These are great! This recipe comes from Bon Appetit vegan test-kitchen chef, Chrissy Tracey. You may have seen her video about these in the news or on Instagram or something.
This is an outstanding recipe! Part of her back-story on making this is that it’s kind of a substitute for fried chicken. I partially agree with that, but the ‘shrooms are not nearly as filling as chicken would be, and as such, this would be more of a side dish or an appetizer.
However you eat these, Chrissy Tracey developed a winner recipe!
What you’ll need:
- 8 oz. oyster mushrooms (or more)
- 1 cup buttermilk or buttermilk substitute*
- 1T apple cider vinegar (you could also use lemon juice)
- 1t paprika (not smoked, it will add a different flavor profile)
- 1t garlic powder
- 1t onion powder
- 1t cajun seasoning
- 1t salt
- 1 cup flour
- Enough oil for deep-frying.
*Obviously, buttermilk is not vegan, but unsweetened almond milk and oat milk are. Because I was sharing these with vegan friends and had no fake milk in the house, I used coconut milk with 1T of lemon juice, to very good effect.
What to do:
Cut your mushrooms into fried-chicken-size pieces. When you cut, be sure to leave the lower sections intact so they don’t split apart into small pieces. Set aside.
Next, add the buttermilk or its substitute to a deep, narrow bowl, large enough to hold a chunk of mushroom. If using a buttermilk substitute, add apple cider vinegar or something similar to “curdle” the milk. Don’t use if using real buttermilk.
Now it’s time to make the coating. Add the flour to a shallow bowl and add all of the spices. Mix well so the spices are well incorporated.
To begin cooking, start heating the oil (NOT olive oil) to 350 degrees in whatever vessel you’re going to cook in. A medium saucepan works as well as a deep-fryer in my opinion.
While the oil is heating, coat a piece of mushroom with the buttermilk or fake milk, ensuring you get it into all the cracks and crevices. Shake off the extra milk and dredge it in the flour mixture, again ensuring to get the mixture in the cracks and crevices. Set aside on a plate and repeat for each piece.
When the oil is heated to temperature, add three or four pieces to the oil. It will make a wonderful cooking-in-oil sound. Poke them a couple of times with long, wooden chopsticks or metal tongs to ensure they’re fully submerged. Allow them to cook for a few minutes, until the flour coating becomes golden-brown. Be careful not to overcook. When the pieces are done, remove from the oil and let them cool on a rack or plate lined with paper towels. Repeat in batches until they’re all cooked.
Serve with your favorite sauce, or whip up a quick batch of honey mustard sauce. Straight mayo or Japanese mayo works well, too.