Recipes, Side

Vegan Fried Calamari

Calamari was one of those things that we were both obsessed with before going vegan. Something about it made it one of the most perfect bar snacks. Perfectly crunchy and chewy at the same time. We never thought we would be able to get the same taste and texture in a plant-based food. We’ve had calamari with hearts of palm before and while the taste was awesome, the texture wasn’t the same. Enter mushrooms.

Mushrooms are a magical vegetables. Not only can they add this perfectly meaty texture to lasagnas (like our Thanksgiving Lasagna) but they can also add the perfectly chewy texture of calamari. Paired with the right flavours and honestly it is exactly like the real thing. Even Katherine’s boyfriend, who is probably the most critical to if it tastes like the real thing or not, said it tastes pretty darn close (that is high praise for us)!

Calamari is one of our favourite bar foods, so to be able to have it again is amazing. With a few choice ingredients we are able to really add a seafood flavour to them. Looking to add a seafood flavour to your dishes? Lemon and nori are the perfect additions.

This dish is the perfect starter or finger food for your next party. Paired with a good glass of wine or beer and your guests will leave happier than ever. We are halfway through the Olympics but this dish is a great option to watch your sport of choice. Might we suggest women’s hockey, cheering for Canada of course!

Vegan Mushroom Calamari

Mushrooms are wonderful things. They're delicious and the ideal substitute for a lot of meat based foods. Bring out a dish of our fried mushroom calamari and you'll watch everyone gobble them down. Don't forget the cocktail sauce!
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian-inspired
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 2 people


  • 4 king oyster mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp old bay seasoning, divided
  • 2 tsp dried parsley, divided
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 nori sheet, shredded
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs


  • Slice the stem of each mushroom into slices about 1/4" thick. Optionally you can also use a small circle cut out to remove a section in the middle of each for that classic calamari ring look.
  • To a medium bowl add your flour and water and mix until all the lumps are gone. Add 1 tsp old bay, 1 tsp dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, lemon juice, soy sauce and nori shreds. Mix until all incorporated.
  • Add your mushroom slices to your marinade and toss until all coated. Marinade for about two hours in the fridge.
  • Once the two hours have passed you want to add your panko to a separate bowl along with 1 tbsp of old bay and 1 tbsp dried parsley.
  • Coat each of your mushrooms in panko and add then to your air fryer. Be sure onyl put them in a single layer and, if using the acti-fry, be sure to remove the rotating paddle.
  • Air fry for 5 minutes then flip and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the paddle back in a cook for another 5-8 minutes.

How to make Vegan Fried Calamari


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