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Vegan Kung Pao Mushrooms Recipe


2 teaspoons Chinkiang black vinegar
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar

The sauce

¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon potato starch

2 medium king oyster mushrooms (10 ounces / 280 grams), cut into ½-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
½ teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon kosher salt

The stir-fry

½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 cups (480 mL) vegetable oil, for frying
¾ cup potato starch or cornstarch
1 (2-inch) piece (15 grams) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¹⁄₃ cup dried red chiles (about 15), snipped into ½-inch segments and seeds shaken out
1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns
2 scallions, white parts only, cut into ¼-inch pieces

½ cup green chile pepper or bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup dry-roasted peanuts or Fried Peanuts


1. Make the sauce: Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl until smooth and blended.

2. In a large bowl, combine mushroom cubes with soy sauce, salt, and sesame oil; let rest 5 minutes to release liquid.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat until a wooden chopstick creates a stream of bubbles (360°F/185°C). While the oil heats, check the mushroom cubes for moisture.

Squeeze the mushroom cubes to absorb the starch. Mushroom cubes should be moist. Toss in the remaining starch until each cube is well-coated. This prevents fried sticking.

3. Batch-fry mushroom cubes. Drop the cubes separately to avoid clumping. After 15 seconds in the oil, the mushrooms' interior water sizzles and splatters.

Wait until the splattering slows, then stir the cubes for 2 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Transfer cubes to a paper towel-lined dish.

4. Reheat the wok. Stir-fry ginger and garlic for 30 seconds. Stir-fry dried chiles and peppercorns for 30 seconds. (Be sure to ventilate your kitchen, as this will produce stinging smoke.)

Add scallions, chile, and mushroom cubes, then turn up the heat and pour the sauce down the wok's side so it sizzles.

Toss for 30 seconds, until sauce coats mushrooms and everything is heated. Add peanuts and serve.

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