Salads & Suppers

Vegetarian Scallops

King oyster scallops make a dazzling alternative to turkey for any vegetarians in your orbit this Yule. Takes a mere 3 minutes to whip up from start to finish. So this recipe might just save Christmas (and your adrenal glands)!

Mushrooms are humming with beta-glucans. These nifty compounds do sha-mazing things for our bodies. They help lower cholesterol by forming a viscous gel that grabs excess cholesterol and moves it through your digestive tract much like La Cucaracha. Beta-glucans also slow down digestion, which in turn stabilizes blood sugar levels and minimizes the release of insulin or fangs (as conducted by my own scientific experiment).

Quite apart from their nutritional kudos, these mushroom scallops taste crazy-good. Hope they find a plate near you.


6 king oyster mushrooms

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons ghee, butter or olive oil


Remove the mushroom stems from their caps. Keep the caps for another use (soup, stir fry, pickle, stock).

Slice each stem into 4 thick discs, resembling scallops. You can score each ‘scallop’ crisscrossing their diameter on each side if you fancy. This will help grab more flavour when they hit the pan, but is not integral to the recipe.

Massage the smoked paprika, salt and olive oil into the shroom scallops.

Heat a large sautรฉ pan, cast iron griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Tip in the butter, ghee or olive oil. Wait until it’s hot enough to hear gentle sizzling noises when you swirl the pan.

Now pop in a few of your shroom scallops, being mindful not to overcrowd the pan and cause the poor chaps to sweat rather than sear.  Colour on both sides. Basting the hot ghee or butter over the scallops will help prevent the fat from burning, and quickly colour your scallops. When both sides are golden brown, remove and add the next batch, doting the pan with fresh butter. Repeat until all the scallops are done.

Serve hot with pureed parsnip or sweet potato. Gorgeous.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Kate English December 22, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Dear Susan Jane. I first heard you on The Tom Dunne show and have loved using your recipes since then. I met you at a demonstration in Wexford a number of years ago where you made energy ball and nut milk. Fabulous. I am greatful to have all three books ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป. You are a breath of fresh air. Best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a joyful 2021. Keep spreading the good vibes โค

    • Reply Susan Jane December 29, 2020 at 1:15 pm

      Dear Kate – thank you so very much for your lovely note. It’s very much appreciated, and I look forward to sending you telepathic high fives while writing my 2021 columns.

      Have a lovely 2021, filled with industrial amounts of joy and oxytocin!

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