This is one of my favorite “raw food” dishes. I’m definitely not 100% Raw, but I really feel better the cleaner I eat. Raw just means that food is prepared at temperatures below 115 °F so that the enzymes are still alive allowing them to aid in digestion and rebuild proteins in the body. Now, nothing beats a fruit or veggie that is in season and uncooked! But sometimes it’s fun to experiment and transform them into another dish. That’s where this “Calamari” comes in. This is such a great party idea! It’s much cheaper than real calamari and just as tasty! King Oyster mushrooms are not always available, so make them when you get the opportunity. I’ve only ever seen them in Whole Foods.
Take the caps off the mushroom and slice the stem into ¼ in disks. The rings are pretty small, unless you find jumbo sized mushrooms. So I found that an olive pitter works really well for the smaller rounds and then I just use a round cutter or a paring knife to cut circles in the center of the larger rounds.
Let them marinate in the olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt mixture for about 30 minutes. While those sit, make the cocktail sauce. Combine all the ingredients into the food processor and pulse until chunky.
For the “breading” add the flaxseed, herbs, chili powder, cayenne, and black pepper into a bowl. Just mix with your figures until all the ingredients are combined.
Take the mushrooms that have been marinating and toss in the “breading” mixture. Place the “calamari” on a mesh dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115 °F for about 2-3 hours. They should be warm and softened (like the texture of calamari). If you don’t have a dehydrator, don’t go out and buy one just for this (unless of course you’re looking to get into more Raw Food cooking)! You can use your oven, just bake them at a low temp for a shorter time. They won’t be considered Raw, but they’ll still be good. Keep an eye on them if they’re in the oven.
Pile high onto a plate with the bowl of cocktail sauce. Place some lemon wedges on the plate for a nice fresh garnish, and there you have it!
King Oyster Mushroom “Calamari”- Serves 6
Adapted from Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis
10 King Oyster mushrooms
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup ground flaxseed
2 tsp dried Italian herbs
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp chili powder
½ tsp black pepper
1 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked at least an hour in warm water
3 cups chopped tomatoes
2 tsp horseradish
½ yellow onion
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
pinch black pepper
Slice the stem of the mushrooms into ¼ inch thick disks. Caps can be saved for later use. Using an olive pitter, make a whole in the center of the small pieces. Using a paring knife, cut a whole in the center of the larger pieces. Toss the mushroom rings into the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, to make the cocktail sauce, add all ingredients into the food processor and pulse until smooth. Place into serving bowl and set aside.
Then combine the flaxseed, herbs, cayenne, chili powder, and pepper into a bowl to create the “breading” mixture.
Once the mushrooms have marinated, add them into the “breading mixture” and toss to coat. Place the “calamari” onto a mesh dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate for about 2 to 3 hours at 115 degrees until warm or slightly crisp. To serve, cut a lemon into wedges and place on the serving platter with calamari and cocktail sauce.