This is a delicious Pan-Fried Oyster Mushroom recipe that can made in a matter of minutes. Packed with earthy fresh flavors, it’s an amazing vegan side dish, and can be served many different ways, including on bread, pasta or pizza.
This is one of the best vegan oyster mushroom recipes out there. The secret "ingredient" is caramelization.
There's something magical about caramelized mushrooms. Pan frying the oyster mushrooms to caramelize them brings out their earthy flavor, natural sugars and adds a delicious crispness around the soft texture of the mushrooms.
What are Oyster mushrooms?
- Oyster mushrooms are one of the most popular cultivated mushrooms in the world.
- The two common varieties are Pearl Oyster Mushrooms and King Oyster Mushrooms. (This recipe uses Pearl.)
- They are especially common in Asian cuisines, but are eaten throughout the world.
- They're grown commercially in many countries, and can also be found growing on or near trees in mild climates. (Never pick and eat mushrooms if you’re unsure of their variety and if they’re safe to consume!)
- In addition to white, Oyster mushrooms can be found in a variety of other colors including blue, yellow, pink, and brown and gray.
- While they can be eaten raw, they're typically best when cooked.
They have a lovely soft texture, and they’re generally quite mild with a subtle earthy flavor.
The raw ingredients for this recipe look like a beautiful little garden
(I often suggest brands I love and use — these are only suggestions and this is not a sponsored post.)
- Oyster mushrooms - Oyster mushrooms are typically in clusters. Select clusters that are firm, dry and smooth.
- shallots - Shallots are slightly more mild and delicate than red onions and won't overpower the mushrooms. Try to choose those that are firm, heavy for their size and without bruises.
- fresh tarragon - Tarragon has a licorice-like flavor that is especially delicious when paired with mushrooms. Look for perky bunches and avoid any brown, bruised or yellow leaves.
- extra virgin olive oil - I like this one.
- cream sherry - This adds a little bit of sweetness and deepens the flavor of the mushrooms.
- Kosher salt - I cook with Kosher salt. I prefer it because of its larger flake size, it's less refined and usually doesn't contain additives, and it does a good job enhancing the flavor of foods without making them taste salty.
- black pepper - Preferably freshly ground.
(See recipe card below for quantities.)
- Tarragon. Fresh tarragon marries well with mushrooms and I love the combination. You can also use fresh thyme, rosemary or oregano if you prefer. (If you use thyme or rosemary, add it earlier in the cooking process so it has time to soften.)
- Cream sherry. You can use dry sherry, but I prefer the cream sherry because it adds a delicious, subtle sweetness that’s wonderful with the other ingredients.
- One of the keys to browning the mushrooms is using a high or medium-high heat. And the pan must be very hot before it's ready, much like when you're searing fish or meat. This is ultimately what will make the mushrooms crispy.
- When you deglaze the pan with the sherry, be sure to use a flat-edged spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan well. This will reincorporate any bits of the ingredients stuck to the bottom, making the flavor deeper and richer.
- A cast iron skillet is idea for this vegan fried oyster mushroom recipe, though other skillets will work too. (If you're using a non-stick pan, be sure that your spatula is not metal.)
How to Clean Oyster Mushrooms
For any oyster mushroom recipe, all you need to clean them is a damp cloth or paper towel. Wipe them gently.
If they're particularly dirty, quickly and gently rinse them with cold water. The idea is to clean them without allowing them to soak up too much or any water. They are like sponges.
How to Make Pan-Fried Oyster Mushrooms
- Once you’ve cleaned the mushrooms, separate the clumps into smaller pieces (individual mushrooms).
- Generously coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is very hot, add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring often, until they’re golden brown. (Times will vary, but it will likely take about 8 minutes.)
- About halfway through the cooking process, add the shallots. They should be soft by the time the mushrooms are golden.
- Pour in the sherry, stir and continue to sauté just until it has cooked off. Use a flat-edged spatula to scrape off any bits of the ingredients that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
I love fried Oyster mushrooms, but you can also use other cooking methods for them, like grilling, sautéing, braising or roasting.
Other Scrumptious Mushroom Recipes
- Creamy Vegan Mushroom Sauce
- French Onion Mushroom Casserole
- Savory Polenta Cake with Mushrooms
- Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Marinated Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
This is best served warm or hot, and can be enjoyed as part of a plant based meal or with meat and chicken.
- A favorite way to serve this Oyster mushroom recipe is on garlic bread — or even just a slice of grilled crusty bread. The flavor from the mushrooms seeps into the nooks and crannies of the bread. Delicious!
- Sautéed Oyster mushrooms are great mixed into pasta or rice.
- Use it as a pizza topping!
- It’s also lovely in a warm spinach salad.
- Oyster mushroom tacos are another delicious idea.
- You can even use pulled oyster mushrooms to make vegan pulled pork. (Which is of course really just shredded oyster mushrooms typically mixed with BBQ sauce, but that's the name that's been adopted.)
- This vegan Oyster Mushroom recipe is a delicious stir fry in and of itself, and it's also excellent mixed into other stir fries with all sorts of vegetables. Either way, it's perfect served over rice.
I hope this becomes of your favorite easy vegan oyster mushroom recipes, too!
Pan-Fried Oyster Mushrooms Recipe
- about 7 ounces Oyster mushrooms
- olive oil for the pan
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, washed and dried
- 2 tablespoons cream sherry
- Clean the mushrooms. Use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe off the mushrooms. If they’re particularly dirty, quickly and gently rinse them with cold water. The idea is to clean them without allowing them to soak up too much (if any) water.
- Sauté the mushrooms and shallots. Separate the clumps of oyster mushrooms into smaller pieces (individual mushrooms). Then generously coat the bottom of a medium-sized skillet with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring often, until they’re golden brown, about 8 minutes. About half way through this time, add the shallots. They should be soft by the time the mushrooms are golden. (You can add a bit more oil if the pan seems too dry at any point.)
- Deglaze the pan, add the herbs and season. Add the sherry, stir and continue to sauté just until it has cooked off. When you add it, use a flat-bottomed spatula to scrape off any bits of the ingredients that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's How to Season to Taste.)