King Oyster Mushroom “Scallops”

Am I the only person who looks at food magazines at the gym? My local iron crushing spot graciously displays an entire rack full of magazines that I viciously comb through every day to find a new one that I have yet to browse through (I am continually looking for some inspiration to get me through my time on the treadmill). I open up the pages and find the recipes that awaken my creativity and then set the jogging number to 4.8 (yeah yeah yeah, so I’m a slow runner–don’t judge!) and then I let my mind wonder and dream about well, food.

King Oyster Mushroom "Scallops" and Pasta (gluten-free vegan) - Fork & Beans

Last month, as I embarked upon the above-mentioned routine, there was a magazine that had this beautiful spread on a Clam Bake. I remember just staring at this page in awe because I marveled at the thought of creating my own gluten-free vegan “seafood” bake. I had to do it. I’m all about setting out to prove that you can do anything with food regardless of your restrictions. So that is what is going on over here for the next two weeks: Fork & Beans’ First Annual Gluten-Free Vegan “Seafood” Bake! The first thing that sparked into my head to make was King Oyster Mushroom “Scallops.” I’ve been day-dreaming about making these for over a year (I know, I’m slow to action at times) when I saw a similar recipe on the menu at a local restaurant.    

King Oyster Mushroom "Scallops" and Pasta (gluten-free vegan) - Fork & Beans

Having not personally tried it, I was skeptical. I mean, they are just mushroom stems. Big whoop. There is no way that they will taste similar to the real thing, right? Oh, I was so wrong in my judgments. But come on, I took a small bite from the raw mushroom stem at first and it was gross. Took a second bite from the soaked stem (surely if I soaked it in hot bath it would soften up). Nope. But my mouth hit the floor when I took the first bite after I cooked them in the skillet with the broth and wine. I bow in your general direction King Oyster Mushrooms. Your talent and ability to taste like scallops should be enough to enlist you onto Star Search.  

King Oyster Mushroom "Scallops" and Pasta (gluten-free vegan) - Fork & Beans

In terms of the initial preparation of the mushroom stems (I needed soaking consultation) I was guided by two recipes from two awesome bloggers: Kathy from Lunch Box Bunch‘s King Oyster Vegan Mushroom Scallops and Cucumber and Erin from Olives For Dinner‘s Vegan Bacon Wrapped Scallops*

5.0 from 3 reviews
King Oyster Mushroom "Scallops"
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These soaked mushroom stems are the perfect substitute for the scallop lovers out there. Absorbing the broth and wine, they eerily mimic their texture and incredible taste.
Serves: 12 "Scallops"
For the King Oyster Mushroom Scallops:
  • Stems of 4 king oyster mushrooms, rinsed and cut into 1 - 1½" sections (I got about 4 pieces from each stem)
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
  • ¼ c. white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
For the Pasta:
  • 4 oz. uncooked gluten-free pasta (approx. 2 c. cooked), cook according to package
  • 1 c. vegetable broth
  • ¼ c. white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ c. fresh tomatoes, cut into small cubes or 2 Tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, drained from the oil and chopped
  • ¼ c. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
  1. In hot water, soak the mushroom stems for 1-2 hours. Drain completely.
  2. On medium-high, place the mushroom stems into a skillet. Add the broth and white wine to the skillet, getting the liquid to a simmering boil. Allow the mushroom stems to absorb the liquid completely (might take about 12-15 minutes) Please note that they will shrink in size a little once cooked.
  3. Toss in 1 Tbsp. vegan butter, garlic, and shallot and nicely brown the stems on each side, making sure you don't burn the garlic and shallot. Remove from heat and place the "scallops" on a plate. Keep the garlic and shallots in the pan for the pasta.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, wine, and minced garlic in your skillet used for the mushrooms and allow to simmer over medium heat until half of the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Mix in the tomatoes, parsley and pepper flakes into the skillet. Simmer for another minute and then add the cooked and drained pasta. Allow the liquid to almost completely absorb (you want the bottom of the pan to be lightly coated with liquid).
  6. Divide the pasta into two 1 c. servings (I know, the correct serving size is ½ c. but who doesn't love more pasta?!) and divide the "scallops" equally on top. Garnish with more fresh parsley.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 445 Fat: 9g Saturated fat: 4g Unsaturated fat: 3g Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 68g Sugar: 7g Sodium: 929mg Fiber: 10g Protein: 20g Cholesterol: 15mg


For the king oyster mushrooms, I found mine fresh at Whole Foods. They came in a pack of four are unfortunately more of a specialty mushroom, making them harder to find. Keep in mind that these mushrooms really are the only mushroom stem recommended for this recipe due to its size, shape, and texture.  


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  1. Han Wen nienhuys says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I didn’t soak the mushrooms, and the scallops coming from the bottom were a bit chewy, but overall it was pretty amazing.

    I made the sauce asian style (tomato, chili, cilantro, lemon, thai basil and an egg yolk).

    Question: why not soak the mushrooms in broth + wine?

  2. Made it again…still amazing! We took out GF pasta just a couple of minutes before it was done from cooking water. Then added to sauce in skilled to let cook the rest of the way. Everything came out awesome! Thanks again:)

  3. Absolutely heavenly! This King oyster “scallop” & pasta recipe is amazing! I’ve never left a comment before, but my husband and I loved this so much I had to say thank you!! I followed the recipe exactly, absolutely NO “tinkering” w/ the recipe required.

    • I LOVE hearing this Kolet, hooray! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this comment…really appreciate it! xo

  4. Heather says:

    I like your blog and the recipes, but something on this page is running a script that crashes my browser, and reloads the page constantly, eating up bandwidth, and crashing the browser.

  5. This was incredible! The pasta with sauce in itself was divine…and then the brilliance of the “scallops.” Think we might soak longer or even overnight next time because not all of the “scallops” were as soft as we would like. Or even cut less than 1″. Funny enough…the bigger ones (in diameter) got softer than the smaller ones. Might just be us though because I see others had no problem. We did both fresh tomato and a couple of sun dried tomatoes. Also added some other veg – eggplant and asparagus. I threw in the wine first into a hot pan and let cook down before adding broth. Just the way I was taught not to make a broth taste like alcohol. A personal preference! That sauce is out of this world. Would like to try on other dishes…thanks again!

  6. Cara, you are one of the most creative cooks on the web. This is the third recipe I’ve tried, it was delicious. I think next time I’ll add a second soak in a little watered down Braggs and dulse for 20 minutes. The noodles were amazing, the whole recipe is definitely a keeper.

  7. Patti Lynn says:

    Can you help me find a GF pasta? Also, I’d like to make fresh GF pasta. Have you had any luck with that?

  8. Just tried these tonight. We are NOT Vegans…just curious. They were absolutely amazing. Taste like a scallop? hmmm…texture yes…the sear was amazing too, but not quite a scallop..but oh so close! Beautiful, meaty and tasty. I added it over our zucchini noodles and clam sauce just for the texture. We were happy. We are going to try it next with a little bit of Old Bay seasoning to see if we can come closer to a scallop taste. Thank you so much for posting this!!! Delicious!

    • Yeah it’s definitely hard to say that a mushroom is comparable to a scallop but they come pretty darn close, don’t they? So HAPPY you are open to trying new things and that you and your fam liked them, xo :)

  9. I really liked the mushroom’s consistency. I also added to the pasta mix 1/2 a leek, a bunch of asparagus and the heads of the mushrooms thinly sliced and it was a very nice addition but I regretted that there wasn’t a creamier sauce to bind all the elements together. Maybe a light vegan lemon butter sauce?

  10. I want to make these today, but when reading the recipe I noticed that there is a little error. In part 2 you instruct to use the wine and broth to cook the mushroom stems, then again in part 4 we must use the wine and broth. If I follow instruction 2 my wine and broth are gone… Are we supposed to halve the quantities in each process?

    • Hi Aline! No error, if you notice for the mushrooms you will need wine and broth listed and then for the pasta it also calls for wine and broth in the ingredients. Good luck and let me know what you think! xo

  11. Tina Coruth says:

    I’m allergic to alcohol. Is there a substitute I could use to get the taste and texture of scallops?

  12. Sorry, but you would normally throw away the stems? Wow. Who can throw away money (and food) with such abandon? I always cook mushroom stems.

    • I don’t think I said that I did, TC…

    • I read it that she was skeptical they would work as a scallop sub. Not that she normally would have thrown them out. Speaking of, I love to cut the outside hard stem of broccoli to use the inner lighter section. Lots of people throw the stems away or buy them without. I wish they sold just the stems. Great raw or cooked! Another one is collard green stems. They are sweet and tender when boiled. Yay to using all parts of veg!

  13. Can something please tell me why you need to soak the mushrooms before frying them.

  14. Why do you need to soak the mushrooms in hot water? can I bi-pass this step. I want to make this for dinner tonight…..

    • Hi Tina, you need to soak these in hot water in order to soften them. It is an important step because it gives them that texture that can be sliced easily through.

      • I’m wondering if CARA is using dried mushrooms, and the rest of us are using fresh. I used fresh, and didn’t need to soak beforehand.

        • I actually did use fresh mushrooms as the recipe suggests. I just found soaking them made them more tasty but hooray for you if you didn’t have to 😉

  15. I just made them and they were good. I’ve used these mushrooms in the past in all sorts of ways, faux pulled pork, chinese stir fries, straight up barbequed them as if they were tofu (we don’t eat soy) and all of the times I did it I found them to be overly chewy and without a ton of flavor. what’s nice about this recipe is that soaking them really makes them more porous and certainly they absorbed the broth/wine in no time. In the end I still found them a little too mushroomy both in texture and flavor to be a close scallop flavor but hey, they were good! Also, I didn’t follow this perfectly, I soaked them for less time and didn’t have shallots so maybe that small change would’ve done the trick. my husband and I are impressed at how they cooked into a different texture, we’re going to try the same technique but with a teriyaki sauce which I think will take better to the mushroom flavor. Also, Cara… do you think this would’ve been good in a more lemony flavored cooking sauce?

  16. Just picked up a 4 pack from my local asian market! Can’t wait to try this!

  17. OMG you are a genius! I never would have thought to do this! Pinning!

    • Well thank you for that! I wish I could take credit for it but at least I am a genius for eating them :) xo

  18. Looks & sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks Cara!

  19. Hmmm, I’m skeptical, but if you say mushroom stems taste good this way, I trust you! Never actually had any real scallops in my life, so I thankfully don’t know what I’m missing out on.

    • I’m telling you, you would never taste the mushroom flavor. Something magical really does happen…

  20. XD Don’t you love/hate it when you think”OMG I HAVE A GREAT IDEA!” And then found out someone else did it. Great minds think alike right? I think you have some great ideas for “fake meats” without too much “fake.” This recipe looks similar to one my in-laws use to make for me with real scallops. Maybe I will make it for them one day and see what they think.

    • Ugh, happens all of the time for me Jennifer. ha! I guess you are right though–it’s all about the great minds :) xo

  21. saniel says:

    What about other foods in original picture? Looks like corn, clam chowder, fried clams. Yum!

    • They are coming in the next 2 weeks! You can expect: Vegan Chowder, Fried Shiitake “Shrimp”, Baked Mushroom Casino, and a Berry Wine Spritzer :) Stay tuned… xo

  22. OoOoh so excited about the Fork & Beans First Annual Gluten-Free Vegan “Seafood” Bake!!! Everything on that table looks incredible.

    I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms, but may have to get over that because I’ve heard they’re a great replacement for seafood. These scallops look so good! Well done, Cara! 😀

    • I’m telling you, you would have NO clue that it is a mushroom. The stem has a different flavor and texture than the tops of the ‘shroom so you are good. Try them and then you better let me know what you think!

  23. This is so fun!! I’ve seen those mushrooms in store, but have never bought them! Will definitely now! Yay!

  24. I saw these at an Asian market too. They look really good. Wondering how they’d cook up on the grill? I’m planning to have a big grill full of veggies/fruits for my upcoming birthday.

    • Ha! I saw your grilling FB status too. I think that they would be great if you allowed them to simmer in the liquid first before grilling them. Cannot wait to hear how it works out!

      • Didn’t get to the Asian market so I’ll have to put it on the list for next grill session. I plan on that happening a lot this summer.


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