Having had the opportunity to taste the Spicy Cha-Cha at Loving Hut in San Diego, the yam-based + salt and pepper shrimp at Au Lac in Fountain Valley, and Ocean of Love at Vegan Nirvana in Huntington Beach, I can say that everyone one of these variants has its texture and method.
I appreciate the uniqueness of devouring this very precisely textured mimic shrimp item.
Whenever I order one of the delicacies that I mentioned, I always log for a frozen version to be sold at the local Asian market so I could just make it myself, but I haven’t been able to find it yet!
I had an epiphany; I use king oyster mushroom stems quite often to make vegan scallops; I could use those to make vegan shrimps! The texture, although, isn’t as steady as the vegan shrimp I have had in restaurants, but it was still pretty great. You could say this is just fried mushroom, but for make-believe sake, let’s not!
What does the trick? To slice the king oyster mushroom stems through the imaginary yin yang symbol right in the middle, or 2 teardrop shapes resembling shrimps.
Pound, fry, and serve with the sauce you desire. I served this with a bang-bang sauce that was creamy + spicy, but it could go well with cocktail or tartar sauce as well. These also reheat quite well in an air fryer.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Yields 4 servings
Vegan Shrimp, made out of king oyster mushroom stems!
4 large stems of king oyster mushroom, trimmed into scallop-sized chunks and soaked for around 15 minutes in warm water.
FOR THE BREADING
1/2 cup of white rice flour
1 1/2 cup of soy milk
1 tsp of coconut or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp of VeganEgg (optional)
3/4 cup of AP flour
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1 TB of garlic powder
1 TB of onion powder
2 cups of panko, plus more if needed
canola or grapeseed oil, for frying
FOR THE BANG BANG SAUCE
1 cup of vegan mayo
1/2 cup of sweet chili sauce
2 TB of sriracha
1 lime-juice only
THE MUSHROOM SHRIMP
There is no need for perfection here but envision a yin yang symbol and cut through the centerline to make 2 shrimps out of one mushroom.
TO PREPARE THE BREADING
Add the rice flour to a container.
In a different container, incorporate the VeganEgg, soy milk, and vinegar. Mix the garlic, onion powders, cornstarch, and flour, and gradually add to the wet concoction. You can add extra soy milk in case the mixture is very thick.
Add the panko to a different container.
PREPARATION OF THE VEGAN SHRIMP
Heat a small-sized cast iron pot to 325-350 degrees, then add some inches of oil into it.
Pound 3-4 chunks of the vegan shrimp at a time. Start with removing a piece of mushroom from the water, coat it with the rice flour, and then dip it in the batter and remove, allow any excess to fall off, then coat it with the panko mixture thoroughly.
Fry the mushrooms in the oil you heated until light gold. Fry the rest while you allow the fried ones to drain on paper towels.
Serve instantly, pair with the bang bang sauce.
An air fryer is great to warm these up again later. You could dip the shrimp in the sauce for a contrasting texture before heating these in the air fryer.