Baked Shiitake “Shrimp”

Maybe it’s the pairing of Baked Shiitake “Shrimp” dipped liberally into a tart cocktail sauce that makes this meal so delicious. Then again it’s probably the fact that tastes like it’s fried. I have a weak spot for fried foods. As good as it (fried anything) tastes in my opinion, I really have to watch what I eat now that I sit behind a computer for work.

Baked Shiitake "Shrimp" (gluten-free vegan) - Fork & Beans

That is an entirely different topic that I can go into but I will save that for a later day. Let’s just say that as I begin to approach 40 (okay, so I have a few years but I’m closer to 40 now then 30!) my body is not as forgiving to me and is demanding more from me to maintain. I’m just not that girl who wakes up and drinks a smoothie for breakfast, eats endless salads, or snacks on apple slices when my sweet tooth is bitching at me. I wish I had that superpower. Instead I love potato chips, I carelessly slather peanut butter on my waffles in the morning, I will eventually polish that Banana Cream Pie in my fridge, slice by slice (recipe coming), and I adore a good glass of scotch. Damn you scotch, I blame this all on you!

Baked Shiitake "Shrimp" (gluten-free vegan) - Fork & BeansThe problem is that way of eating is no longer working for me. I was doing great until this year. Anyone else in their mid-to-late 30s developing that lower belly pouch that doesn’t budge as quickly as it used to What’s the deal with that anyway?! I have been told that it’s mainly diet-related which means change is a’comin’. Homegirl just wants to be comfortable in her jeans, ya feel me? Good thing these are baked…

Oh good grief, how did I end up here? I was happily talking about Baked Shiitake “Shrimp” and now I’m discussing belly poofs. I live a glamorous life, friends. sigh.

Baked Shiitake "Shrimp" (gluten-free vegan) - Fork & Beans

Baked Shiitake "Shrimp"
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
With just the right amount of crisp and crunch, this plate full of Shiitake Mushroom "Shrimp" will make you think they are actually fried.
Serves: 20
  • 10 medium shiitake mushroom tops, sliced in half (for a more shrimp look, cut out a half moon middle)
For Beer Batter
  • ½ c. gluten-free flour mix of choice
  • ¼ c. gluten-free beer (or soda water)
For Breading
  • ¾ c. breadcrumbs (I used gf panko but use whatever you got)
  • ¼ tsp. dried basil
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour and beer together and whisk until it makes almost like pancake batter. You can add more beer or flour by the tablespoon if needed to ensure you get the right consistency.
  3. Place the bread crumbs, herbs, and oil in the other dish and mix together. The oil should give the crumbs a texture like wet sand.
  4. Dip the mushrooms into the pancake-like coating. With a fork, transfer to the breading mixture and coat completely.
  5. Place onto a baking sheet until all are completed.
  6. Bake for 7-10 minutes until one side is nice and brown.Flip them over to bake the other side. (Welcome that heat bath!)
  7. Bake another 7-10 minutes or until beautifully golden brown. Cooking times will vary from oven to oven.
  8. Sprinkle with salt once out of the oven and while still piping hot.
Serve with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce for dipping.
Makes 20 "shrimp" pieces.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 Calories: 380 Fat: 10g Saturated fat: 1g Unsaturated fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 61g Sugar: 5g Sodium: 602mg Fiber: 5g Protein: 11g
 So yeah, let’s just eat a plate of wannabe shrimp now and then we will figure a way out to shape up that pesky bottom half later. I’ll eat to that!









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  1. Well done, Cara, love this! I’m a huge fan of vegan seafood dishes! I’m still in my mid-20s :( I thought you were younger than mid-20s 😉 haha!

    • haha, Well I would hate to take it away from you so let’s just say that yes, yes I am in my 20s :) xo!

  2. I absolutely adore what you have cooking here with this seafood bake…very creative and it all looks so great, my hubby loves seafood and this would be a great way to serve it all up vegan…great job! since I no longer blog, I’m so happy to have a blog like yours for inspiration =)

    I know all about the belly pooch thing…just turned 39 and after three kids it’s harder to get it rid of it…but I exercise everyday and watch what I eat…but I do splurge or I would lose my mind…and I’m not giving up my wine!! nope!! lol



    • I love hearing that you are appreciating this Seafood bake, Jen! Thank you for taking the time to let me know :) You blog is so beautiful! I just read your post as to why you no longer blog. I get it. It can be draining and there is definitely a shift in this world lately. Curious to see what is on the horizon. Good thing we like booze–we can cheers to a new glass of wine and let all of our troubles subside 😉

  3. Sarah Auzina says:

    These are adorable! And they do look yummy!

    Amusing story- the one and only time I tried to eat a shrimp, I introduced myself to him first (I’m an odd child) and then since we were friends, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’ve also kept (and killed) sea monkeys a few too many times to want to eat them. :)

    Ah, the plague of the belly pooch. I think we just need to declare them beautiful, put some bling on them, and call it a day!

    • HAHAHA! I am currently looking up “belly pooch bling” on the internet so I do as you suggest. Seriously love it, Sarah! Thank you for such a thoughtful response. xo!

  4. Wait wut. I thought you were twenty. (In my defence, I’m not one of those people who goes through other people’s photographs, examining every line and wrinkle. I mostly pictured you just as a lovely young woman. And you’re only as young as you feel, after all.)

    Anyway… don’t be ashamed of your pooch! Bodies aren’t statues, they change throughout your whole life, so love your little belly pooch and keep eating what you like!

    • I, just like my mother, am forever 29 :) hehe. You are so right about our bodies not being like statues! I don’t want a perfect body, I just want the one I have to fit into my jeans. Either that or I would like to win the lottery so I can buy a larger pair. haha!

  5. hippymomelizabeth says:

    I love cocktail sauce, your mushroom shrimp idea is creative and sounds delicious one day all be able to eat more than green drinks and veggies and leafs. I have a veggie poof with two C sections in my 30s and have lost so much weight I have to try and keep my weight up not down…Well have a celestial evening…

    • Yay! I was just thinking about you :) Always awesome to hear from you HME! Sending you veggie love from LA. That, and the ability to add more weight. xo!

  6. Charity says:

    I recently turned 34, and have realized the last few months that my body is indeed changing too… And not in a good way. I am happy with who I am, but am definitely not happy about that lower belly pooch. I blamed in on my two c-sections at first, but am now having to get serious about the fact that time, and super tasty not-the-best-for-you food, contributed. I think I need some of these shiitake baked shrimp to make me feel better:)

    • What is up with that Charity?! haha. I am right there with you–I am happy with me but that pooch is interfering with my jeans-wearing life :) Maybe we should just invest in some good spandex…haha!

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