I love fried foods. But I could never bring myself to actually fry anything at home. It’s much too messy and in the back of my mind I know I’m much too lazy to want to clean up after frying.
Then I came across a recipe for King Oyster Mushroom “Calamari” in Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis. It looks just like fried calamari but it’s really king oyster mushrooms (also called king trumpet) that have been dehydrated. But alas, I didn’t have a dehydrator and I didn’t want to leave the oven on low for hours.
Inspired by the raw recipe, I made a baked version. Fresh out of the oven, the mushroom calamari came out nice and crispy. Easy, healthy and so good for satisfying that fried food itch.
Baked King Oyster Mushroom Calamari
Serves 2 as an appetizer
3-4 large king oyster mushrooms
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 small lemon
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon ground flax meal
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Wash and slice the mushrooms crosswise into 1/8″ slices. Using a small round cutter, cut out a hole in the center to make a ring. Save the centers for some other use.
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Add the mushroom rings and toss, leave to marinate for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix together the water and flax meal in a small bowl and let stand for a few minutes until the mixture becomes slimy and somewhat sticky. In a separate plate or pan, combine the breadcrumbs, spices and salt to taste.
Dip a mushroom ring into the flax seed wash and then into the breadcrumbs, covering well. Place on a well-oiled baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 10 minutes, flip over the rings and bake another 5 minutes on the other side until crispy. Serve immediately. It’s good plain or with tartar sauce.
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