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Exclusively for NoshOnIt from the cookbook Lust for Leaf, this recipe for vegetarian "Oyster" Po' Boys uses thrice-cooked oyster mushrooms stuffed inside fluffy bread with cool cabbage shreds, creamy remoulade, and a splash of hot sauce. Krysta, Recipe Hunter

Krysta Voskowsky

THE RECIPE

Oyster Mushroom Po’ Boys

Oysters are out, mushrooms are in

Oyster Mushroom Po' Boy from Lust for Leaf Cookbook
Once in a while, we come across a cookbook that completely changes the game. Lust for Leaf: Veggie Crowd-Pleasers to Fuel Your Picnics, Potlucks, and Ragers by the dynamic duo of Alex Brown and Evan George (of the Hot Knives blog) brings creative, fun, and sometimes downright crazy recipes to your summer table. Paired with Alex & Evan’s witty writing, this is a book to keep at the front of your cabinet.

Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with the authors and hear about how they got started, their inspiration for the book, and how to throw a real party. And, lucky for us, they shared one of their favorite recipes from the book with us! Let’s hear what they have to say about these Po’ Boys that will have you feeling rich.

A word from the authors about this recipeBest vegan sandwich, ever. (Notice the period.) We fill our po’ boys, those traditionally vulgar-sized submarine sandwiches spilling over with fried crustaceans or bivalves, with thrice-cooked oyster mushrooms. The cumulative effect is dirty beyond words. Fluffy bread, cool cabbage shreds, and steaming, crisp-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside mushroom fritters, slathered with slightly funky radish cream and a line of vinegary hot sauce to keep things interesting. The times we’ve served these for wads of cash on the back patio of our favorite bars, drunkards go ga-ga. Most tweeted sandwich award.

Oyster Mushroom Po’ Boys

Makes 6 

Ingredients

FRIED “OYSTERS”

  • 1/2 pound oyster mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 cup pale ale, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 1/2 cups grapeseed or canola oil for frying

TO SERVE

  • 6 soft hoagie buns
  • 1/2 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1/4 cup radish remoulade (vegan mayonnaise, chives, minced radish, lime juice, salt, pepper)
  • 3 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce

Preparation

Prepare mushrooms by tearing each into strips (in half if small, into quarters if big). Put a sauté pan on high heat, add olive oil, and toss in mushroom strips. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking or stirring often, or until shrooms begin to release their liquid and some pieces start to brown. Remove and set aside to cool. (To double or triple recipe, roast shrooms for 6 minutes on a tray in a 350-degree oven instead of on stove.)

Set a deep pot filled with the frying oil over a high flame. Let heat 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a fry batter by mixing the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. Then add the beer slowly and whisk with a fork until creamy and wet enough to coat mushrooms. (Add tablespoon more beer if it seems too dry.)

Batter a test shroom. Dip a mushroom strip into fry batter, shake off excess, and carefully drop into hot oil. It should immediately sizzle and brown within 30 seconds. Your oil is hot.

Repeat with a small handful of shrooms at a time, coating them and smooshing them loosely together to form a garbled ball. Drop in the oil and flip after 15 to 20 seconds using tongs, slotted spoon, or a spider. Once golden, but not brown, fish them out, and let drip dry on paper towels.

Wait for the shrooms to cool and relax and then drop them again for another 5 seconds to make crisp. Remove.

Serve by opening each bun and pinching out about a teaspoon of extra bread to make room for your sprinkling of cabbage topped by the oysters. Slather bread with remoulade, place shrooms and cabbage, then finish with a line of hot sauce.