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Rachel Ama’s Cajun oyster mushrooms three ways

This is inspired by my time in New Orleans, where I tucked into a lot of different Cajun-spiced fried foods. Your mind will be blown by the succulent texture of the mushrooms in their crisp flavoured batter. This is a top recipe for epic street food made at home! If you like, you can switch up the spices or keep it simply beer-battered.

First up, I’ve served the mushrooms with crisp garlicky crushed new potatoes topped with fresh herbs and a dollop of tangy tartare sauce. You can refresh your leftovers in an American style ‘Chicken’ Pickle Sandwich with gherkins, tartare sauce and lettuce in a soft burger bun. For something speedy, pop these fried mushrooms into warm tortillas to create Cajun tacos with pickled red onion and tartare sauce.

Cajun beer-battered oyster mushrooms with tartare sauce: main recipe

Makes 4 servings

150g (5½oz) plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

2 tsp sweet paprika

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground white pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried thyme

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp salt, plus extra to serve

50g (1¾oz) cornflour

300g (10½oz) oyster mushrooms, torn into bite-sized pieces sunflower or olive oil, for frying

320ml (11fl oz) cold lager (or soda water)

lemon wedges, to serve

For the tartare sauce

100g (3½oz) vegan mayonnaise

2 tbsp capers, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced freshly ground black pepper

handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley

To make the tartare sauce, mix all the ingredients for it in a bowl, then set aside.

Mix the flour, baking powder and all the seasonings together in a large bowl. Place the cornflour in a separate bowl or on a large plate, and place the mushrooms in a third bowl.

Pour a 2cm (1in) depth of oil into a deep frying pan or wok and place over a high heat until it registers 180°C (356°F) on a thermometer. Alternatively, test the temperature by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in it – if it’s hot enough for frying, the oil should bubble around it. Be careful not to overheat the oil or it will begin to smoke.

Whisk the cold beer or soda water into the seasoned flour mixture to make a batter. Then, working quickly, take a piece of oyster mushroom and dip it in the cornflour. Shake off any excess, then dip it in the beer batter before carefully transferring it to the hot oil. Working in batches, cook for 3– 4 minutes, or until each piece is golden and crisp. Once cooked, drain the mushrooms on a wire rack or a plate lined with kitchen paper. Season with extra salt and squeeze over a little fresh lemon.

The mushrooms are now ready to be used in the below recipes or will keep in the fridge for 3 days.

Garlicky crushed new potatoes

Garlic crushed mushrooms
Image Haraala Hamilton.

Serves 2

200g (7oz) new potatoes 3 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 portions of Cajun beer-battered oyster mushrooms

2 portions of tartare sauce

squeeze of lemon juice

handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 spring onion, finely chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/425°F/gas 6.

Place a pan of water over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes until tender, then drain.

Lightly grease a baking sheet with a little of the oil, then lay out the potatoes in a single layer. Use a fork to carefully crush and flatten each potato while keeping it in one piece. Scatter over the garlic, drizzle with the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20–25 minutes until golden brown.

Remove the potatoes from the oven, turn up the heat and quickly place the battered mushrooms on a wire rack over a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes, or until warmed through and crispy.

Serve the mushrooms with the new potatoes, a spoonful of tartare sauce, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a sprinkling of fresh parsley and spring onion.

American-style ‘chicken’ pickle sandwich

Sandwich
Image Haraala Hamilton.

Serves 2

2 portions of Cajun beer-battered oyster mushrooms

2 portions of tartare sauce

2 vegan brioche burger buns, sliced in half 2 gherkins, sliced

2 tbsp sriracha or your favourite hot sauce handful of lettuce, shredded

Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/475°F/gas 9.

Place the battered mushrooms on a wire rack over a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes. Check to see if they’re warmed through and crispy. If not, return them to the oven for another few minutes.

To build your sandwich, spread the tartare sauce on the bottom half of your brioche bun. Pile on the mushrooms, then top with the gherkins, hot sauce and lettuce. Serve immediately.

Cajun tacos with pickled red onion & tartare sauce

Tacos
Image Haraala Hamilton.

Serves 2

2 portions of Cajun beer-battered oyster mushrooms

4 tortilla wraps

1 avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced handful of lettuce leaves

handful of fresh coriander

2 portions of tartare sauce

4 tbsp sriracha or your favourite hot sauce

For the pickled red onion

1 red onion, finely sliced

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/475°F/gas 9.

Meanwhile, make the pickled onion. Place the sliced red onion in a bowl and pour over the vinegar. Add the salt, stir to combine, then set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Place the battered mushrooms on a wire rack over a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes. Check to see if they’re warmed through and crispy. If not, return them to the oven for another few minutes.

Warm the tortillas in a frying pan over a medium heat for 2 minutes on each side.

To assemble the tacos, place each wrap on a plate and pile the battered mushrooms on them. Top with the avocado, lettuce and coriander, then drizzle over some tartare sauce and sriracha. Fold the wraps over and serve.

One Pot: Three Ways: Save time with vibrant, versatile vegan recipes by Rachel Ama is out on 26 August (Yellow Kite, £22.00).

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