Vegan King Oyster Mushroom Scallops

July 5, 2018

These vegan king oyster mushroom scallops have an incredible texture that is pretty close to conventional scallops. Just amazing!

These vegan king oyster mushroom scallops have an incredible texture that is pretty close to conventional scallops. Just amazing!

Mushrooms are the meat of the vegan kitchen, and king oyster mushrooms are an incredible plant-based tool for replicating the texture of scallops in spectacular fashion. I had some incredible mushroom vegan scallops at Farm Spirit in Portland for my birthday last year, and I was beside myself when I found this recipe. I served these vegan scallops as the starter for a summer dinner party I hosted last weekend and there were RAVES. This dish takes some time to put together. But, open a fabulous bottle of red, put on your favorite music, and prepare to be amazed. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

This incredible vegan scallop recipe comes from The Wicked Healthy Cookbook by Chad Sarno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim, and has utterly stunning photography by Eva-Kosmas-Flores. This is, hands down, the most incredible plant-based cookbook I have seen in years. I am IN LOVE with this book, and am slowly (well actually, not so slowly) making my way through every single recipe in the book, and I have not hit a dud yet. The food is just exquisite.

Chefs Chad and Derek Sarno are just awesome humans, but are also among the world’s foremost authorities on plant- based cooking. Derek was the former Senior Global Executive Chef at Whole Foods Market and is now the Executive Chef and Director of Plant-Based Innovation for Tesco. Chad also worked at Whole Foods as a Senior Culinary Educator and the media spokesperson for the Global Healthy Eating program. He is also an ambassador for Rouxbe, the world’s largest online cooking school, where he launched the Professional Plant-Based Certification course. He’s also collaborated on a swag of cookbooks with Kris Carr and others.

Together, these brothers founded Good Catch Foods, and developed the Wicked Kitchen line of foods in Tesco. They’ve also both run restaurants all over the world. Yeah….just a bunch of slackers! (What the hell have I been doing with my time?)

If they weren’t awesome enough, they teamed up with prolific author David Joachim (who has worked on so many famous cookbooks I’ve lost count) to bring this triumph to life. This book takes badass plant-based cooking to a whole new level with incredible flavor and textural combinations that will leave you weak at the knees. There’s 125 plant-based recipes for everyday cooking and fancy dinner parties, and trust me, these recipes will make the most die-hard meat-eaters happy.

Some of the show-stopper recipes include: Sloppy BBQ Jackfruit Sliders with Slaw, Summer Vegetable Carpaccio, Corn Dumplings in Coconut Corn Broth, Grilled Sweet Potato, Sriracha Caramel, and Kale Toasts, Porcini Ravioli with Garlic Butter and Sorrel, and Chocoholic Fudge Brownies with Sea Salt and Dried Strawberries. They also call out the recipes that are gluten-free, no-added-sugar, soy-free, oil-free, and nut-free.

Besides the awesome recipes, there’s also a ton of other info in this book. It’s like a plant-based cooking bible. There’s the pantry, kitchen equipment lowdown; knife techniques; awesome substitute tables for swapping out sugar and salt; and tips for: layering flavors and aromatics, creating appealing textures, and plating for awesome presentation. The book is peppered with awesome informative sidebars and innovative cooking techniques such as pressing and searing mushrooms until they reach a rich and delicious meat-like consistency, and tips for oil-free cooking, and eating healthy on the run.

Here’s an excerpt from the book about the mushroom scallops: “The technique of pan-searing while basting with butter creates a rich, golden crust on mushrooms. It works great on crosscut slices of king oyster mushrooms, which have thick, firm stems and relatively small caps. It’s even better when you simmer king oyster “scallops” with sea vegetables and miso in a dashi-style broth to amp up their savory umami taste before pan-searing. With a creamy puree of Corona beans and some shaved asparagus, the seared scallops make a sexy plated appetizer. Make the Corona butter a few days ahead of time and keep it in the fridge.”

Chad and Derek’s philosophy: Shoot for 80% healthy and 20% wicked, and you’ll be 100% sexy—it’s the Wicked Healthy way.

Woody Harrelson wrote the forward, and the raves of the kings and queens of the plant-based culinary kingdom are ringing everywhere. Everybody is talking about how incredible this book is.

RUN to get your copy of The Wicked Healthy Cookbook. I cannot rave enough about it.

PRO TIPS from Chad and Derek:

  1. Slice the leftover mushroom caps and use in a stir-fry or soup, or chop them to add to the mushroom filling for ravioli. You could also add them to mushroom stock or vegetable stock.
  2. If the mushroom stems are different diameters, you can use a small ring mold or cookie cutter to cut them uniform (if you’re fussing for a special occasion). To use the leftover broth, strain out the solids and use the broth to cook noodles.
  3. You can pan-fry the leftover asparagus for a veg bowl. Or add it to a stir-fry. Or do what we did for the green sauce dollops in the photo: Blanch the leftovers and a few asparagus spears in boiling water for 30 seconds, shock in ice water, then puree with a little olive oil and salt. That gives you a simple asparagus puree to decorate the plate here and there.


Vegan King Oyster Mushroom "Scallops"

These vegan king oyster mushroom scallops have an incredible texture that is pretty close to conventional scallops. Just amazing!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6
Author Tess Masters


Rosemary Garlic Corona Bean Butter:

Shaved Asparagus Garnish:

King Oyster "Scallops":

Tamari Butter:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
  • 1 clove garlic, minced extra-fine


  1. To make the Corona Bean Butter, soak the beans overnight in water to cover.
  2. Drain the beans and place in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat so the liquid simmers, cover, and simmer gently until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Test by pressing one bean on a cutting board: It should crush easily but not be mushy. (While the beans are cooking, check the liquid level now and then; you may need to add a bit more stock or water to keep the beans covered during the entire cooking time.)
  3. Remove the rosemary, bay leaves, and chiles. Transfer half of the beans and their liquid into your blender, add 1/3 cup olive oil, and blend until very smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate for a few days, then spread anywhere just like butter. Set aside.
  4. Make the asparagus garnish: Bring a pot of water to a boil and set up a bowl of ice water. Using a vegetable peeler, shave each spear of asparagus along its length. Remove all of the green peel from each spear. These are the shavings you will use. (Refrigerate the remaining inner white part of the asparagus for another use. See notes for suggestions.) Drop the shaved asparagus in the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds, then transfer to the ice water to halt the cooking process. Gently toss the shaved asparagus with the olive oil, yuzu juice, and shallots. Season lightly with salt and pepper and taste, adding more seasoning if you think it needs it.
  5. For the king oyster scallops, start by making the broth. Combine the water, tamari, ginger, halved garlic, kombu, and miso in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then simmer gently for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste the broth. It should have a slightly salty, slightly savory flavor. If it tastes under-seasoned, add a bit more miso.
  6. Meanwhile, remove the mushroom stems from the caps. You’ll be using only the stems, so keep the caps for another use. (See the notes for suggestions.) Slice the stems crosswise into coins about 1 inch thick. The shapes will resemble scallops. You should get 3 or 4 scallops from each stem. Drop the scallops into the broth and simmer very gently until they absorb the flavors, 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. While the scallops are cooking, make the tamari butter: stir together the butter, tamari, and minced garlic in a small bowl.
  8. To sear the scallops, score the poached mushrooms with a few crosshatch cuts on each side. Heat a large heavy sauté pan (such as cast iron) over medium-high heat. Turn on a fan or open a window because pan-searing the scallops will produce some smoke. When the pan is hot, add the 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, tilting the pan to coat it evenly. Carefully place the scallops in the hot pan— tongs are helpful here. Let cook undisturbed until the scallops are nicely seared on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Add dollops of the tamari butter around the pan, and tilt the pan to help it seep underneath the scallops. When it does, flip the scallops and sear the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. While searing, spoon the melted butter over the tops of the scallops. (Spooning helps to brown the scallops and keep the butter from burning on the hot pan.) Flip one or two scallops over to make sure you have a nice golden-brown sear on each side. When both sides are golden brown, remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  10. To serve, grab 6 small plates and swoosh a big spoonful of Corona butter on each plate. Place 3 or 4 scallops on the Corona butter, and garnish with a small handful of shaved asparagus.

Recipe Notes

Recipe from The Wicked Healthy Cookbook by Chad Sarno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim. Copyright © 2018 by Chad Sarno and Derek Sarno. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved. 
Photo by Eva-Kosmas-Flores