Vegan scallops are perhaps one of the greatest fine-dining options in a fancy restaurant. Vegan scallops are the perfect appetizer because they taste fantastic, and can be arranged on a plate in so many ways. They can really help you get creative. Vegan scallops are quick and easy to make, taste slightly fishy thanks to the broth they are simmered in, and have that beautiful golden edge, after searing them in a skillet.
In this recipe, I'm going to show you how to make the best vegan scallops you will ever taste, and how to decorate your plate with creamy potato and crispy kale. I added a few drops of vegan sriracha mayo but it can be replaced with any other spicy or herby sauce.
What are vegan scallops
Vegan scallops are actually king oyster mushrooms. Thanks to their meaty, thick stem, you can cut it in the shape of scallops. Mushrooms are incredibly versatile and thanks to their absorbing properties, you can simmer them in special broth to give them that sea-like taste, which scallops have. Scallops are normally quite delicate in taste, and that's exactly what you can replicate with your kind oyster mushrooms.
Just like scallops, vegan scallops are not the cheapest, as king oyster mushrooms come with a higher price tag than simple oyster mushrooms. However, for a special dinner party or a fancy romantic dinner with your partner at home, vegan scallops are the perfect treat as an appetizer to set the tone for the rest of the evening.
How to score vegan scallops
To create vegan scallops, simply. slice the king oyster mushroom stems crosswise into 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick pieces. Score the tops and bottoms of each vegan scallop as shown in the picture below.
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Scoring the vegan scallops before cooking them results in a greater surface exposed to the heat. Scoring the vegan scallops also helps absorb marinades for example. This is good practice for us since we are going to simmer the vegan scallops for 30 minutes in a "fishy" broth.
How to make vegan scallops
To make the vegan scallops you first need to simmer them in a vegan broth so they become a little fishier in taste. To make the vegan scallops broth you will need:
- 5 cups water
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 cube vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 standard-sized nori sheet
- 1 tsp mirin
Simply mix all broth ingredients together, then add the vegan scallops to the aromatic water. I used 4 king oyster mushrooms to create four plates of vegan scallops. Bring the broth to a boil. Simmer the vegan scallops, uncovered, for around 25-30 minutes.
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When ready, drain the vegan scallops and set aside.
In a skillet, heat up the olive oil (or vegan butter if you prefer). Drop-in the vegan scallops, but give them enough space in the pan so they’re not touching each other. Please be careful as the oil will be very hot and the vegan scallops might still be a little wet.
Sear the scallops on both sides until they get that nice golden brown colour, around 3-5 minutes per side.
Serving suggestion for vegan scallops
I decided to serve my vegan scallops on a bed of creamy potato sprinkled with oven-baked crispy kale. Here's how to do them.
For the Oven Baked Kale Flakes you will need:
- 1 cup, chopped kale (frozen)
- 1/2 tsp salt
For Potato Cream you will need:
- 2 large potato, peeled and cubed
- 6 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 springs of fresh thyme
To make the kale:
Preheat the oven to 220C / 430F.
Place the frozen kale on a baking tray, lined with baking paper. Sprinkle salt on top. Bake in the centre of the oven until the kale defrosts and starts to become crispy. It can take between 15-30 minutes depending on the oven. Watch closely as it can burn very easily.
To make the creamy potato:
Place the potatoes, fresh thyme and salt in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil/ Boil for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are soft and tender. Drain the potatoes and discard the thyme but keep around 1/4 cups of the "potato water". Using a handheld blender, blend the potatoes until they are creamy and no lumps remain.
How to quickly plate the vegan scallops
Grab a flat plate. Ideally, a darker coloured plate will work best. Have a tablespoon and a teaspoon handy. Grab a spoonful of creamy potato and place on the plate. Use the teaspoon to aid the creamy potato off the larger spoon. I placed four of these tablespoons of creamy potato on my plate, with a little distance in-between.
Sprinkle a few crispy kale flakes over the creamy potato. Carefully place the vegan scallops over the creamy potato. Using the vegan sriracha mayo bottle which has a dripping attachment at the top, squeeze a few drops here and there on the plate.
You can add a couple of sprigs of thyme on the side of the plate if you wish, although that's not really necessary.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.