Vegan Fried Calamari
Last night I was going through my fridge and noticed I had a package of king trumpet mushrooms that were going to go bad soon, so I scoured my brain for a fun meal I could use them in. I remembered seeing a recipe on Pinterest months ago for king trumpet calamari, which at the time I was like "hard pass", but for some reason last night I went for it. You guys, I can't believe it took me so long to try this super easy concept! The texture was slightly chewy just like calamari, and the flavor was oddly seafood-esque. My husband and I devoured these guys so fast it was almost shameful! I'm hoping you do the same! ;)
By the way, the entire meal you see below cost under $5! (For all of you who have said "I can't afford to go vegan!")
2 Large King Trumpet Mushrooms, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 Cup AP flour + 1/3 Cup bread crumbs
1 tsp onion salt (I use Trader Joe's)
4 cranks black pepper
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Cup mild flavored plant milk (I use soy, with no natural flavors or sugar to avoid vanilla.)
In a shallow dish (like a cake pan) mix whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside, pour soy milk in another shallow dish and also set aside. Take sliced trumpet mushrooms and punch holes in the center. I used the tip that goes to one of my cake decorating bags, but can improvise with anything you have in your kitchen. (A very small biscuit cutter would be ideal.) Save the punched out circles and set aside for later, these make delicious "scallops" when seared in vegan butter! (See photos.)
Carefully Transfer your calamari into the soy milk and then into the flour mixture. This may need to be done in batches, depending on the size of your dishes. Repeat this step twice.
In a large cast iron skillet heat about 1/2 Cup of oil (or enough to cover the bottom of the pan in at least 1/4 inch of oil.) over medium/high heat. Once the oil is hot carefully transfer your calamari into the pan, be sure not to over crowd or they'll stick together. Once you see the edges turning golden brown use a pair of tongs to gently flip each piece. Once both sides are browned transfer onto a cloth to absorb some excess oil. Repeat this process until all the calamari is cooked.
Top with fresh or dried parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and serve with your favorite marinara sauce and fresh lemon wedges.