General Tso Mushrooms

This weekend I was recipe testing a few meatless meals when I suddenly got the urge for General Tso chicken. The crispy, sweet and spicy chicken that everyone knows and loves on almost every Chinese takeout menu. Although I love a good cheat meal every now and then, I just couldn’t bring myself to order the greasy, heavy, sugar filled chicken dish (as delicious as it may be…), so instead I got creative, put my thinking cap on and made the closest and most delicious alternative I could think of: General Tso MUSHROOMS!

Even if you’re not a fan of mushrooms this dish is amazing, you can’t even taste the mushrooms and you could totally fool someone into thinking it was chicken (if the person is very unobservant). I happen to love mushrooms so this meal was the best of both worlds for me: the yummy taste of general Tso chicken, but lighter and much healthier with the delicious additions of mushrooms as a meat alternative! Yay!

For the test run of this recipe I only had breadcrumbs on hand, however I believe panko breadcrumbs would give a much crisper texture to the mushroom making them even more decadent. Whatever you have on hand works out fine thought.

For mushrooms:

  • four large portobello mushroom caps cut into 1 inch strips
  •  2 eggs beaten with 1 tbsp soy sauce or liquid aminos to season
  •  1 cup panko (Japanese style breadcrumbs, regular bread crumbs work well too
  • 1/2 cup flour

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy or liquid aminos
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha or other chilli sauce like sambal
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp water to thin out sauce

Directions:

  • slice the mushrooms into 1 inch strips and set aside
  •  prepare three bowls for breading the mushrooms. The first bowl will contain your plain flour, the second bowl your beaten eggs and soy sauce, and finally the third bowl will contain your breadcrumbs, lightly seasoned with salt. Bread the mushrooms in that order, placing them on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
  • heat the oven the 400 degrees, and let the mushrooms bake for about 15-20 minutes, turning them once. Make sure they are browned and crispy
  • in a medium sized saucepan place all the ingredients for the sauce. Making sure to finely mince the garlic. Bring sauce to simmer and let cook for 5 minutes over a medium to low heat, if sauce gets too thick add one tbsp of water at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • once mushrooms are out of the over you could choose to either toss them in the sauce or drizzle the sauce lightly over top of them. I chose to drizzle the sauce as I like to keep the mushrooms texture as crispy as possible.
  •  serve with steamed rice, crushed peanuts and Thai basil.

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