King Oyster Mushroom Vegan Scallops with Cucumber

Served sizzling hot from the skillet – these King Oyster Mushroom “Scallops” are so much fun.


4 wide-stemmed king oyster mushrooms, sliced into 3/4″ thick circles
2-3 tsp safflower oil
2 Tbsp tamari, liquid aminos or soy sauce
2 tsp brown rice syrup (or another liquid sweetener like maple or agave)
fine black pepper to taste
optional: 1 Tbsp diced shallots

(also optional add in ideas: a few drops liquid smoke, splash of white wine)

1 cup Persian cucumbers, sliced in different sized stumps – some skinny, some taller
1 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch pink salt


  1. Prep for this dish is simple. Simple slice your cucumbers and toss them with some lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  2. Slice your mushrooms. I gently rinse mushrooms before cooking with them. Then I paper towel dry them very well. You need your mushrooms to be very dry for them to absorb the flavor of the liquid.
  3. Add your mushroom rounds to a bowl and add the tamari, brown rice syrup and pepper – and optional diced shallots. toss well. The mushrooms should absorb much of the liquid and take on a brown marbled color.
  4. Add safflower oil to a small skillet – heat over high heat. Wait until oil is hot.
    5. Place the mushrooms flat side down in the pan. They should sizzle. Allow to cook for about a minute – do not move them around too much – this will interrupt the sear. Add some fine black pepper over top the mushrooms while they cook – as desired.
  5. Flip the mushrooms. You can shake the pan around a bit to disperse the oil and flavors. You can now pour any leftover liquid from the bowl into the pan. try: If you want smoky scallops – add in a few drops of liquid smoke. try: add a tsp splash of white wine for a more complex flavor. Just be careful when adding to pan.
  6. Next is the most important part to good scallop mushrooms. You may have seen this technique on cooking shows. With the heat turned to medium-high, tilt the pan so that all the liquid (oil and marinade) dips to one side in a pool. Then using a large tablespoon, gather the liquid and quickly pour it over top the scallops. Do this over and over again and watch as the mushrooms absorb and caramelize with the liquid. This technique helps to cook the mushrooms while also keeping them from drying out in the pan.
  7. Flip your mushrooms again – add a sprinkle of fine black pepper – to taste – and turn off heat. Allow them to sit in the pan for a minute or two.
  8. Serve hot mushrooms on a plate with the chilled, lemon tossed cucumbers. Add a sprinkle of parsley over top and plenty of black pepper as desired.

I served my plate with Le Pain Quotidien’s harissa and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. This plate was gone in a flash.