Mushroom Mania – Jason’s Recipe For Vegan Chickenless Wings with Blue Oyster Mushrooms

Mushroom mania! What can’t you do with mushrooms? This magical fungus comes to play in your kitchen.

 Button mushrooms, one of the more common varieties in the United States, are a great way to punch up the flavor in pasta sauce, for cream of mushroom soup (vegan of course) or just sauteed on their own as a side dish.

Portobellos marinate and grill very well and often provide as an excellent substitute for steak. 

A nice fat shiitake is perfect for stir fry not to mention all the exotic varieties not easily found it’s supermarkets such as chicken of the woods (or hen of the woods), lobster, chestnut and the ever elusive lion’s mane. if you’re savvy and ambitious enough, these can be forged or a local farmer may be cultivating them and selling at a market or their own farmstand. 

Today we will be talking about oyster mushrooms. These can be a tricky find, given any particular circumstance. Nikky and I are fortunate enough to have access to an international supermarket that offers a multitude of produce and goods that support different cultural flavors.

In a previous post, we discussed the versatility of King Oyster, another variety of oyster mushrooms. We are focusing specifically on blue oyster mushrooms, (pleurotus columbinous) as opposed to pearl, pink, or golden to name a few.

Despite the name, these mushrooms aren’t entirely blue. The caps start out blue when they first grow, however the blue becomes more of a hue and is closer to gray once mature. They grow in clusters and tear apart easily. I wouldn’t call it a trend, but you may notice some plant-based restaurants in your area using blue oysters as a preferred substitute for fried chicken.

I don’t own a sophisticated deep fryer or some kind of oil thermometer. Instead, I resort to filling up a wok with sunflower oil about halfway and turning the burner onto the highest setting. The oil should be at an appropriate temperature in 15-20 minutes, or until you begin to notice the oil moving on its own in a slow swirl if you have the advantage of pre-setting with a deep fryer, your oil should be heated to 375 before frying.

In any particular cluster, you will probably notice a few individual mushrooms standing out. It could be thicker, slightly longer than the rest, or both. These can be the perfect size for one individual “wing” or could be torn in half, depending on your preference. The remaining smaller mushrooms that are clumped together should be separated {period} not thinner than finger size but probably not much thicker than your thumb {period} give your raw wings a good rinse.

To properly batter your mushrooms, you’ll need two bowls: one for “egg” wash and one for a flour mixture. A medium-large sized bowl works great for the wet, and a large bowl or mixing bowl used for baking will work best for dry.

To create a vegan egg wash, I recommend a combination of chickpea flour and a neutral unsweetened plant milk. Almond and coconut milk will stand out more, but don’t hold back if you only have these in your fridge or pantry, especially considering the nature of deep frying.mixture in the bowl to submerge the mushroom and fully coat.

When mixing up flour and spices, salt, pepper, paprika, onion and garlic powder are pretty standard. Feel free to stick with tried and true spices and I also incorporate nutritional yeast (known as nooch around these parts), ground mustard, cayenne pepper, and everything bagel seasoning if it’s kicking around. 

In a perfect world, rule of thumb for battering is one dry hand and one wet try to only pull from the wet with one hand and vice versa for dry. Again, this isn’t always the reality as you get into the zone of cooking. Loosely toss your mushrooms through the flour. Air and a repetitive toss will ensure even coating. Remember it’s all in the wrist. After you have dredged your mushrooms, it’s wise to have a plate or pan handy to park your battered mushrooms for the time being. It’s helpful to batter and fry in batches. For example, as you’re moving mushrooms from wet to dry, dry to plate, and plate to oil: it can be helpful to already have another small batch ready to pull from the flour to plate/pan and from wet to dry.

As the mushrooms fry, they’ll most likely float to the top and brown. Turn over as the browning starts to become more apparent on the edges. This should only take between 4 and 7 minutes. Depending on your preference, you can pull from the oil on the lighter or darker side. The wings will finish and darken slightly more after they have been pulled. I drop them on a clean dish towel to absorb grease. A paper towel will work just as well but may need to be changed once or twice. 

Thankfully, the best is saved for last. The wings taste great naked and can be dipped in your favorite sauce. If you have saved an extra level of ambition, toss the naked wings in a bowl with said sauce. Set your oven to broil on high. Throw the now “sauced” wings onto a baking sheet, brush a little more sauce on top and place the sheet on the top rack of the oven. keep your eyes on these but they shouldn’t take much longer than 7 to 10 minutes under the broiler. You are looking for the sauce to cake onto the mushrooms. Remove, allow to cool, and voila! The only remaining step is to enjoy. Let us know how yours went!

Here’s the printable recipe:

Ingredients:

Vegetable Oil for frying (I prefer sunflower)
½ lb – 1lb Blue Oyster Mushrooms
½ Chickpea Flour
1 C Unsweetened Plant Milk (I prefer oat)
1 – 1 ½ C AP Flour
1 TBSP kosher salt
1 TBSP black pepper
½ TBSP onion powder
½ TBSP garlic powder
½ TBSP paprika
1 TBSP NOOCH
½ tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground mustard
SPRINKLE of Everything Bagel Seasoning (if you have it)
Your favorite dipping sauce!

You Will Also Need…

A medium-large bowl & large bowl for your wet & dry dipping mixtures
A plate or pan for battered mushrooms
A wok or deep-fryer
A baking sheet 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot/wok or preheat your deep-fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a med-large sized bowl, whisk together your chickpea flour and plant milk until all the clumps are dissolved, adding flour or milk as needed to achieve a syrup-like consistency.
  3. Combine flour and spices in a large mixing bowl until combined.
  4. Drop some of your prepared, raw mushrooms in “egg wash” turning over until coated.
  5. Indent a pocket in the flour mixture and bring your coated mushrooms to your flour bowl. Cover and loosely toss until coated.
  6.  Carry dredged mushrooms over to plate/pan.
  7. Carefully drop battered mushrooms into oil and don’t overcrowd the pot/basket. Fry 4-7 minutes until golden-dark browning turning each over and over.
  8. Repeat steps 4&5 until all mushrooms have been coated and fry in oil as directed in step 7.
  9. Remove mushrooms from oil onto a plate covered with a clean towel or paper towel.
  10. Set oven to broil on high
  11. Toss fried mushrooms in your favorite dipping sauce or sauce mixture in a large bowl until evenly coated.
  12.  Transfer to a baking sheet, scraping any remaining sauce on top of your “wings” and brush across.
  13. Broil between 7-10 minutes, or until sauce is caked on.
  14. Allow to cool a bit.
  15. ENJOY with more of your favorite dipping sauce or a separate complimentary choice.

Nikky is always snapping pictures of food, whereas Jason doesn’t always think to snap pictures during the cooking process. Don’t worry – we’re planning some REELS & IGTV recipe videos coming soon – so you’ll be able to bear witness to the fun process behind the product!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow Dat Krunchy Couple on Instagram, and share with us any comments you have below. We look forward to seeing your krunchy creations!

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