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Compassionate Calamari

Vegan and Kosher Calamari

This dish is deliciously crispy and reminiscent of actual calamari. But happily, no squid were harmed in the making of this terrific appetizer.

  • 8 ServingsServings


  • Vegetable oil, for cooking

For Coating

  • 3 tablespoons (21 g) flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tablespoons (90 ml) warm water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) nondairy milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For Dry Batter

  • 1/2 cup (30 g) brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup (47 g) ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon dulse granules or flakes

For Wet Batter

  • 1 cup (140 g) finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1-1/2 cups (350 ml) nondairy milk
  • 6 large king oyster mushrooms, tough bottoms removed, sliced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch (6 mm to 1.3 cm)- wide strips
  • Sea salt, to taste

Garlic Tarter Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sweet relish
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice


Pour the oil to a depth of 5 inches (13 cm) into a deep fryer or deep pot and heat to 360°F (182°C).

TO MAKE THE DRY COATING: Mix all the coating ingredients together in a small bowl.

TO MAKE THE DRY BATTER: Sift together all the dry batter ingredients in a small bowl.

TO MAKE THE WET BATTER: In a medium-size bowl, whisk the cornmeal and nondairy milk together until a thick batter forms.

I find it easiest to have each mixture in a small dish in the order given so it’s easy to dip the mushroom slices assembly style. Make sure your oil is at temperature before attempting to dip your mushrooms because it will be difficult to set them down once they are coated.

Dip one mushroom slice first into the coating, then into the dry batter, and finally into the wet batter, letting any excess drip off. The mushroom should be evenly coated. Drop immediately into the hot oil and quickly repeat with a few more mushrooms until you run out of room in your fryer. Fry for 6 minutes or until dark golden brown. Remove with a skimmer and transfer to a folded brown paper bag or paper towels to absorb any excess grease. Season lightly with salt, if desired. Repeat until each mushroom slice has been cooked. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce and enjoy!

For Garlic Tarter Sauce: Stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.

Yield: 8 Servings, 1 Tablespoons each

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