Trumpet Mushroom Calamari

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Trumpet mushroom slices are coated in a spiced crispy cornmeal and served with marinara sauce for dipping to make this mouthwatering vegan calamari.

A while back I went to a family dinner and watched the non-vegan family members polish off a big plate of calamari. I then proceeded to rope them all into a brainstorming session on what I could use as the main ingredient for some vegan calamari. We came up with zilch.

The idea never really left my brain though. I waited tables at three different restaurants during college and they all served calamari. And from that I learned that people really love calamari. I never really got it, but then again I’ve never had calamari. Or rather, I’ve never had non-vegan calamari.

Then a few weeks ago I got a hold of a copy of the Blossom Cookbook by Ronen Seri and Pamela Elizabeth and wouldn’t you know it, they’ve got a recipe for vegan calamari. It’s made from the stems of trumpet mushrooms (also called king oyster mushrooms). Kind of brilliant. I’ve seen people do this to make vegan scallops, but it never occurred to me that if you punch a little hole in the middle of each piece you’ve got a perfect little tube for calamari. Coat it up in spices and crispy cornmeal, and it’s really, really delicious. Maybe this is why everyone makes such a big fuss about calamari.

What I really like about the Blossom Cookbook is the fact that it’s loaded with creative recipes that transform an ingredient into something totally new. In this case we’re turning mushrooms into calamari. I also tried a recipe that turned cauliflower into risotto. Equally cool. The recipes in the book are all from New York’s famous Blossom vegan restaurant. I guess dishes like this are what make it so famous.

These vegan calamari are deep fried, and it’s so worth it. But because I know you guys so well, and I knew someone would inevitably ask, I tried baking a few of them with a light spritz of oil. It worked! I’ve included a note in the recipe on how to do that. Could you bake them without oil, air-fry them, or pan-fry them? Perhaps, but I can’t try everything. Be sure to let me know if any of those methods work for you.

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Trumpet Mushroom Calamari

Trumpet mushroom slices are coated in a spiced crispy cornmeal and served with marinara sauce for dipping to make this mouthwatering vegan calamari. CourseAppetizer CuisineAmerican Prep Time 3 hours 10 minutes Cook Time 7 minutes Total Time 3 hours 17 minutes Servings 4 Calories 559 kcal Author Alissa


  • 4large king trumpet mushrooms
  • 3tablespoonstamari or soy sauce
  • 1cupcornmeal
  • 1cupall-purpose flour
  • 2tablespoonschili powder
  • 2tablespoonspaprika
  • 2tablespoonsonion powder
  • 2tablespoonsgarlic powder
  • 1cupchopped fresh basil
  • 1tablespoonsalt
  • teaspoonsblack pepper
  • 4cupscanola oil


  1. Slice off the tops and bottoms of the mushrooms. Cut them into ½-inch-thick slices. (Optional step: Use an apple corer or similar kitchen tool to remove the center of each mushroom slice.) Add the finished slices to a large mixing bowl, and add 10 cups water and the tamari. Marinate for 3 to 5 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Add the cornmeal, flour, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, salt, and pepper to large mixing bowl. Drain the mushrooms, and dredge in the breading mixture, using your hands to fully coat each mushroom slice.
  3. Add the cooking oil to a deep skillet, and heat on medium-high heat until the oil begins to bubble. Add the mushroom slices and fry for about 7 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove from the oil and serve with our Marinara Sauce.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted from THE BLOSSOM COOKBOOK by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Ronen Seri and Pamela Elizabeth Alissa’s notes: I used a few bottle caps of various sizes to punch holes in my mushroom slices, and it worked great. I also cooked up the centers, because why not? For a baked variation, spray the coated mushrooms with oil and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 450°F until browned, about 20 minutes.

Nutrition FactsTrumpet Mushroom CalamariAmount Per ServingCalories 559Calories from Fat 275% Daily Value*Fat 30.6g47%Saturated Fat 2.4g12%Sodium 2557mg107%Potassium 1136mg32%Carbohydrates 71.8g24%Fiber 13.7g55%Sugar 3.4g4%Protein 14.1g28%Calcium 50mg5%Iron 6.1mg34%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.« Mushroom Carnitas TacosMaple Buffalo Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches »

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Thank goodness there is no copyright on words – as a growing plant based eater – I enjoy a hamburger – but without meat – so I GOOGLE plant based burgers.
I enjoy stews – but without the meat – so I Google plant based stews.
To me it’s about the spices and the added flavours – that’s what makes a burger – a burger – try making a MEAT burger without adding anything.

I realized just How BULLIED I have become and indoctirnated. I know the flavours i enjoy and i look for them.

I FEEL amazing at 70 on no meds – active and engaged thanks to eating what my GRANDPARENTS ate – no pesticides and LOTS of PLANTS.

Thank you so much for all the recipes and all the work you do to keep us informed and not SWALLOWING ALL THE HOGWASH that is the MEAT MARKET.
Your blog/website is amazing and well informed – keep it up.

I just tried your calamari recipe and served it to my Son in Law – who did not know it was mushroom – believe me – he is intelligent and loves his food.


  • Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

    More about me →

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