Miso Glazed Vegan Scallops Over Soba Noodles
This vegan scallop recipe will have you amazed! Who knew that marrying a miso glaze to a king oyster mushroom could lead to these stunning vegan scallops! This dish is dazzling and made even better with the addition of soba noodles in a tangy miso dressing!
Real Scallops or Vegan Scallops?
First of all, you tell me…if I told you this was a traditional scallop recipe after looking at this picture, would you believe me?
These are, in fact, not real scallops. But, they do quite the impersonation don’t they. I am obsessed with them.
A few years ago I had my first vegan scallops and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. I don’t remember how they were prepared, but I do remember that there were five on the plate and four of us. There was a bit of polite discussion over who would get the extra one, but it was clear that everyone wanted it. So we did the only fair thing that could be done and placed another order.
This dining experience was a bit of a game changer for me. I was already solidly vegetarian and flirting with going vegan. These scallops opened my eyes to the fun culinary possibilities that could come when you think outside the box. I’ve been exploring how to make tasty and interesting vegan recipes ever since.
King Oyster Mushrooms: The Key to a Good Vegan Scallop Recipe
This vegan scallop recipe uses the stem of a king oyster mushroom as the scallop. King oyster mushrooms have a small brown cap and a thick white stem perfect (in diameter and density) for mimicking a scallop. Best of all, king oyster scallops are pretty mild in flavor on their own, but do a great job absorbing other flavors.
How to Prep Your King Oyster Mushrooms
To prep, you’ll first want to clean your mushrooms. Cleaning mushrooms has always been a bit of a mystery to me. Cooking tips recommended not washing your mushrooms for fear of them absorbing too much water, rendering them soggy messes. I used to strictly adhere to this advice; then, about two years ago, I visited a mushroom farm and suggested to the farmer that I didn’t wash, but rather wiped, my mushrooms clean. He looked at me like I had 10 heads. From that point on, I’ve washed my mushrooms.
To do this, put your mushrooms a large colander and with a just more than a trickle of warm water running. Pick each one up and thoroughly rub it with your hands to remove any dirt. Don’t worry that even this amount of water could be too much. According to Cooks Illustrated, mushrooms actually retain very little of the water you use to wash them if you’re being conscientious.
Once the mushrooms are cleaned, you’ll want to cut the stems into scallop-like discs. About 1-inch thick. And, even though they don’t look like scallops, keep the caps and make those as well. They’re equally tasty and there’s no need to waste food!
Marinating Your Vegan Scallops in a Miso Glaze
Since I couldn’t remember the preparation of the vegan scallops that changed my life, I decided to just make up a version of my own. This marinade includes mirin (a Japanese rice wine popular in Japanese cooking), yellow miso paste and maple syrup. The miso marinade gets absorbed into the mushrooms as they marinate and then, later when you sear them, it caramelizes, forming a perfect crust of sweet, savory saltiness.
Once you’ve made the miso glaze, lay the mushrooms out in a shallow dish and pour the miso glaze over them. Then, cover the dish and put it in the refrigerator to marinate. Ideally, you’ll be able to let them sit for at least three hours. The longer, the better. The best version of this recipe I ever made was letting them sit overnight.
Searing Your Miso Glazed Vegan Scallops
You’ll want to sear the mushroom scallops in small batches. The sugars in the marinade can burn quickly, so you’ll want to be able to monitor what you have in the pan carefully. To sear them, add enough high-temperature oil (I used grapeseed oil) to coat the bottom of a cast-iron skillet and cook each side of the scallop on high heat until it is golden brown. Usually 2-3 minutes per side.
How to Cook Soba Noodles
If you don’t often cook with soba noodles, you should give them a try! Soba noodles are Japanese buckwheat noodles and, despite their misleading moniker, they can gluten free. Buckwheat is sourced from seeds (as opposed to grains). Just be sure that the soba noodles you’re picking up are made exclusively of buckwheat without any additional wheat flour added in (as is sometimes the case to help them maintain their structure).
Soba noodles have a nice, chewy density. They’re as likely to be served cold as they are hot, so they make for a great summer or winter-time dish. For this scallop recipe, I served them warm and tossed in a miso, rice-wine dressing to complement the miso glaze on the scallops.
Cooking soba noodles can be tricky. Without gluten to bind them together, they can become mushy and lose their shape if overcooked. And they cook fast. Often a lot faster than what’s recommended on the package. And you need to stop them from cooking more when they’re at the desired tenderness (read: rinse them in a cold water bath to stop the cooking process). To further help you avoid this kitchen catastrophe, I did a little research and picked up some great “how to cook soba noodles” tips from food blogger Macheesmo. In addition to what I’ve suggested above, he has some key strategies for cooking the perfect soba noodles. I highly encourage you to check out his blog post: How to Cook Perfect Soba Noodles if you’re making them for the first time.
Putting Your Vegan Scallops Soba Noodle Bowl Together
As tasty as miso glazed vegan scallops might be (especially when accompanied by soba noodles in miso dressing), I think a plate just looks better when there’s a variety of color. So, I like to add some. For this recipe, I decided on steamed asparagus. It’s super flavorful and good for you. I simply steamed it. Other good options might be to throw in some steamed broccoli or a handful of shelled edamame.
Putting this bowl together is easy, but there is an element of timing to it. As I mentioned above, you’ll need to stop the cooking process after your soba noodles boiled otherwise they’ll become mushy as they continue to cook. I’ll cool mine down with a cold water bath, but only to the point of reducing them from hot to warm. Then I serve them immediately by tossing them in my miso dressing and topping them with my vegan scallops and steamed asparagus. If your timing is not quite right, chill them with a cold water rinse and then warm them up when you’re ready by dunking them in hot water.
What’s In My Kitchen to Make This Vegan Recipe Easier?
I often get asked what gadgets and tools I have in my kitchen that help me pull all of my recipes together. I included a list below along with a description about why I like them so much. If you have any questions about them, please feel free to reach out to me in the comments!
I love having a mini food processor! It’s a great tool for quick sauces, marinades and dressings. For a recipe like this one, it helps to be able to blend the miso paste into the sauce. In my experience, miso paste doesn’t easily dissolve when added to sauces and soups, so making a miso “slurry” in your food processor is a huge help. This 4-cup food processor is the perfect size for the job and cleans very easily.
In real estate, it’s location. location. location. In dining, it’s all about presentation. If you’re going to take the time to make these miso glazed vegan scallops, you’re going to want them to draw gasps when you set them on the table and what better way to showcase them than a beautiful set of noodle bowls!
No, that’s not the brand. It’s just the idea! But, I own this set of Global knives and They’re some of my most prized possessions in the kitchen. This set is universally well-rated for the at-home chef and will get you a good, solid set of knives without totally breaking the bank.
My cast iron skillet is one of my favorite kitchen tools. It’s a great pan for a number of different recipes, but it’s especially good for searing which is how the mushrooms scallops are prepared in this recipe.
Miso Glazed Vegan Scallops with Soba Noodles
This vegan scallop recipe will have you amazed! Who knew that marrying a miso glaze to a king oyster mushroom could lead to these stunning vegan scallops! This dish is dazzling and made even better with the addition of soba noodles!
For the Vegan Scallops
- 5-7 king oyster mushrooms washed, with the stems cut into 1-inch thick discs (see blog post for detailed directions)
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp yellow miso paste
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp tamari
- grapeseed oil or other high-temp oil use enough to coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet to sear the scallops
For the Soba Noodles
- 1 pkg soba noodles prepared in accordance with package directions, but see blog post for some tips
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp miso paste
For the Final Bowl
- 1-2 bunches asparagus
- sesame seeds for garnishment
- 1-2 scallions washed and sliced thin for garnishment
Wash the king oyster mushrooms (see my blog post for tips on cleaning mushrooms). Slice the stems of the mushrooms into 1-inch discs. Save the mushroom caps for marinating and eating as well. No need to waste food.
To make the miso marinade, combine the mirin, water, miso paste, maple syrup and tamari ingredients listed under the "For the Vegan Scallops" heading in your food processor.
Lay the mushroom discs in a shallow baking pan and cover with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, pausing to flip the mushrooms periodically.
While the mushrooms are marinating, make the miso dressing for your soba noodles by combining the tamari, rice vinegar, sesame oil and miso paste ingredients listed under the "For Your Soba Noodles" heading in your small food processor. Steam the asparagus. Set both aside.
After the mushrooms have finished marinating, heat enough grapeseed oil to cover the bottom of a large cast iron skillet. When hot, place each mushroom in the oil and sear each side for approximately 3 minutes. Be careful as the water from the marinade might spatter when the mushrooms are added to the pan.
Prepare the soba noodles in accordance with the package directions. If you’ve never made soba noodles before, I encourage you to read my blog post on how to make them.
Toss the cooked soba noodles in the miso dressing and top them with the vegan scallops, the steamed asparagus, some sesame seeds and thinly sliced scallions.
About Herbivore’s Kitchen
Herbivore’s Kitchen is a blog run by me, a plant-based home chef and aspiring food photographer. I switched my and my family’s diet to a plant-based diet after learning about the health benefits of going vegan. Making this change has prompted a variety of food and holistic-lifestyle related questions that I explore through this blog. I talk about how to pick and prepare the most nutritious foods, to how to reduce waste at home, to how to live a more sustainable lifestyle while on the road.