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Sliced oyster mushroom pernil off the mushroom stack on a cutting board.

Vegan Pernil

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  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dominican
  • Diet: Vegan


Vegan Pernil, a plant-based version using oyster mushrooms brushed and marinated in sazon, herbs and garlic then roasted in the oven until tender and crispy.


  • 1.5 lbs oyster mushroom clusters, broken up into large flat clusters
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (or culantro), finely minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or crushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp sazon
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Better Than Bouillon vegetable base paste or 1/2 bouillon cube
  • 4 tbsp avocado oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of half an orange (about 2 tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400F and set a large skillet or griddle on the stove top over medium heat. Drizzle the pan with 1 tablespoon of oil and add the mushrooms in a single layer on the pan without overcrowding and allow to cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. With a spatula, gently press down on the mushrooms frequently to help flatten them and release more moisture for an additional 2 minutes. Flip the mushrooms and repeat pressing down on the mushrooms for an additional 4-5 minutes or until both sides are golden. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate, then repeat with any other mushrooms that remain.
  2. Prepare the marinade by combining the remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. On a parchment lined baking sheet place one mushroom cluster in the center of the pan and brush it with the marinade. Layer another cluster on top and brush it with marinade. Continue stacking and marinating the mushrooms until you get to the top of the mushroom tower. Place 2 skewers through the mushroom stack to stabilize and then place the stack in the oven for 8 minutes.
  4. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and baste the mushrooms very well with additional marinade on all sides. Place the mushrooms back in the oven to roast for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the mushrooms appear to crisp up.
  5. Allow the mushroom stack to rest for a few minutes and then slice into it to create short strips. Serve with Moro, platanos fritos and avocado.


Don’t shred the mushrooms before cooking. We want to roast them in clusters to get a better meaty texture while also getting the edges to crisp as it roasts. After testing it both ways, the method being shared here helps to achieve that more authentic look and texture.

Avoid overcrowding your pan with mushrooms. Use a large skillet and make sure the mushrooms are spread out enough in a single layer. This will allow them enough room to brown without excess moisture causing the mushrooms to get wet and rubbery.

Press down on the mushrooms as they are cooking in the pan. Use a spatula to press down on the mushrooms as they cook to help them flatten into the right shape as they release their moisture in the cooking process.

Baste each layer when assembling the stack for the oven. It’s important that each mushroom get brushed with the marinade, so that each mushroom is evenly flavored.

To make the sazon quickly, just blend everything in a small blender until well combined. You can also mince the herbs by hand and use a garlic press or place the ingredients into a mortar and pestle.

Save the remaining marinade. You can warm cook with it to flavor beans or use it to coat and marinade tofu.