Lately, I've seen beautiful pictures where fancy vegan chefs take mushrooms and make "fried-chicken-style" mushrooms, or crispy brown "mushroom drumsticks" - making us all drool on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
And I thought... "How hard can it be?"
Well. Let me tell you. It's NOT very difficult at all. (As long as you don't mind frying stuff. In oil. Hot oil.)
If you can get your hands on a bunch of mushrooms like hen-of-the-woods or small clumps of oyster mushrooms, you break them apart into pieces and batter and fry in little 'drumsticks' of mushroom deliciousness.
The results are off-the-chart (fried things + mushrooms. What's NOT to love?).
Crispy coated, with a look and 'bite' that is very much like chicken while still keeping the umami mushroom taste - very satisfyingly "meat-y" for the omnivores in the family too.This is NOT diet food, gluten free, low sodium or oil free. (Surely you've read my blog enough to know those just aren't my focus.)
I've only made these about four times so if my directions are a bit vague, it's because the recipe is still in it's beta version. Feel free to let me know how yours turn out.
2 lbs. mushrooms that grow in "clumps", like oyster, trumpet, maitake or hen-of-the-woods
Mix together the following:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp "chicken-type flavor" vegan broth/bullion powder (I used Massel granules, but use whatever you have, or just use 3/4 tsp Seasoning salt)
1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
Whiz in food processor or blender until smooth and about the consistency of ranch dressing, add a little water if needed:
1/4 cup vegan mayo (your choice, any brand)
1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk
1/4 cup water
2 tsp flax meal
1 tsp lemon juice
several dashes hot sauce
Put Wet Mix in a deep bowl, and Dry Mix in a pie plate or flat dish.
Brush any debris from mushrooms, wipe with damp paper towel if needed.
Cut or break apart lengthwise, keeping part attached to main stem, into small, roughly "drumstick" type pieces. (If smaller pieces fall off that's OK, they can be fried up too!).
Heat 1 inch of oil to med high (I prefer refined-flavorless coconut oil but canola oil is just fine) in a small cast iron skillet. (Any size is fine but a smaller pan uses less oil).
Dip mushroom pieces into Wet Mix until well coated, let excess drip off.
Then dredge in Dry Mix, patting a bit to get it to stick if needed.
Lay several pieces carefully in hot oil. Don't crowd pan. Working in batches, fry the mushrooms in the hot oil for about 2 to 3 minutes each side, turning occasionally with tongs, until the surfaces are golden brown. (If they brown too fast, turn heat down a little).
Remove immediately from oil and set on paper towels to drain.
Place in low oven to keep warm.
Continue with the rest of the pieces.
Serve with vegan ranch or hot sauce to dip - or make a full on "chicken dinner" with veggies, mashed potatoes and gravy!!