I’ve never had a traditional po boy, which is filled with what Wikipedia calls “sloppy roast beef” or fried seafood, depending on who you ask. It’s also served with lettuce and tomato. None of those things are going to appear in this sandwich, so I guess this is more “inspired by” than trying to replicate a traditional po boy. What I was going for was crispy, cornmeal-battered, meaty mushrooms dressed with a rich and spicy vegan mayo, briny capers, paper-thin red onion and slightly sweet bread and butter pickles piled high and sandwiched between two halves of a toasted, buttery hoagie roll.
Everything was fried and toasted in my air-fryer, which I never thought I would get into, but here I am. I used a blend of Songnee and oyster mushrooms in this version, but you can use whatever mushrooms you’d like. Just cut away any rough ends (and save them for making stock later) chop them up into bite-sized pieces, and you’re good.
As for filling the po boy once your mushrooms are done: use whatever you’d like. I kept it simple with some mandolined red onion, pickles and scallions, but adding traditional components like lettuce and tomato works too. Any leftover mushrooms can be stored in the fridge and reheated in your air fryer with no oil to recrisp them!Print
Vegan Po Boy
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4 sandwiches
- Diet: Vegan
These vegan po boys are mushroom based and made in an air-fryer!
for the dry mix
- 1 cup fine cornmeal (not polenta)
- 1 cup panko
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp white or black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
for the wet mix
- 2 cups soy or other nut milk
- 1 TB Ener-G (or a 1/2 TB VeganEgg)
- 1 TB coconut or apple cider vinegar
for the mushrooms
- 4 cups of songnee or oyster mushrooms (or a mix of both), rough stems cut away and reserved for making broth in another application later
- cooking spray
for the sambal-horseradish mayo
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1/8 cup minced garlic
- 1, 4 oz. can of diced green chilis, drained
- 1 cup vegan mayo (I like Hampton Creek or Follow Your Heart)
- 1 TB prepared horseradish
- 1 TB sambal (more or less, depending on how spicy you’d like it)
- 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 4 hoagie rolls
- vegan butter or olive oil, for toasting the rolls
- 1 small red onion, mandolined and soaked in cold water, drained and patted dry
- 2–3 scallions, chopped
- 1 TB capers, divided 4 ways
- bread and butter pickles
- lemon wedges
- In one large bowl, combine the dry mix ingredients. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, combine all of the wet mix ingredients. Throw in the mushroom tops and toss them around with your hands to make sure the wet mixture gets into all of the nooks and crannies of the mushroom tops. Toss a few times while it marinates for about 20 minutes.
Make your sambal-horseradish mayo
- While your mushrooms are marinating, heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add in the oil and the garlic, and stir to coat the garlic in the oil. Once just softened, but not golden (no more than 2-3 minutes), add in the canned diced chilis and allow to saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, add in the rest of the sambal-horseradish mayo ingredients and place into the refrigerator to chill. (This can also be done the day before to allow the flavors to fully blend)
When you are ready to prep the mushrooms
- Transfer your bowls near the sink. Take out a handful of mushrooms, letting the wet mixture drip off the mushrooms a bit. Place them into the dry mixture and shake or toss with a spoon to coat, pressing dry mixture to any exposed areas.
- Now holding one breaded mushroom over the sink, lightly spray with the cooking oil, flip and spray again. Place the mushrooms into a single layer of your air-fryer basket. taking care not to overcrowd them. Repeat this process as needed based on the size of your air fryer.
- Bake in your airfryer at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until your mushrooms are golden and look crispy. Transfer to paper towels and repeat the process with the remaining mushrooms.
Toast your hoagies
Split but do not separate the hoagie rolls. Place a little vegan butter or olive oil onto the interior, place in your air fryer interior-side up, and toast at 350 for 3-5 minutes, or until the interior is slightly crispy.
Spread the desired amount of the sambal-horseradish mayo over one side of the toasted hoagie. Place 1/4 of the fried mushrooms into the roll, adding red onion, scallions, capers and pickles as desired. Serve with the lemon wedges.
Store any leftover mushrooms in the refrigerator. Reheat in your air fryer, no oil needed!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Lunch, Dinner
- Method: Battered, Air-Fried
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: vegan po boy, mushroom po boy
Joni Marie says
Gorgeous! And messy! Just how I like it!
Thank you Joni! ?
I cannot wait to make this! I even have mushrooms and the hoagies. Perfect!
I hope you enjoy, Sindi! 🙂
Benita Walker Gibbs says
There are few foods that I miss from my BV (Before Vegan) days. However, I must admit that I did miss an occasional Po’Boy when visiting the beach. Well, no more! I made these last night (with the addition of kelp seasoning to both the soaking liquid and the cornmeal mixture). My husband and I agree that this is one of the best sandwiches either of us has ever eaten! Layer upon layer of flavor!!
Benita, thanks for your kind feedback, and I’m so happy you enjoyed! 🙂
I cannot wait to try these out! I love the addition of horseradish to the sambal mayo sauce…it adds something unique to the flavor. Beautiful images too!
Thanks Lindsay, I hope you enjoy! 🙂
I bought an air fryer just to try this recipe. It was worth it! I’ve never had a traditional po-boy, but it couldn’t be as good as this. I couldn’t find oyster or songnee mushrooms, so used horizontally sliced crimini which tasted great with the wet/dry mix. Next time I’ll look for the oyster/songnee.
Lyle, I love to hear that and so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂
You should be able get a lot of use out of the air fryer. I use mine at least once a day now. All Gardein products heat up perfectly in there and it has a ton of other uses!
Leo Sigh says
Looks fabulous. Especially with the horseradish mayo. I can think of a million things to put that on. And btw, I’m currently living in Vienna, Austria, and one thing I noticed as soon as I got here was how much the Viennese love horseradish. It’s everywhere here, even good vegan versions 🙂
OMG! This looks awesome, I have to take a moment and drool! Thanks for sharing, I’m definitely adding this to my list. 🙂
Deb Hatton says
Oh my gosh…I’m not even vegan but this looks sooo good I think I’m going to have to try it this weekend…
Looks fabulous! I’ve never had a po’ boy either and yours look better than the real thing!
I don’t have an air fryer… Can a deep fryer be used?
Babs, it should work; however, I have not tried that so can’t guarantee. If you try with good results, I’d love to know!
Everything about this sandwich is awesome…that sauce though! Perfection!