Today I’m sharing a behind the scenes look into local mushroom farm, River City Shiitake, plus the recipe for my favorite Mongolian Shiitake Mushroom Bowls.

This post is sponsored by New Seasons Market. All thoughts are originally mine. Read about my disclosure and privacy policy here.

Two servings of Mongolian Shiitake Mushroom Bowls.

Mongolian Shiitake Mushroom Bowls

It’s been a pretty magical Fall here in the PNW and the lack of rain has me feeling all kinds of adventurous in the kitchen. Cue these Mongolian Shiitake Mushroom Bowls!

This recipe is inspired by the *most popular* recipe on my site, Orange Cauliflower (like Orange Chicken, but better). It’s another vegan spin on the popular Chinese dish, Mongolian Beef. I got the idea of swapping shiitake mushrooms for beef in Bosh TV’s Sticky Shiitake Mushroom recipe.

Because what better ingredient to replace beef with than shiitakes?

Pan fried shiitake mushrooms.

Shiitakes have that chewy density and texture that satisfies any meat craving without as much work, mess, or ecological footprint.

Today, I’m honored to be partnering with New Seasons Market, taking you directly to the source, to find some of Portland’s best locally grown mushrooms at River City Shiitake.

A board of seasonal mushrooms from River City Mushroom Farm.

Touring River City Shiitake Mushroom Farm

Upon arrival at River City Shiitake I met owner, Mary. Mary and her 4 employees run this local operation and sell 90% of their product to New Seasons.

The farm focuses primarily on Shiitake mushrooms but also has been experimenting with Maitake mushrooms.

Mary shared so many interesting facts about the science and steps behind the growth process.

Maitake mushrooms from River City Mushrooms.

Here are a few compelling notes I jotted down to share with you:

  • the process starts in plastic bags with a mix of oak sawdust and grains
  • this mixture eventually forms bricks that the mushrooms are able to grow out of
  • the entire growth process takes about 16 weeks from start to finish
  • this variety of Shiitake mushrooms have a unique thicker, meatier, and darker quality than most
  • River City Shiitake is one of few farms still growing this variety because of how challenging they are to cultivate

At one point in the tour we were led into one of the grow rooms that was surprisingly warm compared to the brisk Autumn day. When I asked Mary if the room was heated, she informed us that the mushrooms brought the room to a warm 70 degrees all on their own.

These living organisms are truly fascinating. I walked away with a real appreciation for the hard work and time that goes into growing every single mushroom.

If you are ever presented with the opportunity to take a farm tour, do it!

A look into the River City Mushroom Farm.
A look inside a local mushroom farm.
A look into the River City Mushroom Farm.

Two servings of Mongolian Shiitake Mushroom Bowls.

Happy cooking!


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A bowl of Mongolian Shiitake Mushrooms with rice.

Mongolian Shiitake Mushroom Bowls

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  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Mongolian Beef
  • Method: Stovetop, Fried
  • Cuisine: American, Chinese



  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (about 4 large cloves)
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced red hot chili pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tbsp sambal chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Optional Garnish Ideas:

  • green onions
  • thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1 avocado
  • spicy mayo


  1. In a large bowl, combine shiitake mushrooms and corn starch. Mix well and toss into a frying pan. Cook until the mushrooms start to brown and become caramelized (this may take 5-10 minutes, be patient and flip the mushrooms as they brown on each side). Move the mushrooms back into the mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. In the same frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil. Toss in garlic, ginger, and chili pepper. Sauté until fragrant.
  3. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, corn starch coconut aminos, sambal chili sauce, and rice vinegar. Mix well and add to the garlic and ginger mix in your frying pan. Stir the sauce until it becomes thick and begins to simmer. Toss in mushrooms and mix to coat.
  4. Serve over rice with optional garnish of green onions, avocado, cabbage and spicy mayo. Enjoy!