Not Fried, Not Chicken

You read that right. It’s not fried and it certainly isn’t chicken. In fact, it’s oyster mushrooms and I used the air fryer (because its Summer in Florida and I’m not frying ANYTHING in hot grease, I’m just saying). So if you’re like me and on this plant based journey, then you have seen all the rage around oyster mushrooms, well mushrooms in general. I mean they have a great meaty texture, and you can give them so much flavor. So I came across a post (I honestly don’t remember if it was Instagram or Pinterest) and all I saw was a plate of fried chicken, but as I kept reading I quickly found out that it was actually NOT chicken but oyster mushrooms and the little hamster in my brain began running on her little wheel so fast y’all! You mean to tell me that I can have plant based fried chicken? Okay I’m in.

Unlike regular button or even portobello mushrooms that grow individually, oyster mushrooms kind grown in a clump. You can break them apart if you wanted to do more bite size pieces, say for “chicken wings” but keeping them together makes them almost look like a piece of chicken when they are coated.

So lets get into what we are going to need to make this:

  • Oyster mushrooms, clean them and I cut off the ends to give them a more uniform look.
  • Flour, cornmeal, panko – yes all three
  • unsweetened almond milk
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • poultry seasoning
  • parsley
  • chili powder
  • hot sauce

Clean your mushroom and cut off the ends, pat dry and set aside. Let’s start making the batters. First, lets talk about the issue of buttermilk or not. You can certain soak these in buttermilk before hand. I mean if it was regular chicken I would but this was a first run on these bad boys and I just wanted to see if it worked. To make buttermilk (yes you can make it with alternative milks) just take your milk of choice and add a little vinegar – mix well. The vinegar will cause the milk to curdle and thicken – tada!!!! buttermilk. But like I said, I didn’t go that route this time. So lets make your batters, one wet, one dry. All your almond milk (or buttermilk) a little flour, cornmeal all your spices and some hot sauce. And if you’ve every had my actual fried chicken, yes I put hot sauce in it. Then mix up your dry, flour, cornmeal, panko, and spices. Dredge your mushrooms in your wet batter making sure they are fully coated, then move to your dry – again making sure they are fully coated. Let sit for a moment. Before you start to dredge your mushrooms, preheat that air fryer at 370. Once finished you are going put your mushrooms in the air fryer and cook at 370 for 15 minutes, turning once.

These would be great served with some mashed potatoes and a veggie – I mean make it a real southern meal. But I can totally see me making these into hot “wings” and serving with some vegan ranch and veggies. The leftovers from last night are going to be turned into a “chicken” sandwich for lunch today, I can’t wait! I have to tell y’all I wasn’t too sure about this one but one bite and I got the crunch I love from fried chicken and honestly the taste was like I was having a piece of dark meat. It was pretty dang good. I hope you give it a try. Until next time y’all.

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