If there is one thing I miss about being vegetarian; it’s fried chicken (I'm allowed to say it! If fried chicken didn't cause the death of an animal I’d be eating it right now!). I found a recipe from a blog called K33 Kitchen for vegan fried chicken that involved shallow frying oyster mushrooms, I'd never used/eaten them before but they’re an incredible meat alternative, and when you deep fry them in a crispy coating, I’d say they’re pretty realistic!
Now fair warning, this recipe is VERY simple to make but it uses ALOT of herbs and spices, I didn't actually use all of the ones from the original recipe, and mine still tasted good so if you can’t afford to go out buying every single herb and spice then don’t worry, just do what you can!
Makes 12 pieces
200g Plain Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Granulated Sugar
2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Dried Marjoram
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Dried Sage
1 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
I didn't use these next ones but the original recipe also called for these spices:
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Salt
200ml Unsweetened vegan milk
450-500ml Oil, for frying (I used sunflower oil)
300g Oyster Mushrooms
Phew! OK, we got everything? Let’s go!
Add all your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and fold together until fully combined. Take 80g of your dry mix and put it into a medium-sized bowl, then add in the wet ingredients and whisk until you get a smooth batter.
Prepare your oyster mushrooms; you can buy the king ones like I did or the clusters which might have worked out better, if you’re using the king ones just slice them length-ways so they resemble chicken strips!
You should be left with a dry bowl, a wet bowl, and some oyster mushrooms.
Now, dip each mushroom into the wet mixture, let it sit for a few seconds before turning over and repeating on the other side, then drop the mushrooms into the dry mixture and fully coat them before letting them rest on a baking tray for 2-3 minutes. Repeat the process until all your mushrooms are coated!
Whilst you’re waiting for your coating to stick, heat the oil up in a non-stick pan, let the oil heat on a medium heat for around 5 mins until you can see it start to bubble. VERY CAREFULLY add 2-3 mushrooms into the pan, I got my boyfriend to help me with this because I have the literal scars to show my previous attempt at shallow frying! Just don’t overcrowd the pan, keep an eye on the heat making sure the oil doesn’t burn, once the pieces are cooking you can turn the heat down a little as the oil will stay hot for a while.
Keep frying your mushrooms until the coating is crispy and they’ve gone a golden brown colour.
Once cooked, place your “fried chicken” on a tea towel or cooking paper and let them cool for 7-10 mins whilst you carry on frying the rest!
And you’re done! Eat them on their own or serve them with sauces/dips and chips for a real fried chicken dinner!
I’m really impressed with these! I was shocked at how realistic they look once you get them all on the plate, their unique shapes and sizes also make it look that bit more real but you don’t need too many either, they’re surprisingly filling, but with that crispy coating, the way the mushroom tears like chicken when you bite into it and the thick “meaty” texture, I would say they’re a great introduction into a meatless lifestyle, or if you just fancy a *slightly* healthier fried treat!
Like I said at the beginning, actually putting the ingredients together and frying the mushrooms takes all of 20 minutes but I completely understand that it might feel a bit pointless to spend all that money on all the herbs and spices (if you don’t already have them) just to make this one dish, but if you’re able to spend the money I just know you’ll love it enough to make them time and time again!
I also hope you enjoyed the little promo video I made, I'm gonna try and make more of these with full recipes just so it's a bit easier for those of us who don't like to sit and read an entire recipe when you can actually see it being made! Let me know what you think of it!