast a club roll/dinner roll/hoagie roll with a teeny bit of butter on a skillet so the outsides are just a bit crispy. Remover from the pan and spread the roll with the sriracha aioli.
  8. Add the mushroom, pepper and cheese mix into the bun. Top with the pickled cucumber carrot mix and enjoy hot!

NOTE: Mushrooms cook down considerably and if you want more filling, buy extra mushrooms just incase. You can also add additional sliced onions, and peppers to your liking.