June 8th is World Oceans Day, a celebration founded by Canada at the 2002 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, is an annual celebration of the beauty of our oceans and reflect on what we can do to help conserve them.
At One Green Planet, we know the best way to help protect our oceans is to eat more plant-based foods and less seafood. If you love sushi and other fishy things like we do, you may be wondering how you can enjoy your favorite foods while not contributing to a future of fishless oceans. The reality is, you can have all your favorite, fishy recipes without the fish and the answer is simple: mushrooms. You can also buy fishless filets from the frozen aisle of your supermarket, but if you have the time to cook, we 100 percent recommend trying your hand out at recreating seafood using mushrooms.
How do you do it? First, you need mushrooms. Shiitake, Baby King Oyster, King Oyster, and Wood Ear mushrooms are all excellent choices, though any variety will do. The real trick is in the seasoning. One trick you can use is to make your own Vegan Fish Sauce and then store it in your refrigerator for easy seasoning whenever you cook. The other method is to combine umami flavor from ingredients like soy sauce and tamari with ingredients that taste like the ocean — for that, you can use seaweed like kombu, wakame, or nori, which you can find in Asian groceries or the world cuisine aisle in supermarkets.
So, let’s celebrate World Oceans Day by embracing all fish-free fishy recipes that use mushrooms to get the job done. Here are 15 recipes for you to try.
1. Trumpet Mushroom ‘Calamari’
Mushrooms are an amazing substitute for seafood in recipes due to their satisfyingly “meaty” taste and texture. Here, Trumpet mushrooms stand in for squid in this tasty fried “calamari” dish. Serving the mushrooms in lettuce wraps is just one of the many ways you could enjoy this Trumpet Mushroom “Calamari”, but you could also enjoy them on their own as an appetizer or snack.
2. ‘Fish’ Pie with Tofu and Oyster Mushrooms
This vegan version of a classic British dish is easy as pie. It has quite a strong flavor and is very creamy with a thick sauce. A good fish pie has different textures and flavors in it, so this “Fish” Pie uses Oyster mushrooms, which are a bit chewy alongside the soft tofu and al dente vegetables. It’s all topped with a thick layer of cheesy mashed potatoes. Yum!
3. Braised Tofu With Baby King Oyster Mushrooms
In this dish, tofu is stir-fried until golden and served in a thick umami sauce. It’s garnished with baby king oyster mushrooms and goji berries, both of which are pan-fried in a homemade sauce for added umami flavor that makes everything taste, well, fishy. Serve this Braised Tofu With Baby King Oyster Mushrooms with a side of fresh rice or noodles of your choice.
4. Adobong Pusit: Filipino ‘Squid’
Adobong Pusit is a Filipino delicacy: “adobo” means to cook in garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar, and “pusit” means squid. The actual squid version is known to have tinted black sauce (squid emits a black liquid substance when cooked). To achieve the same look, this recipe mashed black beans. As for the taste, the trick is all in the seasoning.
5. Cioppino: Italian-Style ‘Fish’ Stew
This hearty and rustic stew is inspired by an Italian-American recipe for fish stew that originated in San Francisco. Tofu and mushrooms stand in for the fish in this Cioppino, but the rest remains the same – vegetables and herbs simmered in a flavorful tomato broth.
6. Shiitake and Tofu Tom Yum Soup
This Shiitake and Tofu Tom Yum Soup is the perfect balance of sweet and sour. The combined flavor of fresh lemongrass, lime juice, ginger, and spicy chilis will tantalize your taste buds while mushrooms and tofu stand in for seafood. This soup makes a filling dinner, especially when served with a portion of brown rice.
7. Seared Mushroom Scallops With Mint Pea Purée
While these may look like conventional sea scallops, they’re actually made from King Oyster mushrooms! Liquid aminos or tamari help to bring that savory umami taste that complements the minty pea purée. These Seared Mushroom Scallops With Mint Pea Purée are an appetizer fit for warmer weather and fancy parties.
8. Baked Mushroom Po’ Boys
These Baked Mushroom Po’ Boys are delicious summertime sandwich with crunchy, well-seasoned mushrooms and a tangy, creamy sauce. This reinvented Louisiana classic swaps out the oysters for White Button mushrooms that emulate the texture of the original recipe. The mushrooms are baked instead of fried and the sandwich is loaded with creamy remoulade sauce spread on toasty, buttery hoagie rolls and served with crunchy lettuce.
9. Kimchi Mushroom Burgers
Sweet brioche burger buns, crunchy crumbed mushrooms, creamy kimchi mayonnaise, spicy kimchi, and cooling cucumber. These Kimchi Mushroom Burgers are guaranteed to make your taste buds happy. The mushrooms are meaty on the inside and crispy on the outside with an umami flavor that makes it fishy, the kimchi provides crunch and spice. It’s the perfect blend of flavors and textures that’ll be a hit with your family, friends – pretty much everyone.
10. Asian Greens Soup With Tofu and Enoki Mushrooms
Ready in just 20 minutes, this savory Asian Greens Soup With Tofu and Enoki Mushrooms will be your new go-to. It’s extremely simple, versatile, and delicious, with tender kabocha squash, mushrooms, fried tofu, and plenty of greens. It’s never a bad time for a soup with a mild kick.
11. Raw Sushi Rolls With Shiitake Mushrooms
These Raw Sushi Rolls are beautiful, colorful, and most importantly, delicious! Sweet, succulent jicama is chopped into rice-like pieces, and then together with Shiitake mushrooms, cucumbers, avocado, and red cabbage, rolled into nori sheets. Try these for a light and refreshing twist on sushi!
12. How to Make Vegan ‘Fish’ Sauce
So why make Vegan “Fish” Sauce? Well, if you like to make your own vegan Thai or Vietnamese food, fish sauce is a very common ingredient and gives these cuisines a nice flavor. You can use it to give your favorite Asian soups that fishy flavor, use it in noodle stir fries, and use it as a dipping sauce for rolls and dumplings. This version recreates that classic fishy taste with by using mushrooms and seaweed!
13. One-Pot Louisiana Stew
This simple One-Pot Louisiana Stew is inspired by Creole and Cajun flavors. You get the tomatoes from Creole cooking and plenty of spiciness from Cajun. Instead of rice, this recipe uses potatoes for heartiness and forgoes the celery, but it’s easily added in if you want even more of a Louisiana feel. Try using mushrooms sautéed in vegan fish sauce or any umami flavor in place of the vegan shrimp. This stew is for the true spicy food lovers out there.
14. Skillet Eggplant and BBQ Mushroom Tacos
Who doesn’t love tacos? Tortillas are pretty much the perfect vehicle for all things delicious. These tangy and savory Skillet Eggplant and BBQ Mushroom Tacos include meaty eggplant slices and mushrooms, onion, and avocado. They’re like fish tacos covered in barbecue sauce! Whip these up in 30 minutes with your favorite fixings for a healthy and filling dinner.
15. Tangy Mushroom Skewers
Mushrooms are probably the first vegetable anyone would associate with a meat-free barbecue and for good reason. Far from being a boring cliché, mushrooms are a versatile barbecue option… if you add a little something extra to them. The marinade on these Tangy Mushroom Skewers makes them big on flavor as well as texture! It’s a mix of savory, tangy and umami; tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, and fish-free vegan Worcestershire sauce. Happy grilling!
Say goodbye to fish and say hello to mushrooms!
Lead image source: Mushroom Scallops With Mint Pea Purée