Beer-Battered Oyster Mushrooms

“The Cajun Beer-Battered Oyster Mushrooms with tartare sauce recipe is inspired by my time in New Orleans, where I tucked into a lot of different Cajun-spiced fried foods,” explains vegan food writer Rachel Ama. “Your mind will be blown by the succulent texture of the mushrooms in their crisp flavoured batter. This is a top recipe for epic street food made at home! If you like, you can switch up the spices or keep it simply beer battered.

“First up, I’ve served the mushrooms with crisp Garlicky Crushed New Potatoes [recipe one, part two], topped with fresh herbs and a dollop of tangy tartare sauce,” says Ms Ama. “Next, refresh your leftovers in an American style ‘Chicken’ Pickle Sandwich [recipe two] with gherkins, tartare sauce and lettuce in a soft burger bun.”

Read: Liven up vegetarian dinners with these meat replacements

Recipe one: Cajun Beer-Battered Oyster Mushrooms with Tartare Sauce

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus extra to serve
  • 50g cornflour
  • 300g oyster mushrooms, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • sunflower or olive oil, for frying
  • 320ml cold lager (or soda water)
  • lemon wedges, to serve

For the tartare sauce:

  • 100g vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons capers, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method

To make the tartare sauce, mix all the ingredients for it in a bowl, then set aside.

Mix the flour, baking powder and all the seasonings together in a large bowl. Place the cornflour in a separate bowl or on a large plate, and place the mushrooms in a third bowl.

Read: Could mushrooms be the health booster you’re missing?

Pour a 2cm depth of oil into a deep frying pan or wok and place over a high heat until it registers 180°C (356°F) on a thermometer. Alternatively, test the temperature by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in it – if it’s hot enough for frying, the oil should bubble around it. Be careful not to overheat the oil or it will begin to smoke.

Whisk the cold beer or soda water into the seasoned flour mixture to make a batter. Then, working quickly, take a piece of oyster mushroom and dip it in the cornflour. Shake off any excess, then dip it in the beer batter before carefully transferring it to the hot oil. Working in batches, cook for three to four minutes, or until each piece is golden and crisp. Once cooked, drain the mushrooms on a wire rack or a plate lined with kitchen paper. Season with extra salt and squeeze over a little fresh lemon.

The mushrooms are now ready to be used in the recipes below, or will keep in the fridge for three days.

Recipe one, part two: Garlicky Crushed New Potatoes

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 200g new potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 portions of Cajun beer-battered oyster mushrooms (above)
  • 2 portions of tartare sauce (above)
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/425°F/gas 6. Place a pan of water over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes until tender, then drain.

Lightly grease a baking sheet with a little of the oil, then lay out the potatoes in a single layer. Use a fork to carefully crush and flatten each potato while keeping it in one piece. Scatter over the garlic, drizzle with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Remove the potatoes from the oven, turn up the heat and quickly place the battered mushrooms on a wire rack over a baking tray and bake for five minutes, or until warmed through and crispy.

Serve the mushrooms with the new potatoes, a spoonful of tartare sauce, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a sprinkling of fresh parsley and spring onion.

Read: Steak Sandwich with Fried Onions and Mustard

Recipe two: American style ‘Chicken’ Pickle Sandwich

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 portions of Cajun beer-battered oyster mushrooms (above)
  • 2 portions of tartare sauce (above)
  • 2 vegan brioche burger buns, sliced in half
  • 2 gherkins, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha or your favourite hot sauce
  • handful of lettuce, shredded

Method:

Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/475°F/gas 9.

Place the battered mushrooms on a wire rack over a baking tray and bake for five minutes. Check to see if they’re warmed through and crispy. If not, return them to the oven for another few minutes.

To build your sandwich, spread the tartare sauce on the bottom half of your brioche bun. Pile on the mushrooms, then top with the gherkins, hot sauce and lettuce. Serve immediately.

One Pot: Three Ways by Rachel Ama is published by Hodder and Stoughton. Photography by Henry Jay Kamara.

How often do you eat vegan meals? Are you a fan of mushrooms? Please share how the recipe works out for you in the comments section below.

– With PA

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