Served sizzling hot from the skillet – these King Oyster Mushroom “Scallops” are so much fun. I serve these glistening gems alongside cool crunchy stumps of Persian cucumbers. Fresh pepper. Flat parsley. A dipping bowl of spicy, smoky red harissa on the side.
Serve as a fancy appetizer – or over top a salad or grain dish. Even if you have never tasted real scallops (I never have!) – you’ll love making this creative “faux” dish. Mushrooms lovers (and scallop lovers) will get a kick out of these…
Plating this dish I could just hear Gordan Ramsey shouting in my ear, “But these scallops are MUSHROOMS!” (instead of his classic phrase, “these scallops are RAW!” hehe.
“Yes chef, they are.”
I can’t even imagine what Gordan would shout out after tasting these delectable bites. Actually, I think he might like them.
This was my first time attempting mushroom scallops. I have tasted them in several vegan restaurants – and always amazed by the creativity involved in them. I don’t know who originated this idea – but bravo to them! Genius use for king oyster mushrooms.
So being that I love a challenge and mushrooms – I had to try these babies for myself. I was super happy about how easy this technique turned out to be. And you can really get creative with flavor infusions. Since mushrooms in general soak up flavor nicely, you could season these “scallops” however you wish.
This plate is served up HOT/COLD. Hot scallops with chilled Persian cucumbers. Persian cucumbers are super crispy with a thin skin and subtle cool-sweet flavor. They are also basically seedless. I picked up these green beauties at the farmer’s market.
King Oyster Mushroom Vegan Scallops with Persian Cucumbers
vegan, serves 2
4 wide-stemmed king oyster mushrooms, sliced into 3/4″ thick circles
2-3 tsp safflower oil
2 Tbsp tamari, liquid aminos or soy sauce
2 tsp brown rice syrup (or another liquid sweetener like maple or agave)
fine black pepper to taste
optional: 1 Tbsp diced shallots
(also optional add in ideas: a few drops liquid smoke, splash of white wine)
1 cup Persian cucumbers, sliced in different sized stumps – some skinny, some taller
1 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch pink salt
1. Prep for this dish is simple. Simple slice your cucumbers and toss them with some lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
2. Slice your mushrooms. I gently rinse mushrooms before cooking with them. Then I paper towel dry them very well. You need your mushrooms to be very dry for them to absorb the flavor of the liquid.
3. Add your mushroom rounds to a bowl and add the tamari, brown rice syrup and pepper – and optional diced shallots. toss well. The mushrooms should absorb much of the liquid and take on a brown marbled color.
4. Add safflower oil to a small skillet – heat over high heat. Wait until oil is hot.
5. Place the mushrooms flat side down in the pan. They should sizzle. Allow to cook for about a minute – do not move them around too much – this will interrupt the sear. Add some fine black pepper over top the mushrooms while they cook – as desired.
6. Flip the mushrooms. You can shake the pan around a bit to disperse the oil and flavors. You can now pour any leftover liquid from the bowl into the pan. try: If you want smoky scallops – add in a few drops of liquid smoke. try: add a tsp splash of white wine for a more complex flavor. Just be careful when adding to pan.
7. Next is the most important part to good scallop mushrooms. You may have seen this technique on cooking shows. With the heat turned to medium-high, tilt the pan so that all the liquid (oil and marinade) dips to one side in a pool. Then using a large tablespoon, gather the liquid and quickly pour it over top the scallops. Do this over and over again and watch as the mushrooms absorb and caramelize with the liquid. This technique helps to cook the mushrooms while also keeping them from drying out in the pan.
8. Flip your mushrooms again – add a sprinkle of fine black pepper – to taste – and turn off heat. Allow them to sit in the pan for a minute or two.
9. Serve hot mushrooms on a plate with the chilled, lemon tossed cucumbers. Add a sprinkle of parsley over top and plenty of black pepper as desired.
I served my plate with Le Pain Quotidien’s harissa and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. This plate was gone in a flash.