If you like real scallops from the sea but are vegan or limiting your animal proteins, then these King Oyster mushroom scallops in a lemony garlic sauce with pasta are for you!
This is a quick and easy-to-make recipe that can easily be doubled or tripled, depending on the number of servings needed. King Oyster mushrooms can be pricey, so if you have a local Asian market in your area, try to buy them there. They are staples in Asian cuisine and are far cheaper (and usually fresher!) than those you’ll find at a regular grocery store or farmer’s market.
I had my first experience with King Oyster mushrooms when I was visiting an incredible Zagat-rated restaurant called Taste in the tiny city of Plymouth, CA. Plymouth is tucked away in the Shenandoah Valley amongst the rolling hills of Amador County, where they have some incredible wineries and beautiful vineyards. Back in the Gold Rush days, this historical little city was also known as Puckerville, Pokerville, and Poker Camp. Today, it has many original buildings on its popular Main Street, where Taste is located.
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Pre-Covid, I was able to savor the Taste restaurant experience with a group of friends and ordered their King Oyster Mushroom Scallops. This was when I learned the true meaning of the term “umami.” The scallops were sweet, slightly smoky, lightly charred, with their texture being exactly like a perfectly cooked scallop from the sea. Now that the restaurants are opening back up in our valley, I’m looking forward to going back to this hidden gem and sampling their other offerings soon!
A few fun facts about these delicious fungi:
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- King Oyster mushrooms are also known as Trumpet mushrooms
- The entire stem and cap are edible
- They can be eaten raw, but some people report a metallic aftertaste
- These mushrooms are very low in calories and high in protein, fiber, selenium, niacin, and other vitamins and minerals
- Their texture is similar to meat which makes them very popular with vegans, vegetarians, and people on whole-food, plant-based diets
- Versatile and savory, they can be barbecued, sauteed, fried, boiled, or marinated in your favorite sauce