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chicken fried mushroom

Ok, look. This isn’t the traditional “Korean fried chicken.” It isn’t fried with potato starch or glazed with a spicy sauce. However, this isn’t a traditional American “fried chicken” either (or “Kentucky fried chicken?”). It’s fried “chicken” with a Korean twist, if you will, like so much of my food. It’s really just a byproduct […]

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Vegan Korean Fried “Chicken”

Food

Ok, look. This isn’t the traditional “Korean fried chicken.” It isn’t fried with potato starch or glazed with a spicy sauce. However, this isn’t a traditional American “fried chicken” either (or “Kentucky fried chicken?”). It’s fried “chicken” with a Korean twist, if you will, like so much of my food. It’s really just a byproduct of a lack of impulse control. I can’t help adding Korean-y things to my food.

But, I thought you were vegan?

Now, let’s get something out of the way. This isn’t actually chicken. I would think that’d be obvious, but I can understand why the photo above might have you second guessing. Actually, when you taste this dish, you will think you’re hallucinating. That’s how good this recipe actually is. What are we using then? Seitan? TVP? Gardein? Nope. We are using the humble mushroom.

The Oyster Mushroom

The oyster mushroom, to be specific. These are sometimes referred to as “king oyster mushrooms” because they are big enough to span well beyond the size of a large hand. Why are they called “oyster” mushrooms? Well, I always thought it was because they smelled kind of seafood-y to me, but, in fact, they derived their name from their appearance. Their caps resemble oysters. Oyster mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D, protein, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and folate and can be found at most Asian grocery stores and farmers markets. The thing I LOVE about oyster mushrooms for this recipe are all the nooks and crannies. The irregular shape of the mushroom provide “hooks” for the breading, so that it doesn’t just slide right off when you dredge the mushrooms. This ensures a delightful crunch with each and every bite.

The Marinate & Dredge

This is the new hot dance move on TikTok.

Just kidding.

In order to maximize the flavor of the “chicken,” I created a slightly unusual marinade that would not only tenderize the mushrooms (a bit), but also infuse it with a lovely umami before it was doused in flour. We add some lemon juice to the soy milk to create our buttermilk, but then, we also hit it with a little soy sauce. AHA!! BETCHA DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING!

In the picture, I came up with this inspired bit of brilliance after I’d added the mushrooms, but you can add it before with the lemon juice.

In keeping with the theme, in lieu of paprika, I added gochugaru to my dredging mix, to give my “chicken” an extra kick.

Once you’ve finished mixing together all the dredge ingredients, coat the mushrooms in the dredge, making sure they are packed well with the mixture. Next, drop them into a pot of hot oil and cook them until both sides are crunchy and golden brown.

Quick Tips for Making Vegan Korean Fried “Chicken”

  • Make sure to buy king oyster mushrooms and I left the stems intact. Some people say they are tough and chewy, but they turned out great for this recipe. Just make sure to clean the mushrooms with a damp towel.
  • Allow the mushrooms to marinate for at least 5 minutes in the vegan buttermilk mixture, so they have some time to really absorb some of the flavors and grow tender.
  • When dredging, make sure to really pack it in–you want the mixture to get into all those hard to reach places, because doing so will create more surface area for the breading.
  • When frying, do not overcrowd the pan–it will make the “chicken” less crunchy and take forever to cook.
chicken fried mushroom

Vegan Korean Fried “Chicken”

An alternative to regular fried chicken for anyone who wants all the flavor without the meat! Whether you're vegan or just like food, this is an absolute CROWD PLEASER!!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Korean
Servings 5 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 5 pieces king oyster mushroom
  • Oil, for frying

Spicy Dredging Mix

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

Instructions
 

  • Squeeze half a lemon into your soy milk, along with the soy sauce. This is your vegan buttermilk.
  • Clean your mushrooms. Place them in the vegan buttermilk and set it aside.
  • Mix together all the dredging ingredients.
    dredge mix
  • Heat your oil to about 350°F. If you don't have a thermometer, drop a panko crumb into the oil and if it immediately bobs to the surface, your oil is ready to cook in.
  • When your oil is hot, take a mushroom piece covered in vegan buttermilk and drop it into the dredging bowl. Make sure to pack the dredging mix into the mushroom. Then gently shake off any excess before dropping it carefully into the hot oil.
  • Add more pieces without crowding your pan. Cook each piece until both sides are deep golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove from oil and gently shake off any excess oil.
Keyword fried chicken, fried mushrooms, korean fried chicken
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Recipe Rating




  1. Martin says:

    5 stars
    There are no words to describe how tasty this is. Never thought I could go vegan but since I started following you on TikTok, I transitioned to 95% plant-based diet. Your stories motivated me to change jobs and make significant changes in my personal life AND your food is so delicious I actually prefer it to non-vegan <3

    • the.krn.vegan@gmail.com says:

      This is music to my ears, Martin. Thank you so much for dropping in and congratulation to all the big changes in your life!!!

  2. Kim Roman says:

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this with the REAL ingredients. Had some portobellas I HAD to use before they went bad. Still yummy, but of course the texture wasn’t the same. Follow you on TikTok (SquareFootGardening4U) and was irate when the woman made the dog comment. It’s amazing how insensitive people can be. Again, I’m so sorry you have to put up with this kind of crap. You are a superb story teller, and your videos are gorgeous. You are awesome.

  3. Rebecca Lee says:

    5 stars
    Tried this with an air fryer and it came out PERFECTLY.
    My friends all thought it was chicken!
    Had to spray down the mushrooms with oil before putting it in, otherwise the flour doesn’t crisp

    • the.krn.vegan@gmail.com says:

      Rebecca, thank you for coming back here to let us all know that air frying works!! I AM SO GRATEFUL!!!

  4. Jenny says:

    Would regular whole milk work? Thanks!

  5. Kavya says:

    3 stars
    Unfortunately, the mushrooms still turned out to be really tough and chewy. The flavor was great and the steps of the recipe worked amazingly, but the end result was not to my liking. If I try this recipe again, I’ll probably use another type of mushroom or meat substitute!

    • the.krn.vegan@gmail.com says:

      Hmmm…that is so strange as there was absolutely no chew or toughness for me. I wonder if the quality of the mushroom makes a difference? Definitely try with a different mushroom (portobello) or with your fave meat sub!

  6. Mel says:

    Ok, I’m drooling 🤤 Can’t wait time try this recipe! Have you tried with something else than all purpose flour? Say chickpea or brown rice flour?

  7. Dee Loeffler says:

    Yum! Chicken of the woods mushroom would also work well for this.

  8. Unimakon Undieh says:

    5 stars
    Here from tiktok! I love this blog so much.

    • the.krn.vegan@gmail.com says:

      Aww thank you so much!!

    • Joanne says:

      I have been a “no oil” plant based vegan, but I’m rethinking this strategy. I find my dishes are so much flavorful (and therefore enjoyable) for my family. I haven’t fried anything in so long, so dumb question – what do you do with the oil after you are done? And what kind of oil did you use. This looks amazing! Follow you on TikTok – love your work!

      • the.krn.vegan@gmail.com says:

        Thanks so much Joanne! I’m not able to stick to a no-oil regiment, but I would try baking these or even air-frying them. Dredge very thinly and spray it down with some cooking spray. Then air-fry or stick it in the oven at 450F. That might work well!

  9. Patricie Benešová says:

    5 stars
    Looks amazing!! Is is possible the bake them instead of deep frying?

    • the.krn.vegan@gmail.com says:

      You can use an air fryer for this, though you would have to spray it down with cooking spray and probably coat it a little thinner than you would for deep frying. I think you could probably do the same with just baking–let me know if you try it!

    • Tashi says:

      5 stars
      Turned out great ! I used a air fryer, I also added pickle juice to the milk with the lemon. I did not have the dried chill powder so I used the paste in the milk

CHECK IT OUT

IF YOU WANT TO EAT AMAZING VEGAN FOOD, I AM HERE TO HELP.

This meal planner was built for you.
THE KOREAN VEGAN MEAL PLANNER IS HERE.