It's normal to miss seafood and other animal products when you weren't brought up vegan, and that's why it's important to find the right healthy alternatives to satisfy your cravings. Seafood was always my favourite, and I'm so happy that I have found a way to enjoy vegan calamari which I can cook at home. They look similar to real grilled calamari and squid and they taste like the sea.
I struggled to find a way to create vegan calamari for a very long time because the texture is usually so delicate and unique. The taste was never quite the same until I figured out how to create the perfect broth. So here it is, the perfect recipe which takes little time and effort to create. It's especially great for when you are invited to a summer BBQ or you find yourself on holiday, by the sea when the seafood cravings are at its peak.
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What is vegan calamari?
Vegan calamari is a replacement that imitates the texture and taste of real calamari. Only that the vegan version has no animal product at all. It's primarily created by enhancing the taste of king oyster mushroom then grilling it to make it look as similar as possible to the real thing.
Vegan calamari tastes salty, thanks to the high content of sea salt added to the broth. Its taste is also enhanced with nori sheet. This vegan seafood can be grilled or fried or even breaded if you so wish.
Eat it with freshly made chips and bring the seaside feel into your kitchen.
How to make vegan calamari
Super easy to make, vegan calamari is perfect for busy lifestyles. You will need to get king oyster mushrooms, sea salt and nori sheet. You can decorate the calamari with parsley if you wish or serve it with some tabasco sauce. It's all up to you.
But the main thing is preparing the king oyster mushroom to resemble the calamri. Remove the cap of the mushroom and set it aside. You will cook it just the same and eat it later, but of course, that's the only element of the mushroom which won't look as calamari.
Slice the stem of the mushrooms as thin as you can manage and make sure to use a sharp knife. Score one side of your slice crosswise. This will help absorb more of the broth taste so the whole slice of mushroom tastes right.
Besides the crosswise pattern is often used when grilling squid or calamari so it will make it resemble more to the real seafood.
Place the mushroom in a litre of water, add plenty of sea salt (3 tbsp!) and add 2 nori sheet as well. Bring this to a gentle boil and when the broth starts bubbling up, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Drain, remove any seaweed from your mushroom and grill it. You can sear it in a little olive oil on both sides, grill it without oil or fry it properly. You can even add it into breading and fry it.
I recommend serving it with some salad and chips on the side.
How to store vegan calamari
I recommend eating them fresh. You can leave them on the counter overnight, but if you previously fried them or grilled them with oil, you will notice they will feel a lot softer in texture.
Besides, 3 king oyster mushrooms barely yield enough for 2 people so very likely you will end up eating it right away.
Do you love vegan calamari and want more recipes which use king oyster mushrooms?
Or check out our awesome tofish (it's delicious, honestly).
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.