“Crab” Linguine with Hericium

This “crab” linguine with Hericium is a mushroom-based pasta dish using lion’s mane, bear’s head tooth, or comb tooth in place of crab.

The texture of the Hericium family of mushrooms is very crab-like and the taste is even similar, making it a great stand-in for the shellfish. 

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Cook Time15 min
  • Total Time30 min
  • Yield4 small or 2 large servings


  • 12oz (350g) Hericium mushrooms (lion’s mane, bear’s head tooth, comb tooth)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup (50g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 8oz (225g) linguine, spaghetti, or fettuccini pasta 
  • 1 cup (25g) fresh parsley (flat or curled), minced finely
  • 1 long red finger chili, seeded and minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) dry vermouth or white wine



Rinse off mushroom(s), being sure to get rid of any bugs or debris if wild. 

comb's tooth hericium

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a big pinch of salt. 

Add the mushroom(s) to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. 

Retrieve the mushroom out of the water with tongs and put into a bowl to cool. You’ll be using the same water for the pasta, so don’t dump it out unless it’s dirty. 


Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium head. Add the garlic and breadcrumbs and cook, stirring constantly, for 5-7 minutes, or until everything is golden and toasty. Set aside in a bowl for the time being. 


Once the mushroom has cooled, gently squeeze it over the sink to expel the majority of the water. 

Using your fingers, tear it into very small bite-sized shreds, trying to imitate real crab meat. 


Bring the salted water back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al denté according to the package directions (if there is no option for al denté, stop cooking 2 minutes before the time in the directions). 


Meanwhile, add the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same skillet you used for the breadcrumbs, over medium heat. 

Add the parsley, chilies, mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the vermouth or wine. Cook another 3 minutes. 


When the pasta is al denté, transfer it directly into the skillet using tongs. Add 1/4 cup (60ml) of the pasta cooking water and toss everything together in the skillet over medium low heat until everything is luscious and silky and the noodles are cooked to your liking (taste test a couple to make sure). 

Add more pasta water if you feel the noodles need to cook longer. 


Add half of the breadcrumbs to the skillet and toss into the pasta, reserving the other half for garnish.

To serve, transfer pasta to plates with the tongs, twisting the strands as you deposit them onto each plate. Top with a generous sprinkle of breadcrumbs. Enjoy! 

crab linguine with hericium

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