These king oyster mushroom scallops with eggplant bacon on a fresh and minty pea puree is just divine. I think this may be one of my favourite recipes of all time. This dish makes a fantastic main course for an elegant dinner party or a light lunch with your family. I love how the salty mushrooms scallops and eggplant bacon balance nicely with the herby and subtly sweet pea puree. You’ll need to follow the directions below as well as prepare a batch of my Eggplant Bacon.
Do they really taste like scallops?
Honestly, I don’t think so. I’ve never had scallops; I went vegetarian long before I had the opportunity to taste them. But this dish is not meant to taste precisely like scallops or bacon but instead be reminiscent. Since plant-based cuisine is relatively new to North America, it’s helpful to route some of the dishes and something already familiar.
Origins of this recipe
While I didn’t come up with the idea for vegan scallops made from king oyster mushrooms, I’m not quite sure where the idea for this recipe originated. Many bloggers have created mushroom scallops before me, notably The Edgy Veg, who I’ve been following for years. Her recipe is a more classic spin with a lemon butter sauce. I knew that bacon-wrapped scallops were a popular American dish, and the idea of veganizing it seemed like fun.
For the pea purée, I have to give inspiration props to my favourite chefs and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi. His vegetable-forward recipes are just divine and often relatively simple to create. His recipe for pea spread is made with tarragon and mint. I opted to swap tarragon for cilantro as it’s more readily available and accessible without packaging. I felt that fit well with the zero waste lifestyle. Since his recipe incorporates salty feta, I had the idea to pair it with my tamari marinated king oyster scallops which are on the saltier side. Adding the eggplant bacon was the final touch to drive home the salt and fat, making it the perfect accompaniment for the fabulous Ottolenghi-inspired spread.
Epic Vegan Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Pea Puree
- 6 to 8 Large king oyster mushrooms
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- olive oil for cooking
- 1/4 cup white wine optional, sub water
- 3 cups green peas
- 1/2 cup cilantro loosely packed
- 1/2 cup mint stems removed, loosely packed
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 recipe Eggplant Bacon
- Add the peas, cilantro, mint, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and black pepper to a food processor. Pulse to form a coarse spread—taste for seasoning, adding more lemon, salt or pepper as desired.
- Cut mushrooms into 1-inch slices; remove the ends and caps to get uniform "scallop" shaped cylinders. Save them for another recipe or homemade vegetable broth.
- Add mushrooms, tamari, garlic powder, and water to a large container with a cover. Cover and shake it up. Let rest for 20 minutes or overnight.
- Over medium heat, add a generous drizzle of olive oil to a cast iron or non-stick pan. Add mushrooms, one at a time, then slowly pour in marinade liquid. Flip the mushrooms once the liquid has evaporated and the bottoms are browned. When cooking the opposite side, add wine (or water) to deglaze. The mushroom scallops are finished when both sides are browned, and middles are tender.
Assemble the dish
- Divide and spread the pea mixture onto four large plates. Gently wrap scallops in eggplant bacon, one at a time, and place them on the pea spread. Each dish should have four to six scallops. Drizzle with chilli oil to finish.