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For me, fried calamari is one of the quintessential summer dishes. In fact, as a kid I ate them every time we went on vacation to Italy. When I went vegan, I thought I would have to give them up forever, until I figured out how easy it is to make the best vegan fried calamari EVER!
To veganize the traditional recipe, some ingredients had to be substituted. In fact, I replaced the squid with king oyster mushrooms. These, when deep fried, have the same consistency as squid! The fish flavor is given by nori sheets (the seaweed used to make sushi). As for the tempura batter: I replaced the eggs with chickpea flour. The result? A real delicacy! Try it out, I'm sure you'll love it!
The ingredients for this dish are few and easy to find. Let's start with the ingredients for the vegan fried calamari. To make them, you'll need:
- King oyster mushrooms (you can find them in any store that sells Asian food)
- Chickpea flour (makes the tempura batter crispy and golden)
- All-purpose flour (makes the tempura batter stick to the mushrooms)
- Nori sheets(gives the fishy taste)
- Sparkling water (makes the tempura batter lighter)
While for the cocktail sauce you'll only need two ingredients:
- Vegan mayonnaise
How to Make Vegan Tempura Batter
The batter is super easy to prepare. Just mix chickpea flour, white flour, nori, salt, and sparkling water in a large bowl until you get a lump-free and thick batter. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, in the meantime you can prepare the mushrooms for the calamari.
The vegan tempura batter should be smooth and airy, like in the picture below:
How to Make Vegan Calamari
The perfect substitute for squid are king oyster mushrooms. This is because they are easy to find, have the same consistency as squid once fried, and because they have a neutral flavor that does not mask that of the batter.
To prepare the vegan squid, you need to cut the mushroom stem into 5 mm thick rounds, as shown in the following photo:
How Do I Get the Perfect Calamari Shape?
To get the typical "calamari" shape, use a piping nozzle or an apple corer to remove the center of the rounds. We'll fry these parts as well so don't discard them!
How to Fry The Vegan Calamari
Dip the mushrooms in the batter, then fish them out with a fork and fry them in hot oil until they are crunchy and golden.
To make the calamari super crispy, it's important that the oil is very hot when frying. To know if the oil is hot enough, throw 1 wooden toothpick into the hot oil; if many bubbles form around it, the oil is ready for frying.
Can I Bake The Vegan Calamari Instead of Frying?
No, unfortunately you can't. The tempura batter will not crisp up in the oven.
More Recipes You May Like:
- Seitan Kabobs with Sweet Curry Marinade
- How to Make Seitan Shredded Chicken
- How to Make Seitan Roast Beef
If you try this recipe...
Let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #carlocao or #vegaliciously on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
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