Vegan Calamari Recipe (Oyster Mushrooms)

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This wonderful recipe for making vegan calamari/squid is rich in all the ways you can use tasty vegetables as replacements for animal meat and by-products. We are especially fond of mushrooms.

We promise that this recipe will taste and feel just like the real thing and is made using royal King Oyster mushrooms.

Now we are going to talk about how you can copy-cat another favorite fish meal: calamari (squid rings), in a totally vegan way, to begin with, using these majestic mushrooms.

What is this Vegan Calamari based on?

The key ingredient in this vegan calamari recipe is oyster mushrooms. We tried oyster mushroom calamari rings at a restaurant in New York, and we’ve become hooked ever since! It was like we were eating the real thing, both in terms of flavor and texture! I was totally impressed, and I knew I could replicate something similar for this vegan blog at some point. And it turned out incredibly well.

Vegan Calamari Flavor

The flavor is spot-on, the texture as well, and it tastes even better than you’d anticipate! However, you may need to adjust the mixture a tad as it resembles a dredge more than a batter.

What Can You Accompany Vegan Calamari with?

Most calamari dishes are served with salad, but this is totally up to you. We have tried it both ways, and it tastes great nonetheless. If you have a baguette or rolls, you can also make a sandwich (PO-boy style). You may also toss it with some veggies and sweet chili sauce. Make it with pasta on the side with some lemon, parsley, and vegan ham on the side. It tasted delicious any way you choose to serve it.

How to store vegan calamari

We suggest serving and eating the vegan calamari right after you make it. You can leave them at room temperature overnight, but if you have fried or grilled them with vegetable oil previously, you may notice that they lose their crunch.

Moreover, 3 king oyster mushrooms are not enough for 2 servings, so most likely; there won’t be any leftovers.

Are you a fan of vegan calamari and want more recipes with king oyster mushrooms?

Vegan Calamari (Oyster mushrooms) Recipe Guide

Ok, let’s dive into preparing this delicious vegan delicacy.


For preparing mushrooms

For the batter

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • 1/8 tsp smoked paprika powder

  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper powder

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp kosher sea salt

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

  • Around 1 cup (0.24 l) of soda water


  1. Cut the mushroom stems through (width-wise) into 1.8” or 1.4” slices. Keep the mushroom tips for other things.

  2. Depending on how thick the mushroom stems are, take a ½” cookie cutter (round) or the circular end of a metal piping edge to make holes into the middle of each mushroom slice. You can also drench and fry the internal circles you take out later.

  3. You may deep-fry the mushrooms in a large compact-bottomed pot or deep fryer. Once you follow the deep fryer method shown above, we suggest doing it with a pot and a food thermometer inside. This way, you can gain more control over splitting the mushroom parts. Sometimes they sink into the bottom of the frying pan or basket. If you use a pot, make sure you add plenty of vegetable oil and leave a min. 2” of oil over the bottom level. Also, make sure to heat the oil to 350F/175C before you deep-fry the mushroom pieces.

  4. To prepare the batter, combine the plain flour, cornstarch, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper powder, salt, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Mix well with a whisk. Slowly incorporate the soda water into the mixture while stirring until you reach a pancake-style consistency. There is no need to use the whole cup of club soda to get this consistency. Your batter should ideally adhere well to the mushroom slices without dripping off excessively.

  5. Working in a few batches, place half of the mushroom pieces in the batter and toss to coat evenly, using your hands. Shake off any excess batter and carefully add a couple of slices at a time into the hot oil.

  6. Use a wooden spatula or chopstick to separate the mushroom rounds to stop them from sticking together.

  7. Once the pieces rise up to the surface (in approx. a couple of minutes), turn and fry on the other side, for another 2 minutes or so. It takes around 4-5 minutes to cook the entire batch. Make sure they are golden brown on the outside.

  8. Take off the fried pieces with a heaped spoon onto a kitchen paper baking sheet or big serving plate. Repeat the adobe steps until all mushroom pieces are done.

  9. Squeeze out some lemon or lime juice over the fried “calamari” mushroom pieces and serve them with vegan tartar sauce on the side. Classic shrimp cocktail sauce is also vegan, but you can make your own by mixing ketchup and horseradish sauce. You can also add a bit of lemon juice or garlic bits to enhance its flavor.

How to Deep-Fry The Vegan Calamari

Coat the mushroom pieces in the batter, then take them out with a fork and fry in hot oil until they become golden brown and crispy.

To make the calamari rounds even more crunchy, make sure that the oil is smoking hot before frying. To make sure the oil is at the right temperature, drop 1 wooden toothpick into the oil–if bubbles appear around it, it means that it’s hot enough for frying.

If you liked this recipe, see also  Vegan Salmon Recipe (Carrot Lox)

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