Vegan Fried Chicken
If you miss crispy, crunchy fried chicken, this vegan fried chicken recipe is for you! Oyster mushrooms are the star ingredient, providing a meaty texture and umami flavour to go with the irresistibly seasoned and fried exterior.
I think we can all agree that the best thing about fried chicken is the crispy coating, right? And this vegan fried chicken recipe delivers! It’s fried for authenticity and the blend of seasonings is perfection—you might just think you’re eating the real thing!
Underneath that crispy exterior is tender, juicy… oyster mushrooms! It looks a lot like white meat chicken, but these mushrooms offer a similar texture in plant-based form. I love this simple swap and it makes for a dish that both meat eaters and vegans will devour.
Why You’ll Love This Vegan Fried Chicken Recipe
- No meat substitutes. If you’re not a fan of faux chicken, you’ll love that this recipe skips the store-bought subs and uses oyster mushrooms for a whole food swap instead.
- Customizable spices. Adjust the seasoning to your liking and experiment with different herbs and spices to create your perfect flavour combination.
- Fried to perfection. This recipe uses a shallow fry method, resulting in a crispy exterior while maintaining a tender interior. As with falafel and donuts, with some recipes you just can’t beat frying, and this is one of them!
- Versatile. Use this vegan fried chicken in sandwiches, wraps, or as an entree to scratch that comfort food itch.
Notes on Ingredients
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
- Oyster mushrooms – Oyster mushrooms can be found at most grocery stores these days, but I’ve found that Asian markets will often sell them cheaper!
- Almond milk – Make sure it’s unflavoured and unsweetened.
- Lemon juice
- Coconut sugar
- Hot sauce – If you’d like your vegan fried chicken spicy.
For the Coating:
- All-purpose flour – You can make this recipe gluten-free by using a measure-for-measure flour substitute.
- Salt and black pepper
- Seasonings – I use onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
- Vegetable oil – Or canola oil, peanut oil, or rice bran oil.
Can I Substitute Another Variety of Mushrooms?
Yes, you can substitute the oyster mushrooms with other varieties such as shiitake or king trumpet mushrooms (which I use to make vegan birria tacos). Keep in mind that the texture and flavour may vary slightly, and that while the end result will be delicious with any mushroom you use, oyster mushrooms will be most similar to chicken.
How to Make Vegan Fried Chicken
- Prepare. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a paper towel.
- Make the coating. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and spices in a large bowl.
- Mix the vegan buttermilk. Whisk the almond milk and lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup or bowl and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
- Marinate the mushrooms. Whisk the coconut sugar into the buttermilk mixture, then pour it into a large bowl with the mushrooms. Toss to coat and let the mushrooms soak in the buttermilk for 10 minutes.
- Dredge. Dip each mushroom into the flour mixture, ensuring they are fully coated.
- Heat the oil. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan until it reaches 350°F.
- Fry the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the oil in batches, cooking for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
- Drain. Remove the fried mushrooms from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
Tips for Success
- Coat the mushrooms well. Any parts that aren’t coated in the flour mixture won’t fry up crispy, so be sure the mushrooms are evenly coated for perfect vegan fried chicken.
- Give the mushrooms space. Don’t overcrowd the pan when frying to ensure the mushrooms cook evenly and maintain their crispiness.
- Adjust the temperature as needed. Keep a close eye on the thermometer as you cook the mushrooms. If the temperature starts climbing too high, lower the heat; if it drops below 350ºF, raise it. Maintaining the right temperature requires some finessing!
- Entree. Make a Southern-style feast and serve your vegan fried chicken with baked vegan mac and cheese or mashed potatoes and vegan gravy.
- Sandwich. Create a vegan fried chicken sandwich by adding lettuce, tomato, and your favorite vegan mayo or mustard to a bun.
- Wrap. Roll up the fried mushrooms in a tortilla with avocado, cilantro, lettuce, and your desired sauce for a quick wrap.
- Appetizer. Serve vegan fried chicken as an appetizer with a dipping sauce like roasted strawberry barbecue sauce or vegan ranch dressing.
How to Store Leftovers
Leftover vegan fried chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. To reheat, place the mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 375°F for 10 minutes or until heated through. The air fryer also works and will help re-crisp the coating.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
I don’t recommend freezing vegan fried chicken as it will become soggy when defrosted. It’s best to enjoy fresh for optimal taste and texture!
More Vegan Remakes
- Vegan Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Chopped Cheese Sandwich
- Vegan Turkey
- Vegan Chicken Pot Pie Casserole
- Crispy Beer-Battered Vegan Fish Tacos
Enjoy friends! If you make this vegan fried chicken, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
Vegan Fried Chicken
- 10 ounces oyster mushrooms, 283 grams
- 1 ½ cups almond milk, 360 grams
- 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice, 22 grams
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar, 7 grams
- few drops of hot sauce, optional, to make it spicier
For the Coating:
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, 60 grams
- ½ cup cornstarch, 80 grams
- 1 teaspoon salt, 5 grams
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, 2 grams
- 1 teaspoon paprika, 3 grams
- 1 teaspoon onion powder, 2 grams
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 4 grams
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 grams
- Vegetable Oil for frying, I recommend canola oil, peanut oil or rice bran oil
- Gently wipe the oyster mushrooms with a paper towel to remove any traces of dirt.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch and all the spices for the coating. Mix until well combined.
- Mix almond milk with lemon juice to create vegan buttermilk. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
- Add coconut sugar to the buttermilk, mix well, and pour the buttermilk mixture into a large bowl with mushrooms. Mix gently to coat the mushrooms and let them soak for about 10 minutes.
- Dip each mushroom into the flour mixture, ensuring they are fully coated.
- Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan. Ensure the oil reaches approximately 350°F (180°C).
- Place mushrooms into the oil in batches. Fry for about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.
- Remove the fried mushrooms with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
- Nutrition information doesn’t include the oil for cooking, as most is discarded.
- To store: Leftover vegan fried chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. To reheat, place the mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 375°F for 10 minutes or until heated through. The air fryer also works and will help re-crisp the coating.
Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.