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Prepare to be impressed! Looking for a substitution for scallops? Look no further. These succulent vegan scallops are made with King Oyster Mushrooms, so they’re not only full of flavor, they’re nutritious too. Serve them with pasta, over risotto, in stir-fry, or by themselves. King Oyster Mushrooms are the best replacement for sea scallops.

You’ll Love Vegan Scallops Because They Are

  • Full of flavor
  • Tender & Juicy
  • Texture like seafood
  • Super easy to make
  • Only a few ingredients
  • Good for your health

What are King Oyster Mushrooms?

Also known as Trumpet Mushrooms, King Oyster Mushrooms are the largest shrooms in the oyster mushroom family. They feature a thick edible stalk that makes up most of the mushroom’s size, and a small dark grey cap.

Why King Oyster Mushrooms

King Oyster Mushrooms are the best replacement for actual scallops. When cooked they have a tender, chewy, meaty texture that is unmistakably similar to sea scallops. I try to avoid using processed meat alternatives, and these mushrooms make it so easy.

What do king oyster mushrooms taste like?

King oyster mushrooms have a meaty, slightly chewy, smooth texture. This mushroom has an earthy, savory, and subtly nutty flavor. A quick pan fry with minced garlic and salt is all this tasty mushroom needs to shine.

How to prepare

King oyster mushrooms pack lots of flavor so they do not need a lot of spices to be delicious. When I’m in a hurry I love to make a quick sauté of chopped king oyster mushrooms, garlic, salt, and red chili flakes. That’s all these mushrooms need. Not only are they easy to cook, king oyster mushrooms (like all mushrooms), are incredibly versatile.

Here are a few ways to enjoy king oyster mushrooms

King Oyster Mushroom Nutrition

King oyster mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, choline, iron, zinc, and potassium. They are especially high in some B vitamins, most notably: niacin, B5, and folate. These mushrooms are also a good source of fiber and protein. And like all mushrooms they are low in calories and carbohydrates.

Where can I buy them?

Look for king oyster mushrooms at your local Asian or International grocery store. They are surprisingly inexpensive, especially compared to other varieties of oyster mushrooms. I usually spend $2-3 for a package of 3 large mushrooms. They are also called king trumpet mushrooms, trumpet mushrooms, or Sae song-ee beosut in Korean. If you’ve never been to an Asian or International grocery store, Google to find the closest one to you. It will be well worth the trip. You may also find them at your local farmer’s market.

If you cannot find king oyster mushrooms locally, look around to find fresh mushrooms online.

They will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to 10 days in the original packaging or a brown paper bag. Though it is best to cook them within 3 days of bringing home.

How to make vegan scallops

STEP ONE Prepare the king oyster mushrooms by removing the tough lower 1-1.5 inch of the stalk (you can feel the difference with a light squeeze––the tough part feels hard and hollow).

STEP TWO Cut the mushroom stems into 1-1.5 inch medallions. You can keep or remove the smooth dark grey cap. As you see in the photos and video, I like to keep mine on even though it looks less like a sea scallop.

STEP THREE Use a paring knife or another sharp knife to score the mushroom slices in a checkered pattern. This allows more yummy juice and rich flavor to be released and soak back in.

STEP FOUR Melt 2 tablespoons of vegan butter in a cast iron large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms one at a time, cut side down. Sprinkle garlic powder and sea salt over the mushrooms, and then place a heavy lid or another cast iron skillet directly over the mushrooms as they cook. This will draw out the liquid and make them extra meaty. Cook for 8 minutes on medium heat.

STEP FIVE Remove the heavy lid or pan, and add minced garlic to the liquid that now surrounds the mushrooms. Use tongs to flip each mushroom. The cooked side should be golden and slightly crispy around the edges.

Continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes on medium heat until the mushrooms are tender and both sides are golden. The liquid will mostly evaporate, but do not let the garlic burn. The mushrooms are finished when both sides are golden and the sides are shiny and smooth looking. They will reduce in size about 50% when they are fully cooked.

Drizzle on a bit of fresh lemon juice and garnish with black pepper and fresh parsley.

How to Serve Vegan Scallops

When the vegan scallops are done cooking, remove them from the skillet, but leave the garlic and any liquid behind. You can make a delicious vegan cream sauce in the seasoned pan. Here’s the recipe. 

Vegan scallops are super delicious served with cold soba noodles––recipe here. Enjoy this recipe all year round. It’s one of my favorite dishes for weekly meal prep. Use 100% buckwheat soba to make this recipe gluten-free.

Some tasty substitutions

While there is really no good substitute for king oyster mushrooms to make vegan scallops, there are many ways you can season and enhance these tender morsels:

  • Make them taste even more like the ocean by adding dulse seaweed, nori flakes, or kelp flakes to the mushroom liquid as they cook (after you’ve pressed and flipped them).
  • Enhance the umami factor by adding miso paste or soy sauce to the cooking liquid. The miso particularly goes well with the garlic butter sauce this recipe instructs you to make.

How to Store & Reheat Vegan Scallops

TO STORE Keep the vegan scallops fresh in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

REHEAT them in a microwave or on the stove. Add a little olive oil or low sodium vegetable broth to the pan before warming.

4.80 from 10 votes

King Oyster Mushroom Vegan Scallops

Indulge in the flavors of the sea without the shellfish with this delicious King Oyster Mushroom Vegan Scallops recipe! Made with 5 simple ingredients and pan-fried to perfection, this savory dish is a great dinner party appetizer or topping for your favorite main meals!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb large king oyster mushrooms, scrubbed well
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Chopped parsley and lemon wedges , to garnish

Instructions 

  • Cut off the tough lower 1-1.5 inches of the mushroom stalk. You can feel where the stalks get tougher by giving the mushrooms a light squeeze. Slice the mushroom into 1-1.5 inch thick medallions. You can keep or remove the mushroom caps.
  • Using a paring knife, score the sliced sides of the mushrooms in a checkered pattern. Be careful to score only 1/8 to 1/4-inch deep.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of the vegan butter in a large cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms one at a time, cut side down, spreading the mushrooms in the pan so they all have contact with the skillet and are not crowded.
  • Sprinkle garlic powder and sea salt over the mushrooms. Place a heavy lid or a second cast iron skillet directly on top of the mushrooms as they cook. This will draw out the liquid and make them extra meaty. Cook the mushrooms for 8 minutes on medium heat.
  • Remove the heavy lid or pan from the mushrooms. Add minced garlic to the mushroom liquid. Use tongs to flip each mushroom. The cooked side should be golden and slightly crispy around the edges.
  • Continue to cook the mushrooms for another 5-10 minutes on medium heat until the mushrooms are tender and both sides are golden. Stir the garlic in the liquid as needed and be careful not to let it burn.
  • If all the mushrooms didn't fit in the pan, repeat these steps to cook the remaining mushrooms.
  • Serve mushrooms garnished with fresh parsley, lemon juice, and freshly cracked black pepper.

Notes

Storage Directions
  • Refrigeration: Allow this king oyster recipe to cool completely to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
  • Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe, as the scallops will lose their texture when thawed. 
  • Reheating: Warm the scallops in a pan on the stove with a little olive oil or a splash of vegetable broth to restore the moisture until heated through. Or you can heat them in the microwave. 
Recipe Pro-Tips
  • Avoid crowding the skillet. If you can’t fit all the mushrooms in the pan without overlapping one another, make this king mushroom recipe in batches. The scallops will form the best texture when they have room to breathe. 
  • Wait to flip the mushrooms. When you first add each scallop mushroom to the skillet, avoid the temptation to move them – they need time to sear and form a caramelized exterior. 
  • Don’t forget to score the mushrooms. The shallow cuts create more surface area for the seasoning and flavors to soak deeper into the mushrooms as they cook for elevated flavor.
  • Add more flavors of the sea. You can enhance the ocean-like umami flavor of these vegan scallops by adding dulse seaweed, nori flakes, kelp flakes, miso paste, or soy sauce to the mushroom liquid as they cook (after you’ve pressed and flipped them).
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Jenne

I’m a Georgia Peach living in Los Angeles (by way of NYC), with an insatiable love of sweet potatoes, travel, animals, and cooking. On Sweet Potato Soul you’ll discover hundreds of delicious and easy-to-make vegan recipes.

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2 Comments

  1. What a great recipe! I needed something vegan to serve friends, and these were such a hit! Thanks for sharing!

  2. These were deslih. I was only half paying attention to the time and think I should have cut my medallions a bit thinner and/or cooked a bit longer. The thinner medallions were cooked through with a better texture. Regardless, flavor was on point and they were very satisfying.