Vegan Buffalo Ranch Chick'n Sandwich
Crunchy Fried Mushrooms, Buffalo Infused Breading, Homemade Ranch and Pickles! What's not to love eh?
I love Buffalo Chick'n! One thing I've noticed however, is that sometimes after frying, if you coat the Chick'n in Buffalo sauce, it sometimes will lose it's CRUNCH. So I got to thinking, what if we infused the buffalo flavor into the breading itself? And the results are AMAZING! I'm really happy with how this turned out and can't wait to experiment more with infusing the breading with different kinds of flavors.
Buffalo Sauce & seasoning
The two ingredients that help out tremendously are Frank's Buffalo Sauce and also Frank's Seasoning. If you can find them you're in business! If not, you can make your own Buffalo Sauce by combining Frank's regular hot sauce (or the closest vinegar based hot sauce you can find) with equal parts vegan butter. All you gotta do is melt it over medium heat until the butter and Frank's become one beautiful sauce.
If you can't get the seasoning, then just use some Cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt to your liking. Should do the trick!
Oyster Mushrooms can be found at most Asian Markets, and I can find them at my local Whole Foods, and even at some of the other big chain markets. They are relatively inexpensive (I found mine for $6 a pound which sound expensive, but a half pound will make a TON of Fried Chick'n so it goes a long way).
This is what they look like...
All you need to do to cook these is make a dredging station and fry them! That's it!
Now one thing we are doing differently is marinating them in a Buffalo Buttermilk mixture. The reason for this is they can sometimes be chewy and tough towards the stems and core, so marinating them for 30 minutes or so will help break them down a bit. While they are marinating, we're gonna whip up a Vegan Ranch! Obviously you can use storebought if you want, but I really liked the homemade better!
Air Fryer Option
If you want to Air Fry these, you can! Just do a single dredge instead of a double (you can probably half the dry batter) and then Air Fry at 380 F for 6 minutes, flip and repeat until done! I also recommend spraying them with cooking spray when you put them in and after flipping, you don't want to see any dry flour.
If you want to use parchment paper to ensure they don't stick to the Air Fryer, just poke some holes in it so the air can get through. Don't preheat your Air Fryer with the parchment paper however, as it can fly up into the coils and start a fire!
Tips for Fried Oyster Mushrooms.
If not using an electric deep fryer, get a deep fry thermometer. You can use a different one if you fry in a pan, but for my money, the deep fry thermometer has been a big help. I like to fry at 375° F.
Use a wire rack after frying to prevent the chick'n from steaming itself and getting soggy.
Don't use olive oil to fry. You need to use something with a high smoke point, I usually fry with peanut or vegetable oil.
Shake off the excess flour and batter when you dredge.
Make sure you press the flour into the chick'n so it sticks!
You can freeze these for later, just Air Fry to reheat (I would do it at 380° in 5 - 6 minute increments and check until it's heated through). Or if using an oven, preheat to 400° F and let the Chick'n sit at room temperature while the oven heats up. Then cook on a wire rack for 10 - 15 minutes.
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For Deep Frying
Makes about 2 - 3 patties
8 oz Oyster Mushrooms
Dill pickle slices
Chopped iceberg lettuce
Wet Batter (Buffalo Buttermilk)
1/4 cup vegan mayo
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp dried parsley**
1/4 tsp dried chives
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp lactic acid
Black pepper to taste
*to make Buffalo Sauce from scratch just combine equal parts Frank's Hot Sauce and Vegan Butter in a saucepan and melt over medium low heat.
** I used a heaping 1/4 tsp for all the seasonings that call for 1/4 tsp so adjust these to your taste! I honestly probably used closer to 1/2 tsp which is doubling the amount in the original recipe. My taste buds are shot!
Combine ingredients for the wet batter / buffalo buttermilk marinade. Cover your mushrooms in the marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
Combine all the ingredients for the Vegan Ranch in a bowl and add to the fridge.
Combine ingredients for the dry batter in a bowl.
Heat up oil to 375° F either in an electric deep fryer, or a dutch oven / pot with a deep fry thermometer.
Once oil is up to 375° F, remove your mushrooms from the wet mixture, let excess marinade drip, then add them to the dry batter and coat thoroughly. Get every nook and cranny covered in flour. Then shake the excess off and repeat to double dredge. Carefully add to your oil.
Fry for a few minutes, flipping if necessary, until golden brown. Let them rest on a wire rack lined baking sheet.
Toast your buns and then assemble sandwich as follows from bottom to top: Ranch, Pickles, Lettuce, Chick'n, more Buffalo Sauce if you like, top bun.