I’ve tried the yam-based + salt and pepper shrimp at Au Lac in Fountain Valley, the Spicy Cha-Cha at Loving Hut in San Diego and Ocean of Love at Vegan Nirvana in Huntington Beach. Each version is slightly different in texture and preparation, and I love the novelty of biting into this very specifically textured mock seafood item.
Every time I order one of these, I wish I could get my hands on a bag of the frozen stuff at my local Asian market to make myself at home. But I’ve never seen one!
So I had an idea to make my own vegan shrimp using king oyster mushroom stems, that I use a lot for making vegan scallops. The texture is not as firm as the vegan shrimp I’ve eaten out at restaurants, but it was still very good. Call this a fried mushroom and you’d also be correct but, come on, play along. 🙂
The trick here is to cut the king oyster mushroom stems into slices as you would for vegan scallop dishes, but envision a yin yang symbol, (☯) and cut down that imaginary line to make two shrimpy, teardrop pieces of mushrooms.
Batter and fry, and serve with your favorite sauce. I served this with a creamy + spicy bang bang sauce, but this would also work with cocktail or tartar sauce. Once fried, these also reheat very well in an air fryer.
Yield 4 servings
Vegan Shrimp, made from king oyster mushroom stems!
for the "shrimp"
- 4 large king oyster mushroom stems, sliced into scallop-sized pieces and soaked in warm water for about 15 minutes
for the breading
- 1/2 cup white rice flour
- 1 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1 tsp coconut or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp VeganEgg (optional)
- 3/4 cup AP flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 TB garlic powder
- 1 TB onion powder
- 2 cups panko, plus more if needed
- canola or grapeseed oil, for frying
for the bang bang sauce
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
- 2 TB sriracha
- the juice from one lime
to prepare the mushroom shrimp
- Cut each scallop into 2 shrimp shapes, like this. Imagine a wavy line running down a yin yang symbol and cut along that. They don't need to be perfect.
to prepare the breading
- In one bowl, add the rice flour.
- In another bowl, whisk together the soy milk, vinegar and VeganEgg. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, garlic and onion powders, then gently mix it together with the wet mixture. If the mixture is too thick, add in a little more soymilk, and be sure not to overmix.
- In another bowl, add the panko.
to prepare the vegan shrimp
- Place several inches of oil into a small cast iron pot or deep fryer and heat to 325-350 degrees.
- Batter the vegan shrimp in small batches (I did them 3 or 4 at a time.) First, remove a mushroom from the water, press it into the rice flour, then dunk into the batter, let any excess drip off, then press it into the panko mixture until well and evenly coated.
- Drop the mushrooms into the hot oil and fry until golden. Transfer to paper towels to drain while you fry the rest of the mushrooms.
- Serve immediately with the bang bang sauce.
These reheat very well in an air fryer. Reheat in batches as desired. You can also douse the shrimp in some of the sauce before adding to the air fryer for a different texture and crunch.