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What can you cook with king oyster mushrooms?: A few vegan recipe experiments

There are people out there that think that the vegan diet is restrictive. Pfffft. Can you imagine? Which is funny, given that no vegans I know feel that about their diet, and they're probably the people that know best, right? I'm always amazed by the sheer vairety of plants out there -- the internet reckons there are 60,000 or 70,000 edible plants on our wild and beautiful home plant and I'm always trying to find new ones.

Until recently, I'd never had king oyster mushrooms. I have a love-hate relationship with mushrooms, and I've been trying to shift more into the fond of fungi camp. I also love a yellow sticker bargain, so when I saw a pack of reduced king oysters in the supermarket, it was a novel-mushroom-meets-cheapo dinner venn diagram overlap that I couldn't resist.

And then... I got them home. And didn't really know what do cook with them. What do you make with mushrooms bigger than a fist?

If you're ever wondering what to make for a good vegan dinner, or you're stuck with how to use something you've just bought (like, I don't know, king oyster mushrooms) then may I suggest hitting up #VeganRecipeHour on Twitter? It's where vegans get together to have a chat about food and recipes. It's a friendly 60 minutes, and always a good source of plant-based deliciousness and inspiration (and it's 8-9pm UK time very Thursday!)

The ever helpful VRH herself pointed me in the direction of a recipe for king oyster mushroom scallops. Happily, I've never had a real life scallop, so I've no idea what they should or shouldn't taste like, but I can tell you that the vegan versions are supreme.

I used this recipe on Vegan Yack Attack (originally by Wicked Healthy Cookbook) as my model, I made a broth of konbu, ginger, garlic, miso and soy sauce, and then simmered slabs of king oysters until they sucked it all up. Then, I panfried them until they got this amazing crust on them. Behold:

If I was cooking for anyone else, I would have made some pasta or salad or something to go with it, but because it was just me eating, I ate the mushrooms with my hands, without anything else. They were superb.

And that's not the half of it. Do you know what else you can do with king oyster mushies? Turns out that with a fork and a bit of effort, you can make them into a sort of pulled pork alike (no cruelty required). With a few spices, an onion, and a bit of tomato paste, king oyster mushroom shreds can become a taco filling. Just fry the onion, add paprika, tomato, soy sauce and stock, then chuck into the mushrooms for more liquid-sucking-up. Back into the oven for some crisping up, and then straight into the tacos with some lettuce, salsa, and avocado.

I used a recipe from Lazy Cat Kitchen to make my tacos -- it's here if you want to try it.

Two dishes later, and my supplies of king oyster mushrooms were exhaused, but I'm looking foward to finding some more and cooking up some more new dishes. Here are some I've love to try:

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  1. I feel the same about mushrooms - I can eat them but prefer them hidden with lots of veg than starring in a meal. I've been to a few pubs and had mushroom pie with good intentions and regretted it because it was too mushroomy. The pulled mushrooms sounds really good but the scallops sound a bit too much

  2. Firstly Joey, I hope your safe and well. I also had a love-hate relationship with mushrooms, but then learned not all mushrooms are equal and a lot of its to do with the cooking, some people overcook them that they just look darn ugly. I do eat them, but in limited dishes like strogonoff and pastry pies. Impressed with your king mushroom oyster - i gave them a go first time last year and loved it , as for the pulled pork version - i think i'll stick with the jackfruit!


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