I found some beautiful king oyster mushrooms in Chinatown last week, with no real plan on how to use them. I didn’t want to buy a ton of ingredients to make a dish, so I used what I already had in my cabinets and refrigerator, and made these spicy and nicely textured sushi rolls with them. The trick here with getting the mushrooms to develop a similar texture to a scallop is an hour-long soak in a little warm water to soften them up a bit. A quick roll in some panko and cornstarch gives these rolls a nice little crunch and goes well with the spicy sriracha-Vegenaise sauce.
If you scan below for the ingredients that I used to make the glaze you see on the plate above, you won’t find them—I was overgenerous with adding in a thickener, and ended up with an aromatic but weirdly textured sauce that was almost inedible. However, it turned out that this dish doesn’t really require all of that anyway, as a quick dunk in a little soy sauce balances everything out perfectly here.
3/4 cup sushi rice, soaked for 30 minutes in cold water
1 1/2 cups water
1 TB rice vinegar
1 TB sugar
1/2 TB salt
plenty of oil for frying
4 straight, medium-sized king oyster mushroom stems, soaked in warm water for about an hour
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G, whisked with 5 TB cold water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 toasted nori sheets
4 TB Vegenaise mixed with 1 tsp to 1 TB sriracha, to taste
After the rice has soaked for 30 minutes, rinse thoroughly under fresh cold water and place into a rice cooker with the 1 1/2 cups of water. Once the rice is ready, place the rice vinegar, sugar and salt into a large glass bowl and place in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Transfer the cooked rice to the glass bowl and stir well. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. After 7 minutes, throw a pinch of cornstarch into it. If it sizzles immediately, you are ready to fry. Place the mushroom stems into the Ener-G/water mixture, then roll them in the panko/cornstarch mixture until well coated. Tap off any excess. Fry each piece separately for about 2 minutes and place on paper towels to drain and cool.
Roll your sushi, spooning some of the sriracha-Vegenaise dressing in a straight line next to the mushroom. Serve with soy sauce and garnish with vegan caviar and pea shoots or sprouts, if desired.