Cornmeal-Fried Oyster Mushroom Po’Boy
memphis coleslaw • creole rémoulade
Makes 4 sandwiches
My plant-based journey has not been linear. Many people stop eating animal products and never look back. Not me. I started experimenting with veganism late in high school. I had periods in college where I was a strict vegan and other times when I wasn’t (trust me, it was extremely challenging being a vegan while studying abroad in France in 1997). Nowadays, I have a plant-centered diet, but I tend to avoid labeling myself. I am driven by a desire to see justice for all living beings. I also know that there is a growing body of medical research that connects eating a plant-based diet with a lower risk of heart disease and other preventable diet-related illnesses, so I am also about that plant-based life for myself, my wife, and my girls. That being said, this po’boy takes me back to the early days of living in New Orleans when I was all about fish po’boys. Change is good.
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 cups water, plus more as needed
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
- 1/2 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Safflower oil, for frying
- 1 pound oyster mushrooms, tough ends removed, torn into generous bite-size pieces
- 2 (15-inch) loaves soft-crusted French or Italian bread
- Creole Rémoulade, for dressing (recipe follows)
- 2 cups Memphis Coleslaw (see separate recipe)
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Crystal hot sauce
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flaxseeds and 3 tablespoons of the water with a fork to combine.
Add the rice flour, arrowroot powder, cornmeal, salt, and black pepper to the flax mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups water and mix well.
Fill a Dutch oven or wok with safflower oil to a depth of about 2 inches and heat the oil to 350°F over medium-high heat. Heat the oven to 200°F. Line a platter with paper towels.
When the oil is hot, in three or four batches, dip the mushrooms in the batter and toss to coat them well. Carefully transfer them to the hot oil and fry, until crisp and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. (If needed, gently agitate them with a slotted spoon to break apart any mushrooms that begin to stick together.) Use a slotted spoon or a spatula to transfer the mushrooms to the platter, season lightly with salt, then place in the warm oven. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms, adding more water to the batter, as needed, if it becomes too thick to coat.
While the mushrooms are frying, halve the bread horizontally, then crosswise, and lightly toast it.
Spread the cut sides of the bread generously with rémoulade (I’m talking about a messy slather) and top the bottom halves evenly with the coleslaw. Add a generous handful of the mushrooms, sprinkle with pepper and douse with hot sauce. Cover with the top halves of the bread, and enjoy.
Song: No Indictment (feat. King Keon)” by SOL Development from The Sol of Black Folk
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By Bryant Terry
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Makes about 1 1/2 cups
- 3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Creole-style mustard or other whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped gherkins
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, capers, gherkins, and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. The rémoulade will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator.
Excerpted from Vegetable Kingdom by Bryant Terry. Copyright © 2020 by Ten Speed Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.