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Grilled King Oyster Mushrooms Braised in Red Wine and Cocoa Tomato Sauce (vegan)
Tannins from cocoa powder and red wine accent each other, creating a complex base for the sauce. Charred tomatoes, soy sauce, and molasses from brown sugar round out the tight, bitter notes of the wine and cocoa. Meaty oyster mushrooms act as a sponge for the powerful sauce while complimenting the cocoa's depth with its earthiness. Lightly toasted French bread rubbed with garlic and toasted sesame oil brings it all together with crispiness, Maillard flavors, and sharp bite from the raw garlic.
Cocoa Red Wine Tomato Sauce
- 1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes (we used fire roasted)
- 1/2 c deep red wine (Malbec & Cabarnets work well)
- 1 ½ tbsps natural cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
King Oyster Mushrooms
- 6 medium / small king oyster mushrooms
- Sesame oil to coat
- Salt to coat
- 2 thick slices of French bread, toasted on each side
- 1 clove of garlic
- Toasted sesame oil
- Thinly sliced scallions
- In a large dutch oven, whisk cocoa powder into tomatoes until smooth. Add in red wine, soy sauce, sugar, and Worcestershire, clamp on lid, and simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Rub king oyster mushrooms with enough sesame oil to coat and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. Grill or sear over medium-high until darkened on four sides.
- Add mushrooms to sauce and braise on low—uncovered—for 8 minutes, flip, and cook for another 8 minutes.
- Broil toast until lightly golden on both sides. Brush on a light layer of sesame oil, rub with garlic, and distribute mushrooms and sauce atop toast. Enjoy immediately!