Battered Mushroom ‘Calamari’

"The hardest part of this whole dish is maintaining eye contact while calling it 'calamari' as you serve it up. It's not exactly like calamari, but only because it's way better with perfectly meaty oyster mushrooms and much easier to catch than squid." Recipe extracted from Vegan Junk Food by Zacchary Bird.

Serves 4-6


  • 300 g (10 1/2 oz) oyster or king oyster mushrooms
  • 250 ml (5 fl oz/1 cup) soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 150 g (5 1/2 oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour or 125 g (4 1⁄2 oz/1 cup) cornflour (corn starch)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • canola oil, for deep-frying
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • tzatziki mayo (see this recipe), to serve


  1. Tear any larger oyster mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. If using king oyster mushrooms, use a vegetable peeler to slice the stalks into thin strips.
  2. Make a basic buttermilk by combining the soy milk and lemon juice or vinegar in a large bowl. Set aside for a few minutes to thicken.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat. Test if the oil is ready by inserting a wooden skewer or the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil; if it begins to bubble quickly then you’re ready to go.
  4. Dip the mushroom into the thickened milk, then fully coat in the seasoned flour, gently shaking off any excess. If you allow the mushrooms to sit between flouring and frying, you’ll need to re-flour them again, as the moisture from the mushroom will seep into the dry coating.
  5. Working in small batches, fry the mushroom for 2–3 minutes until just beginning to brown. Transfer the mushroom to a large plate lined with paper towel to drain and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and tzatziki mayonnaise.

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Guest Blogger Zacchary Bird

I’m into indulgent food that looks and tastes like it shouldn’t be vegan, just to prove we can. See all recipes by Zacchary

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