Football season is upon us…finally! I love college football and everything that comes with it, especially tailgating. Tailgating = eating ALL the food. You should fully expect a slew of vegan tailgate recipes in the next few months. This one is my favorite, hands down, no question.
This tastes so much like real calamari, it’s incredible. Trumpet mushrooms are very versatile and have thick meaty stems with a mild neutral flavor that lends itself perfectly to this recipe. The stems can easily be manipulated to form the ‘O’ (see below). Cutting the ‘O’s can take a little extra prep time, but sooo worth the labor of love.
The calamari flavor primarily comes from the breading. The nori and garlic powder add a fishy oceany (I know…not a word) taste. In the instructions, I suggest to begin frying at medium high heat, as opposed to high heat. By doing this, the mushrooms cook a bit longer in the oil creating a more rubbery texture that mimics real calamari. If it comes out too rubbery, increase your heat setting.
I have paired the calamari with a yummy creamy old bay sriracha dipping sauce that is super easy to make. After living in Maryland for a few years, I can’t help pairing ‘seafood’ with old bay, but there are so many sauces that would work here. My husband requested either a cocktail sauce or sweet and sour for next time.
- 4 trumpet mushrooms, washed
- 1 cup flour
- 1 ½ cups non dairy milk
- 10 ounces panko bread crumbs
- 1 sheet nori
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- vegetable oil
Old Bay Sriracha Sauce
- ⅓ cup vegan mayo
- ¼ teaspoon sriracha
- ¼ teaspoon old bay seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
1. Wash the trumpet mushrooms carefully removing all dirt. Pat dry. Slice the stems into 1/2 inch thick coins. Set the caps aside. With a sharp knife, carefully create a calamari ‘O’ by removing the center of the stem. The ‘O’ ring should also be 1/2 inch thick. If your mushroom stem is very large, you may be able to get two ‘O’s from each coin. Although the ‘O’ may seem too thick, it will shrink when frying to the perfect size.
2. Repeat step one for all the mushroom stems and set aside in a large bowl adding the small coins created from the center of each ‘O’ and the caps.
3. Place the bread crumbs, nori, garlic powder, and parsley in a food processor and pulse until the nori and parsley are finely chopped.
4. To prep your fry station set out three bowls, a large pot, paper towel, salt, and tongs. In one bowl, place the flour. In the next bowl, add the milk. In the last bowl, place the bread crumb mixture. Pour vegetable oil into the pot until it is approximately 1/2 inch deep. Lay out paper towel to drain the calamari.
5. Heat the oil over medium high heat. Test the heat level by tossing in a bread crumb. If it begins to bubble, the oil is ready.
6. Place one mushroom in the flour bowl and toss to coat. Then place the mushroom in the milk and dunk until fully wet. Finally, place the mushroom in the bread crumb bowl and cover with the mixture. Move the mushroom to the side of the bread crumb bowl. Repeat until 8 – 10 mushrooms are ready to fry. With the tongs, carefully move the mushrooms from the bowl into the oil. Fry until golden brown, turning occasionally. By frying over medium high heat, as opposed to high heat, the mushrooms cook longer creating a more rubbery texture that mimics real calamari. If it comes out too rubbery, increase your heat setting. Remove from the oil, place on the paper towel and salt to taste right away. Repeat until all mushrooms are fried.
7. For the dipping sauce, combine the mayo, sriracha, old bay, and garlic powder in a small bowl and whisk until fully mixed.
Did you make this recipe?
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