Well I’ve finally done it. I have jumped on the bandwagon to try a dish that I have REALLY been looking forward to trying on my own, while all the vegan bloggers in the world have been able to try this dish. I’m not jealous or bitter, not at all, but I have to tell you that I was seriously stoked when my partner and I were strolling the produce section at Metro (Romania’s version of Costco) and what did I happen upon but King Oyster mushrooms!
Instantly I knew that this was my moment. My chance to see if these King Oyster vegan scallops were as tasty and amazing as they seemed.
They are. No, they’re not. They are better, but only if you’re not expecting for a mushroom to taste like a creature that lives in the sea.
But I did it. Yay, I frickin’ did it y’all!
There are two schools of thought–apparently–when it comes to making these vegan scallops. Some have advised slicing the mushrooms and marinating them overnight while others say that thirty minutes or more will suffice.
In the spirit of full disclosure, the reason I chose the thirty minute marinade is because my husband grew up in Romania and had never, ever played Monopoly before. We found a Romanian version at Jumbo and spent entirely too long playing it the first night, which pushed dinner back. Way back.
Since we were drinking each time one of us pulled a Community Card or a Chance card, it became a whole thing.
So when I finally got around to making dinner, I chose the most efficient method. But before we get into that, let’s start with the ingredients for King Oyster scallops.
Step One: Prepare the marinade with capers, caper brine, minced nori, diced shallot, white wine, lemon juice, pressed garlic, salt and black pepper.
Step Two: Slice the stems of the King Oyster mushrooms into thick-ish, scallop sized slices. I used the caps for the next part of the recipe, but you can put them in a plastic container to use in another vegan recipe in the next 4 to 5 days.
Step Three: Close the lid on the plastic dish with mushrooms and marinade, and shake until each piece is well coated. Set aside and get ready for more prep work.
Step Four: I didn’t make this vegan scallop dish and oil free recipe because to get the effect, you’ll need to use some fat. I brushed a gram or two of peanut oil onto the skillet for the actual fat when I put the vegan scallops into the skillet.
Step Five: Put the scallops into the hot skillet. I used medium high heat, but the truth is that you should use the heat level that’s right for your skillet and how much fat you use. If you need to add more fat to the skillet, do so sparingly because these are mushrooms, not actual scallops, and they will soak up all that fat and turn into a hot greasy mess.
Step Six: Put the scallops in the oven on the warm setting so you can get started on the creamy butter sauce. Add the rest of the shallots, onion and garlic, capers and white wine (optional), King Oyster mushroom caps, and butter to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and keep stirring.
Step Seven: For the creamy sauce, you can go ahead and use plant milk, coconut cream or whatever you’d like. I used waste free broth, lemon juice and nutritional yeast to get the sauce thick and creamy, letting it reduce for about 15 minutes.
Step Seven: Cook the long pasta of your choosing according to box instructions, cooking short by one or two minutes so you can finish cooking it in the sauce.
Step Eight: Add pasta and vegan scallops to the sauce, toss and then serve.
Garnish with red pepper flakes or black pepper, or if you really need to, add your favorite vegan cheese right on top.
My impression of this dish is that I LOVE it. Even with the addition of the caper brine and the nori, it didn’t have a distinctly seafood flavor which is just fine by me. It was thick and heart and super shroomy, with excellent flavor. And since I’m no longer beholden to rules like no red sauce with seafood, I’m going to try it again with a spicy tomato sauce.
Have you tried vegan King Oystery mushroom scallops yet? Do you want to? Either way, tag me on social media or drop your links in the comments section.