Wow all your friends with these incredible scallops – A vegan recipe dressed to impress!
I’m just back from a relaxing holiday in my hometown in Sicily. Before I show you off some pretty amazing Sicilian favorite foods and recipes, I wanted to share with you my recent cooking experiment with the best vegan alternative to scallops.
Recently, while I was strolling around in the famous Portobello road here in London, I’ve put my hands on some beautiful fresh porcini, shiitake, truffles and girolles. Literally mushroom heaven. And then my eyes were captured by these amazing King Oyster mushrooms.
Happy with my mushroom shopping, I also picked up some fresh local baby peas, asparagus and green leaves. Back home, I had fun teasing my family with this beautiful dish, grilled vegan scallops with baby peas purée, asparagus and fresh greens.
What are vegan scallops?
Known in the blogosphere also as fake scallops, they look like the real ones but in fact they’re just king oyster mushroom stems smartly cut. All right, you can fool the eyes but what about the flavor, do they taste like the real deal? Most of the people would say yes, but to be honest they taste more like abalone, a rare and luxurious mollusk just as delicious as scallops ( find more info here on abalone).
King oyster mushrooms have very little flavor raw, but they explode in umami flavor when cooked, bringing out a unique luxurious and rich flavor.
Vegan scallops are incredibly easy to prepare, all you have to do is gently pan-fry or grill the mushroom stems with thyme and garlic until nicely crisp and brown. It’s fascinating to watch them cook and turn into scallops lookalike. Impressive, really.
They are ready in less than 5 mins, just enough time to blend the petit pois with fresh mint until creamy, and arrange a bunch of seasonal baby leaves on a serving plate. You can also add some asparagus, either blanched or grilled to bright up the dish with extra green and flavors.
These showstopper vegan scallops with Spring greens make a perfect main course for meatless Monday as well as any other day. They’re healthy, gluten-free and super easy to prepare. Surprise all your vegan and omnivore friends with these amazing scallops and spring greens!
- 2 King oyster mushroom, tops removed
- 1 cup fresh/frozen baby peas
- 4 asparagus, blanched and chopped into chunks
- a bunch of baby green leaves, to serve
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 garlic clove, lightly mashed
- 4-5 fresh mint leaves
- Extravirgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, freshly cracked
- Cut the mushroom stems into scallops-like, around 2inch each.
- Soak them into a container filled with warm water for at least 1h or overnight.
- Boil the peas for 3-4 minutes, drain and cool under cold running water.
- Fold the peas into a blender with mint, and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with oil and blend until smooth and creamy. Reserve until ready to serve.
- Pat the mushroom scallops dry. Drizzle a pan with olive oil, ad thyme and garlic and heat over med-high heat.
- Add vegan scallops and grill 3-4 mins on each side, or until crisp and lightly brown and cooked through.
- Arrange a bunch of baby leaves on a plate, spoon the pea puree over, add chopped asparagus and scallops.
- Season with freshly cracked pepper and sea salt flakes and serve immediately.
Preparation time doesn't not include resting time for the scallops.