‘Calamari’

This one is for vegans, or anyone, who love the taste and texture of seafood. Marinating the mushrooms in fresh dill and lemon juice gives it that fresh ocean flavour, but make sure to slice the mushrooms properly or they may fall apart when you fry them.

Easy recipeEasy Gluten free Wheat freeQuick meal Freezable recipe Cheap as chickpeasKid recipe
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Preparation time

20 min

Cook time

5 min

Total time

25

Cuisine

United States and Canada

Meal

  • mains
  • lunches
  • sides-light-meals-and-salads

Servings

4

Ingredients

Mushroom calamari

  • 6 large king oyster mushrooms
  • 500ml/2 cups water
  • 10g/½ cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 60ml/¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed

Breading

  • 125g/1 cup brown rice flour
  • 140g/1 cup medium or coarse cornmeal (see ‘tips’ – Dunn River course cornmeal is available in the UK or you can use polenta as an alternative)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 500ml/2 cups ice-cold water (see ‘tips’)

Frying

  • 1-1.5L/4-6 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Serving suggestion: vegan tartar sauce

Instructions

Mushroom calamari 

  1. Place the mushrooms on a work surface. Using a knife, remove about ½ inch (1 cm) of the bottom of each stem and discard. This part of the stem is very tough and not edible. Remove the caps and save to use in another recipe.
  2. Using a knife, cut the remaining stems into ½ inch (1 cm) thick rounds. You should get about 4 to 5 rounds per stem.
  3. Using an apple corer or the tip of a pastry bag, cut little holes in the middle of the mushroom rounds, remove the centres, and discard. Transfer the mushroom rounds to a medium bowl.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the water, dill, lemon juice, mustard, tamari, salt and garlic. Pour over the mushrooms and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight, covered, in the fridge. You can use this marinade one more time before discarding it.

Breading 

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, cornmeal, garlic powder and salt. Add the water and mix until well combined. Use the batter immediately if possible; if it sits, it will thicken. If the batter is too thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make it a little looser. The batter should have the same texture as a thick pancake batter.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot or small deep fryer to a temperature of 375°F (190°C).

Cooking

  1. Remove the mushrooms from the marinade and shake off any excess, then pat dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
  2. Dip the mushrooms into the breading and mix until evenly coated.
  3. Dip in the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crisp, using metal tongs to turn the mushrooms as necessary, 4 to 5 minutes total. Remove the calamari from the oil using metal tongs. Serve immediately with tartar sauce for dipping.

Tips

  1. Use medium or coarse cornmeal. The coarse grind gives a better texture on the outside of the calamari. Fine cornmeal will work, but it will not be as crunchy. 2. Using ice-cold water will help make the mushrooms very crispy when frying them.

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