Hot Buttered Oyster Mushrooms

Hot Buttered Oyster Mushrooms

Eugenia Bone's recipe - During the COVID-19 pandemic, my husband and I became vegans. We replaced meat with vegetables and found that mushrooms were a great meat substitute. This recipe is adapted from hot buttered calamari, a dish from Sri Lanka, where my family is from. We love to serve this as a hot appetizer, but it is also great as a main dish served over white or fried rice. I typically use chickpea flour (also known as gram or garbanzo flour) for the batter, because I like its sandy texture, but the recipe can also be made with all-purpose flour. You also can increase the chili pepper if you like it hotter.

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely ground chickpea flour, or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • Canola or other vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 8 ounces oyster mushrooms, washed, dried, and turn into long, thin strips
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons vegan or unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, thinly sliced (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder, or smoked paprika
  • 4 scallions, sliced on the diagonal into ½- inch pieces
  • 4 lime wedgers, for garnish (optional)
  • In a small bowl, mix the flour and coconut milk until combined in a smooth batter. The mixture will be thick.

Method

  1. In a small bowl, mix the flour and coconut milk until combined in a smooth batter. The mixture will be thick.
  2. Add inch of oil to a medium or large non-stick skillet. Bring oil to 375F over medium heat. Then reduce heat to medium-low to stabilize the oil temperature. Dip each mushroom strip into the batter, shake off any excess batter, and add the battered mushrooms to the heated oil. Depending on the size of your pan. add about 3 to 4 pieces of battered mushrooms at a time, do not overcrowd the pan, or the temperature of the oil will drop and the mushrooms will become soggy.
  3. Fry the mushroom strips for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are golden and release easily from the pan, then flip them over and cook the other side. Remove the mushrooms when they are golden all over and drain on paper towels or a rack. Repeat until all the mushroom pieces are fried to crispy perfection. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Heat the butter a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture becomes golden and aromatic.
  5. Add the bell peppers and santé for a few minutes to soften. Reduce the heat to low, add the sugar and chili flakes, and mix. Add a pinch of salt and red chili powder to the mixture. (If you don't like it spicy, add I teaspoon of smoked paprika instead of chili powder) Add the deep-fried mushrooms and scallions and sauté for about a minute, until everything is well combined.
  6. Serve immediately as I’ve, or with a side of rice and a lime wedge if you like.