BBQ King Oyster Mushrooms are ripped to shreds, roasted until tender and crispy around the edges, and finished in a tangy, spicy homemade sauce. Put them in a sandwich, taco, or Buddha bowl or serve them as part of your BBQ party spread.
Inspiration for BBQ King Oyster Mushrooms
I’ve been experimenting with king oyster mushrooms quite a bit since starting Gastroplant. I’ve shared some of my favorite ways to cook them in various ramen recipes.
I wanted to create a king oyster mushroom recipe that could stand on its own, that I could make for any occasion. Not having any sort of BBQ recipes yet, it seemed like a good combo.
What are king oyster mushrooms?
If you’re unfamiliar, king oyster mushrooms (aka eryngii mushrooms) have a thick, meaty, edible stem and a small-but-tender cap.
They’re becoming more widespread in regular grocery stores in the US, but they’re still a bit of a niche product. I seem to find the best (and cheapest) ones at Chinese and Korean grocery stores.
King oysters have a really mild flavor, so they taste like whatever you cook them in. I like them for their texture which can be made really close to that of shredded meat or even seafood.
Smaller mushrooms will be more tender, but harder to make into impressive-looking shredded “meat” or “scallops”.
How to make the BBQ King Oyster Mushrooms
To prep the mushrooms, wash and dry them and then carefully use a fork to score deep grooves along the length of the stem on all sides. The grooves will make it easier to pull the mushroom apart by hand. Pull them by hand until they’re mostly thin strips.
You’ll toss the mushrooms in oil, season with salt and pepper, and then bake them for a bit. You can mix the sauce while they’re baking.
The mushrooms will start to get a little crispy at this point. But you’ll slather them with sauce and roast them until crispy again. You can do this a couple of times to build up a concentrated sauce on the mushrooms and create a great texture.
Why the recipe works
Shredded king oyster mushrooms are meaty, yes, but I think the texture is somehow better than that of meat. They have a springiness that’s really satisfying.
And the crispy edges add a contrast to the springy meaty parts. The sauce caramelizes and crisps as well, giving them a sort of crispy-sticky feel.
Homemade sauce with huge flavor
I like to get away from bottled sauces whenever I can. It’s healthier and I like to know what’s in my food.
I made this sauce based on a classic Kansas-City-style sauce. It’s tomato-based with pops of garlic, cumin, cayenne, and liquid smoke. It’s less sweet than most bottled BBQ sauces.
You can tweak the sauce if you want a spicer or sweeter version (see tips in the recipe) or even use bottled sauce if you’re in a pinch.
You can serve these mushrooms in so many different ways – sandwiches, tacos, salads, and Buddha bowls are all great ideas.
You can also easily build a plant-based dinner spread around them. The flavor profile goes great with Southern (US) and Tex Mex cuisine and it generally fits with other comfort food.
Meal Ideas with the BBQ King Oyster Mushrooms
Since my wife and I lived in Texas most recently, BBQ tacos felt totally natural. We used corn tortillas (use flour if you prefer) and avocado slices and it was a really solid combo.
You could make the tacos even fancier by adding some black beans, tomato, onion, and cilantro. If you want to go all-out, maybe drizzle some vegan queso on there.
This one comes naturally to me, having grown up in the South. Pair the mushrooms with a couple of plant-based comfort dishes, such as mac & cheese (maybe simplify it by skipping the baking).
More Fun Ways to Use King Oyster Mushrooms
Because of the firm, meaty texture of king oysters, there are a number of ways you can make a tasty plant-based alternative
- Vegan “Scallops” (from my Miso Ramen recipe) – simmer them in a kelp broth that tastes like the sea, then sear them on a hot skillet. These look pretty stunning.
- Plant-based “Bacon” (from my Vegan Carbonara recipe) – cut them into small, thin strips and cook them in soy sauce, maple, and liquid smoke. Has a nice smoky chew-crunch and rich flavor.
- Shredded “Chicken” (from my Tsukemen Ramen recipe) – similar to this BBQ recipe, but without the sauce. You can add any dry seasoning mix you like.
- Vegan “Chashu” (from my Shio Ramen recipe) – this one is really simple. Cut the mushrooms into thin slabs and sear them in a hot skillet.
Comfort Food to Pair with the BBQ Mushrooms
- Plant-based Cheese Grits or Mac & Cheese – great harmony between the smoky-spicy BBQ and creamy-cheesy grits/mac
- Japanese-inspired Potato Salad – smooth and creamy with bits of crisp veggies make it light yet satisfying
- 3-Ingredient Sauteed Summer Squash – quick and simple dish highlighting the sweetness of the squash
- Any Component of the Chipotle Buddha Bowl – includes knockoff versions of Chipotle’s rice, beans, sofritos, and corn salsa
As always, if you try this recipe out, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @gastroplant on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.
BBQ King Oyster Mushrooms
- 2 pounds king oyster mushrooms
- 3 Tablespoons peanut oil separated; or some cooking neutral oil; (see note)
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/2 cup tomato paste (about 1 small can - 5.5 ounces or 156 mililiters)
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup or other sweetener; can add more to taste
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar can use other light-colored vinegars
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder double for a spicy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 C). Prepare a large baking pan and line it with foil.
- Wash and dry the mushrooms and then carefully use a fork to score deep grooves along the length of the stems on all sides (see the photos in the blog post above). The grooves will make it easier to pull the mushroom apart by hand. Pull them by hand until they’re mostly thin strips (see note).
- Place the shredded mushrooms on the lined pan and drizzle 2 Tablespoons of the oil over them. Stir them well. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake the mushrooms at 425 F (220 C) for 15 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are in the oven, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. Stir until smooth. Adjust levels of sweetness and spiciness to taste, as needed.
- Remove the pan of mushrooms from the oven. Increase the heat to 475 F (250 C). If the mushrooms are sticking to the foil a lot, add the remaining Tablespoon of oil and carefully scrape up any stuck bits.
- Add about a third of the sauce to the mushrooms and stir well. Return the pan to the oven and bake at 475 F (250 C) until the mushrooms appear to be crisping up again, 5-7 minutes.
- Again, remove the pan from the oven, stir in half of the remaining sauce, and roast until some pieces are crispy, but not dried out.
- Serve immediately with the remaining sauce (see note).