One of my favorite places in the world is New Orleans. I spent a week there my senior year of college helping renovate a home wrecked by Hurricane Katrina. But my classmates and I also spent a lot of time exploring everything the city has to offer, especially the food, which is a culture in itself.
I have fond memories of the beignets (sweet, heavenly donuts) from Cafe Du Monde, spicy, rich étouffée and a personal favorite, the rustic seafood po’ boys (aka sub sandwiches).
Since becoming a vegetarian in May 2016, I thought my seafood days were behind me, but my favorite vegetarian/vegan YouTube channel/blog Hot for Food came up with a masterpiece just like the po’ boys I enjoyed in the Big Easy: vegan oyster mushroom po’ boys!
Here is the recipe, straight from Hot for Food. There are quite a few ingredients, but trust me, this sandwich is so worth it!
Vegan Oyster Mushroom Po’ Boy
Fried Oyster Mushroom Marinade:
- 1/2 lbs oyster mushrooms (approx. 16 to 20 pieces)
- 2 tbsp ground flax
- 6 tbsp water
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp vegan oyster sauce (or use vegan Worcestershire sauce)
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 1/2 – 2 C vegetable oil for frying
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup corn meal
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Follow Your Heart Vegenaise)
- 1 tbsp hot sauce
- 1 tbsp sweet green relish
- 1 tbsp pickle juice
- 4 hoagie or kaiser rolls
- 2 1/2 C finely chopped romaine lettuce
- 3 vine tomatoes, thinly sliced (I had no tomatoes, unfortunately)
- 2-3 dill pickles, sliced into rounds
Mix together ground flax and water and let is sit in the fridge for 10 minutes to thicken.
Mix together non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, oyster sauce, garlic powder, basil, and white pepper. Add the flax mixture once thickened, and then pour the marinade over the pieces of oyster mushrooms in a large zipper bag ensuring they are well submerged. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile mix together the breading ingredients and set aside.
You can combine the sandwich sauce ingredients together in a small dish in advance or while the mushrooms are marinating and leave in the fridge until ready to assemble.
Heat oil in a large iron skillet or heavy flat bottomed pan to 375 F just before the marinade time is up. Oil should be heated up to the right temperature just as you’re about to bread the oyster mushrooms.
Remove a few oyster mushroom pieces from the marinade and place directly in the breading coating evenly on all sides using your hands. Place each piece into the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes, flipping half way through.
Using a pair of tongs, place the fried pieces onto paper towel to absorb excess oil. Continue to bread the oyster mushrooms and fry in small batches.
Cut rolls in half, spread the sauce on either side. Layer romaine lettuce, tomato slices, pickles, then fried oyster mushrooms. Serve immediately while the oyster mushrooms are still warm and enjoy!
Words can’t describe how incredible this sandwich is! The crunchy, sweet oyster mushrooms are the star, but the flavorful sauce comes in at a close second. All around, a pretty perfect indulgent sandwich!