Vegan king oyster mushroom scallops are coated in Cajun spices, pan seared and served with creamy grits, juicy tomatoes, and chard to make this flavor-packed vegan meal.
Lately I been getting a lot of comments on social media on the names of vegan recipes. I get comments from people asking why so many vegan bloggers, including me, name their recipes after non vegan dishes, like crab cakes, meatballs, and meatloaf. Then I get comments from people explaining why those types of names make sense to them. Sometimes I get heated debates between people from both camps.
So I thought I’d clear the air, at least with respect to my blog. I give my recipes the names that attract and resonate with the majority of my readers. People just don’t do Google searches for “artichoke cakes.” Trust me. I want people to visit this site, so I spend a lot of time researching this stuff.
It makes sense too. I never liked meat. I’ve never had a real crab cake, and as a kid, my meatloaf got hidden under a napkin so I didn’t have to eat it. But still, when I’m looking for recipes myself I’ll often Google vegan + the closest non-vegan approximation to the type of dish I’m looking for, because I know I’ll find results.
Also, I totally get that people miss their old favorite dishes, and that’s fine with me. When someone newly vegan has a craving for some chicken nuggets and decides to turn to the internet instead of McDonald’s, I want them to get the answer they’re looking for.
Okay, so rant over and I’m calling this dish scallops even though it’s made of mushrooms! And like the main ingredients of many of my vegan recipes, I’ve never had a real scallop.
Whether you decide to make this because you’re craving scallops or the idea of some spicy mushrooms over grits sounds good to you doesn’t matter: they’re delicious either way. The mushroom-scallop thing is nothing new — I’ve seen it done a bunch of times, but I just decided it had to happen after making this vegan calamari a couple of months back.
The mushroom scallops are tender and full of flavor, thanks to some spicy Cajun blackening seasoning. I decided to go total comfort food meal and put everything over some creamy grits. My husband was gifted a bundle of chard from a coworker’s garden, so I simmered that up with tomatoes and hot sauce to round things out. Feel free to switch up the greens — if you’ve got some kale or collards on hand I’m sure they’d be delicious in here.
Blackened King Oyster Mushroom Scallops & Grits with Greens
For the King Oyster Mushroom Scallops
- 4 large king oyster mushrooms
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon dulse flakes, optional, for more of a seafood flavor
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Grits
- 1 cup dried corn grits
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup unflavored soy or almond milk
- Salt to taste
For the Greens and Tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 small bunch chard, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper hot sauce, or to taste
- Salt to taste
- Chopped fresh chives
Make the King Oyster Mushroom Scallops
- Begin by slicing the mushroom stems into 1-inch thick pieces. (You can discard the caps if you want. I used them, because even though they don't look like scallops, they still taste good!). Stir the water, soy sauce, garlic and dulse flakes, if using, together in a small bowl. Add the mushroom pieces. Soak for at least 1 hour, or up to 12 hours.
- When the mushrooms are done soaking, remove them from the liquid and blot dry. Stir the paprika, pepper, oregano, thyme, salt and cayenne together in a small bowl. Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushroom slices in an even layer and sprinkle the tops with about half of the spice mixture. Allow to cook for about 4 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottoms. Flip and sprinkle the other sides with the other half of the spice mixture. Cook about 4 minutes more, then flip once more to sear the spices on the bottoms. Remove the mushroom slices from the skillet and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Make the Grits
- Whisk the grits, water, and milk together in a medium saucepan, and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, lower heat and allow to simmer until thick and creamy, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water or milk if it becomes too thick and starts to sputter. Remove from heat and season with salt to taste.
Make the Greens and Tomatoes
- While the grits cook, coat the bottom of a medium skillet with oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and chard, and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook until the chard is wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with hot sauce and salt to taste.
- Divide the grits among 4 bowls, then top with the chard mixture and scallops. Sprinkle with chives. Serve.
You can substitute about 2 teaspoons of Cajun spice mixture for the spices used in the scallops if you like.