Rachel Ama’s Cajun beer-battered oyster mushrooms can be enjoyed in many different ways

This delicious base dish can be used in multiple vegan meals writes Ella Walker

Wednesday 25 August 2021 09:09
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<p>Cajun battered oyster mushrooms with garlic crushed potatoes </p>

Cajun battered oyster mushrooms with garlic crushed potatoes

“The Cajun beer-battered oyster mushrooms with tartare sauce recipe is inspired by my time in New Orleans where I tucked into a lot of different Cajun-spiced fried foods,” explains vegan food writer, Rachel Ama. “Your mind will be blown by the succulent texture of the mushrooms in their crisp flavoured batter. This is a top recipe for epic street food made at home! If you like, you can switch up the spices or keep it simply beer-battered.

“First up, I’ve served the mushrooms with crisp garlicky crushed new potatoes (recipe one part two), topped with fresh herbs and a dollop of tangy tartare sauce,” says Ama. “You can refresh your leftovers in an American style ‘chicken’ pickle sandwich (recipe two) with gherkins, tartare sauce and lettuce in a soft burger bun. For something speedy, pop these fried mushrooms into warm tortillas to create Cajun tacos with pickled red onion and tartare Sauce (recipe three).”

Your mind will be blown by the succulent texture of the mushrooms in their crisp flavoured batter

Recipe one – Main recipe: Cajun beer-battered oyster mushrooms with tartare sauce

Serves: 4

Ingredients

150g plain flour

½tsp baking powder

2tsp sweet paprika

½tsp cayenne pepper

1tsp ground white pepper

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp dried oregano

½tsp dried thyme

1tsp garlic powder

2tsp salt, plus extra to serve

50g cornflour

300g oyster mushrooms, torn into bite-sized pieces

Sunflower or olive oil, for frying

320ml cold lager (or soda water)

Lemon wedges, to serve

For the tartare sauce:

100g vegan mayonnaise

2tbsp capers, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method

1. To make the tartare sauce, mix all the ingredients for it in a bowl, then set aside.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder and all the seasonings together in a large bowl. Place the cornflour in a separate bowl or on a large plate, and place the mushrooms in a third bowl.

3. Pour a 2cm depth of oil into a deep frying pan or wok and place over a high heat until it registers 180°C (356°F) on a thermometer. Alternatively, test the temperature by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in it – if it’s hot enough for frying, the oil should bubble around it. Be careful not to overheat the oil or it will begin to smoke.

4. Whisk the cold beer or soda water into the seasoned flour mixture to make a batter. Then, working quickly, take a piece of oyster mushroom and dip it in the cornflour. Shake off any excess, then dip it in the beer batter before carefully transferring it to the hot oil. Working in batches, cook for three to four minutes, or until each piece is golden and crisp. Once cooked, drain the mushrooms on a wire rack or a plate lined with kitchen paper. Season with extra salt and squeeze over a little fresh lemon.

5. The mushrooms are now ready to be used in the recipes below, or will keep in the fridge for three days.

Recipe one – part two: Garlicky crushed new potatoes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

200g new potatoes

3tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 portions of Cajun Beer-battered Oyster Mushrooms (above)

2 portions of Tartare Sauce (above)

Squeeze of lemon juice

Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 spring onion, finely chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/425°F/gas 6.Place a pan of water over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes until tender, then drain.

2. Lightly grease a baking sheet with a little of the oil, then lay out the potatoes in a single layer. Use a fork to carefully crush and flatten each potato while keeping it in one piece. Scatter over the garlic, drizzle with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20–25 minutes until golden brown.

3. Remove the potatoes from the oven, turn up the heat and quickly place the battered mushrooms on a wire rack over a baking tray and bake for five minutes, or until warmed through and crispy.

4. Serve the mushrooms with the new potatoes, a spoonful of tartare sauce, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a sprinkling of fresh parsley and spring onion.

Recipe two: American-style ‘chicken’ pickle sandwich

American-style ‘chicken’ pickle sandwich

Serves: 2

Ingredients

2 portions of Cajun Beer-battered Oyster Mushrooms (above)

2 portions of Tartare Sauce (above)

2 vegan brioche burger buns, sliced in half

2 gherkins, sliced

2tbsp sriracha or your favourite hot sauce

Handful of lettuce, shredded

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/475°F/gas 9.

2. Place the battered mushrooms on a wire rack over a baking tray and bake for five minutes. Check to see if they’re warmed through and crispy. If not, return them to the oven for another few minutes.

3. To build your sandwich, spread the tartare sauce on the bottom half of your brioche bun. Pile on the mushrooms, then top with the gherkins, hot sauce and lettuce. Serve immediately.

Recipe three: Cajun tacos with pickled red onion and tartare sauce

Cajun tacos with pickled red onion and tartare sauce

Serves: 2

Ingredients

2 portions of Cajun Beer-battered Oyster Mushrooms (above)

4 tortilla wraps

1 avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced

Handful of lettuce leaves

Handful of fresh coriander

2 portions of Tartare Sauce (above)

4tbsp sriracha or your favourite hot sauce

For the pickled red onion:

1 red onion, finely sliced

1tbsp apple cider vinegar

1tsp sea salt

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/475°F/gas 9.

2. Meanwhile, make the pickled onion. Place the sliced red onion in a bowl and pour over the vinegar.

3. Add the salt, stir to combine, then set aside for at least 10 minutes.

One Pot: Three Ways by Rachel Ama

4. Place the battered mushrooms on a wire rack over a baking tray and bake for five minutes. Check to see if they’re warmed through and crispy. If not, return them to the oven for another few minutes.

5. Warm the tortillas in a frying pan over a medium heat for two minutes on each side.

6. To assemble the tacos, place each wrap on a plate and pile the battered mushrooms on them. Top with the avocado, lettuce and coriander, then drizzle over some tartare sauce and sriracha. Fold the wraps over and serve.

One Pot: Three Ways by Rachel Ama is published by Hodder and Stoughton on 26 August, priced £22. Photography by Henry Jay Kamara.

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