Vegan Fried Mushroom Burger
Nowadays, there are plenty of options for plant-based meat alternatives – from vegan schnitzel to vegan sausages, from tofu to seitan. But what we sometimes forget is that vegetables can be just as wonderful and delicious as another option. Even more so, because they don't mimic any existing taste and thus give dishes a new layer of flavor and texture. So when we thought about making a vegan version of a fried chicken sandwich, we didn't turn off in the direction of plant-based chicken, but thought about mushrooms.
Oyster mushrooms look like little pieces of art. Most of us will probably hit organic stores or supermarkets to buy them where they are even available all year round, becausethey are usually sold from cultivation. To clean them, all you have to do is remove the dirt with a paper towel and trim the end of the stems. I would still recommend you stop by the farmer's market, where you can get them in bulk, and then use them directly for your recipes. I've often noticed that packaged mushrooms from the supermarket develop a white coating very quickly – this is usually mycelium, which is a component of the mushrooms and not even mold, so you can just wipe it off with paper towels. But I know my own insecurity and often cut off the spots generously, so I ended up with only a fraction of the mushrooms. Once you've cleaned the fresh mushrooms, they are breaded for this recipe, and deep-fried. They will be wonderfully crispy on the outside, but tender on the inside. Feel free to prepare a bit more of them and serve any mushrooms that won't fit on your burgers as a side dish.
Gathered next to our deep-fried oyster mushrooms is a creamy burger sauce made with vegan mayonnaise and grainy mustard, a fresh coleslaw and homemade pickles.
It's so simple to pickle vegetables, because you only need to have a rough recipe in mind and then add all the spices and herbs you like. Just stick to mixing water and vinegar in equal parts and heating them together with some salt and sugar until they are dissolved. You can use any type of vinegar, such as herb vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar. It should have an acidity of at least 5% to prevent the formation of bacteria and to preserve your vegetables. The warm broth is poured over your cut vegetables. Afterwards, you can add more flavorings. We used mustard seeds, peppercorns, and fresh dill this time, but you can go wild with the herbs and spices. I regularly pickle onions in the same way, but for our burger, I decided to use English cucumbers, that have a firm consistency and also fit superb on our burger in terms of size.
We're very happy that Byodo supports us with this recipe. We've already cooked and baked many dishes with their products, for example funnel cakes, Pasta Primavera and a vegan peaches and cream cake. This time, we were able to draw from their large repertoire: we used their herb vinegar for our pickled cucumbers, their grainy mustard for our burger sauce, and their herb salt for our fresh cabbage salad. Byodo is a natural food company from Upper Bavaria, which produces only organic products and pays attention to sustainable action and an environmentally conscious production of products. So if you've got a taste for it now and want to not only recreate this burger, but also start to pickle yourself, you'll find all the vinegar and herbs you need (and so much more!) in organic stores or their online shop.
Vegan Fried Mushroom Burger
For the pickles:
- 250 g (9 oz) English cucumber
- 1.5 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 5 g (0.5 oz) dill
- 125 ml (0.5 cup) water
- 125 ml (0.5 cup) herb vinegar (e.g. by Byodo)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
For the salad:
- 1 small Romaine lettuce
- 100 g (3.5 oz) cabbage
- 3 shallots
- herb salt (e.g. by Byodo)
For the deep-fried mushrooms:
- 250 g (9 oz) oyster mushrooms
- 400 ml (1.66 cups) plant-based milk
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 150 g (1.25 cups) flour
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 0.5 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp paprika
- vegetable oil for deep frying
For the burger sauce:
- 4 tbsp grainy mustard (e.g. by Byodo)
- 6 tbsp vegan mayo
- 2 tbsp brine of the pickles
- 4 burger buns
Slice English cucumbers and add them to a jar along with mustard seeds, peppercorns, and roughly chopped dill. Add water, herb vinegar, sugar, and salt to a small pot and let it simmer over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Afterward, pour the mixture over the cucumbers. Let the cucumbers cool down to room temperature, then refrigerate them for a few hours or overnight.
For the salad, finely shred romaine lettuce, cabbage, and shallots. Add them to a bowl, season with herb salt, and mix. Refrigerate until needed.
For deep-fried mushrooms start by preparing the vegan buttermilk. Add plant-based milk and lemon juice to a bowl and let the mix sit for approx. 10 minutes until you can see the milk curdling. In the meantime, clean mushrooms. Add flour, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper to another bowl and stir to combine.
Dip mushrooms into the vegan buttermilk, then toss in the flour mixture until they are coated from all sides. Transfer them to a cutting board.
Heat vegetable oil for deep frying in a small pot until it reaches approx. 180°C/355°F. You know that it’s hot enough when you can dip a wooden skewer into the oil, and you see bubbles forming around it. Deep fry the breaded mushrooms in batches. Best case, only deep fry 3-4 mushrooms at the same time. Once they are browned and crispy, remove them from the pot and directly drain them on paper towels.
For the burger sauce, add grainy mustard, vegan mayo, and some of the brine of the pickles to a bowl. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Halve the burger buns and toast them if desired. Spread a thick layer of the burger sauce on each burger bun and top with the salad, deep-fried mushrooms, and pickles. Serve remaining mushrooms, pickles, and sauce on the side.