Whether you’re vegan or not, these vegan scallops, also called trumpet mushroom scallops, will blow your mind. First and foremost, the texture of these vegan scallops are incredibly close to regular scallops. They’re soft and supple, buttery and have that tendon-like texture reminiscent of regular scallops.
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Why I Love This Recipe
This recipe for trumpet mushroom scallops is a great example of how plants and produce can be completely transformed in cooking. If you love the decadent texture and flavor of scallops and enjoy a plant-based meal, this recipe needs to be on your must-try list.
I guarantee this recipe will blow your mind.
Aside from the novelty and incredible texture, I also love how simple this technique is. The simplicity of the process makes space for creative plating, flavorful sauces, and textured side dishes.
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What are Vegan Scallops Made of?
These vegan scallops are made from sliced trumpet mushroom stems. The thick mushroom stems get sliced into coins, soaked in hot water and pan-seared until golden brown.
How to Make Vegan Scallops
- Slice the stems of trumpet mushrooms into thick coins.
- Place the mushroom slices in a bowl and cover with hot water (I use a tea kettle for this). Let soak for 30 minutes.
- Drain the water and transfer the mushrooms to a paper-towel-lined plate. Next, pat the mushroom stems dry and season with kosher salt.
- In a large stainless steel skillet, heat some high-heat oil (avocado, grapeseed, sesame, peanut) until shimmering. Add mushroom “scallops” in an even layer—be sure not to overcrowd the pan or the “scallops” will steam instead of sear.
- Cook the vegan scallops until the first side is deeply golden brown, flip and continue cooking until golden brown on the second side.
- Repeat cooking process with remaining mushrooms.
FAQs & Test Kitchen Tips
In order to achieve a scallop-like texture, the tough mushroom stems need to first be soaked in hot water. I recommend soaking for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. You can bring water to a boil on the stove top or use a tea kettle (which I prefer).
To infuse these scallops with even more flavor consider soaking the mushroom stems in vegetable broth. If you don’t follow a strict vegan diet, you could even try seafood stock.
Their technical name is Pleurotus eryngii but they’re most commonly labeled trumpet, king trumpet, king oyster, or even French horn mushrooms. They’re a type of oyster mushroom with a thick snow-white stem (about 1-inch in diameter) and a flat dusty-brown cap.
Trumpet mushrooms have a deep umami flavor and a meaty texture that holds up well to high-heat cooking. Together, these characteristics make trumpet mushrooms ideal for vegetarian dishes.
I’ve had good luck finding trumpet mushrooms at most higher-end grocery stores such as Hy-Vee, Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme and local co-ops and markets. Look for them in the refrigerated bulk bin area of the produce section or in plastic containers wrapped in plastic wrap.
Depending on size, you can expect to get 2–3 scallops from one mushroom.
Add “Seafood” Flavor
If you aren’t vegan or serving someone who is vegan, you can infuse the “scallops” with seafood flavor by adding some fish sauce to the soaking water. I recommend adding 2 to 3 teaspoons of fish sauce. It adds a mild fish flavor without being overpowering. Alternatively, you could soak the mushroom stems in seafood stock.
How to Serve Trumpet Mushroom Scallops
- Top with chimichurri.
- Serve with pesto pasta and zucchini noodles.
- Spoon lemon garlic butter sauce over vegan scallops and angel hair pasta. To keep this a vegan recipe, toss the noodles with melted vegan butter, lemon zest, grated garlic and a splash of white wine or lemon juice.
- Serve over rice noodles with a simple Ginger Scallion Sizzle Sauce.
- Tuck the scallops into a bed of Miso Pesto Ramen Noodles.
- Simply drizzle with good olive oil or lemon-infused olive oil and finish with flaky sea salt and pepper.
A delicious recipe for vegan scallops made from trumpet mushroom stems. These will become a new plant-based favorite!
- 5–6 king trumpet mushroom (also called king oyster mushrooms)
- 1 tablespoon high heat oil, such as avocado or grapeseed oil
- kosher salt
- Slice mushroom stems into 1-inch thick scallop-sized pieces. Reserve tops for another use. Add stem slices to a medium bowl. Fill bowl with hot water then stir in ¼ teaspoon kosher salt; soak at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- Drain mushroom stems then arrange on a paper-towel-lined plate and pat dry; season with kosher salt.
- Heat oil in a large stainless steel skillet over medium.
- Carefully add stems in a single layer, (they’ll sputter a bit) being careful not to overcrowd the pan (cook in batches if needed).
- Cook stems, without moving, until bottom side is golden brown and crispy, 5–6 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until second side is golden brown and crispy, 5–8 minutes. Transfer mushroom “scallops” to a plate and repeat cooking process with any remaining stems.
- Serve as desired (see recipe article for ideas).
Feel free to use a cast-iron skillet, just watch the scallops as they will likely cook a bit quicker.
Keywords: trumpet mushroom scallops, vegan scallops