I’m going to say something controversial. I’m not a huge chicken wing fan—I know, it’s crazy. I find traditional chicken wings to be too fatty, too messy and just too much of a hassle to try and eat. Plus I’m kinda weird about all the veiny bits in meat. With all of that said, I do like the concept of a saucy little morsel. That’s where this recipe for spicy vegan (mushroom) wings comes in.
Given that I was sent a sampling of Melinda’s Craft Pepper Sauces, I’ve been looking for creative ways to add some spice to my recipes. Because hot sauce and wings are practically synonymous, I knew I’d have to whip up a batch, but preferably not chicken.
From time to time I indulge in the vegan thing. I mean, generally speaking, I try to keep it plant-based, but I’m not one for labels. Since buying king oyster mushrooms a couple weeks back at my farmer’s market (and listening to a Bon Appétit podcast), I was totally, incredibly, fully enthralled with these gorgeous fungi. Drawing inspiration, I decided to create a riff on a breaded chicken wing but with king oysters.
One thing that I found particularly interesting in doing all my mushroom research was that tearing mushrooms is sort of amazing. It definitely feels sort of primal and like I’m really connected to what I’m cooking in front of me. Plus, its rusticism is also ultra aesthetic.
Better than any chicken wing or nugget I’ve ever eaten, these breaded bad boys are so addictively delicious. Despite the fact that they’re just mushrooms, they’re super filling—I’d dare to say even more so than regular chicken wings! They’re also very spicy, so if you are a bit of a wimp like I am when it comes to spice, save the sauce for the side…or swap Melinda’s Fire Roasted Garlic & Habanero for something a bit milder like the Louisiana Red Cayenne, Black Truffle or Spicy Garlic Parmesan!
While it might take some time to fry these spicy vegan wings up, it’s worth it. Trust me, it’s totally worth it. Never in your wildest dreams would you believe how tasty these mushroom nibblers are. Give them a try during your next big game day or when you feel like indulging with an iced cold brewski.
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Spicy Vegan Wings
* Makes 4 servings *
200 grams king oyster mushrooms, torn roughly
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 1/4 cup sparkling water
1/4 cup vegan yogurt
3 cups seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup Melinda’s Fire Roasted Garlic & Habanero
In a bowl whisk together butter, maple and hot sauce. Set aside.
In a deep pot, add 3 inches worth of oil and place over medium-high heat. While you wait for the oil to heat, prepare one bowl of batter and another of breadcrumbs.
For the batter, whisk together flour, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, liquid smoke, sparkling water and yogurt until smooth.
Toss a few mushrooms into the batter, then dredge into the bowl of breadcrumbs.
Add to oil and fry for 5 minutes, turning them half-way through cooking. Once golden, use a slotted spoon to remove the wings. Repeat until all the mushrooms are fried.
Add wings to a bowl and toss with the sauce mixture from earlier until well-coated. Serve with a side of fresh veggies and ranch!