Vegan Scallops

King oyster mushrooms stand in for shellfish in this look-alike vegan scallop recipe. The seaweed in the recipe helps add that characteristic flavor of the sea, while tamari and vegan Worcestershire amp up the umami.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 40 mins
16 "scallops"

If you're looking for an impressive vegan dish to serve to guests, you need to try our recipe for vegan "scallops": king oyster mushrooms stand in for seafood for an amazing look-alike dish. We also have several tips for giving that fresh-from-the-ocean flavor to these seafood-free scallops.

Tips for Making Vegan Scallops

breana killen scoring mushrooms crosshatch

1. Slice and score the mushrooms

To make vegan scallops, cut the stems of oyster mushrooms into 1-inch thick pieces. We use just the stems here because their shape tricks your eye into thinking you're eating scallops (reserve the caps for another use, such as making mushroom stock). Using a sharp paring knife, cut a cross-hatch pattern onto both sides of the mushrooms. This will help the marinade permeate into the mushrooms, plus it helps the mushrooms look even more like scallops when they're cooked.

vegan scallops in marinade

2. Give the scallops a fishy flavor with a marinade

To give the mushrooms a hint of the sea, our vegan scallops are soaked in a marinade that includes dulse seaweed (for that fishy flavor) combined with miso, tamari, maple syrup and vegan Worcestershire sauce, which all boost the umami in the finished dish. Be sure to buy vegan Worcestershire, as regular Worcestershire contains anchovies. Cook the scallops gently in the marinade for 30 minutes, then let them stand (off the heat) for about an hour—this will allow the flavor to really soak into the mushrooms.

drying vegan scallops

3. Dry the scallops well

Before cooking the mushroom scallops, pat them dry well with paper towels. Drying the mushrooms helps prevent splatter during cooking, and also helps them to brown.

searing vegan scallops

4. Cook the scallops in a hot pan

Before adding the scallops to the pan, make sure it's nice and hot—you want to hear it sizzle. A hot pan will keep the scallops from sticking and will also help boost the browning and caramelization.

Once your scallops are well browned, they're ready to serve! Don't forget that the marinade doubles as a sauce. I like to plate them along with a simple side, such as sautéed bok choy with ginger and garlic.

saucing vegan scallops

Environmental Impact: Sea Scallops vs. Vegan Scallops

For a look at the environmental impact of swapping a traditional scallop recipe for a vegan version, we turned to Dustin Harder, aka the Vegan Roadie (@theveganroadie). "Scallops, like other mollusks, actually help filter oceans by absorbing excess nutrients in the water," Harder explains, so unlike some animal products, scallops can actually benefit the environment. But mushrooms are no slouches either. "Not only do oyster mushrooms make a super-amazing vegan swap on your plate for scallops, but they can help the environment too," he says. Through a process called mycoremediation, enzymes in mushrooms help clean up waste in the environment by breaking down pollutants.

Check Your Wallet: Sea Scallops vs. Vegan Scallops

King oyster mushrooms are a delicacy, which means they aren't cheap. Six king oyster mushrooms cost about $15; a pound of sea scallops generally costs between $12 and $18. So you're looking at about the same cost for either version of the dish.

Nutritional Comparison: Sea Scallops vs. Vegan Scallops

In terms, of nutrition, you'll get more fiber if you go with vegan scallops—they deliver 5 grams per serving, while regular scallops have 0 grams. You'll also save around 70 calories per serving making the vegan version. And while you'll only get half the protein of regular scallops, our mushroom scallops still deliver 7 grams of plant protein.

Even if you enjoy regular scallops, vegan scallops are a tasty and stunning alternative to add to your repertoire.


  • 6 large king oyster mushrooms

  • 1 cup no-chicken broth

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • 1 (6 inch) piece dulse or kombu seaweed

  • 2 teaspoons white miso paste

  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil


  1. Cut mushroom stems crosswise into 1-inch pieces--you should have at least 16 pieces total. (Reserve the caps for another use.) Using a sharp paring knife, score both flat sides in a cross-hatch pattern.

  2. Whisk broth, wine, seaweed, miso, tamari (or soy sauce), maple syrup and Worcestershire in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the miso dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a paper-towel-lined plate and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt.

  4. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes total. Serve the mushroom "scallops" with the sauce, if desired.



Learn more about how to make these vegan scallops.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

98 Calories
3g Fat
14g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 4 "scallops"
Calories 98
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 7g 15%
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Vitamin A 107IU 2%
Folate 84mcg 21%
Sodium 116mg 5%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 3mg 17%
Magnesium 40mg 10%
Potassium 936mg 20%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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