May 27, 2022

Vegetarian chef stuns foodies with fake meat recipes

A vegetarian chef has stunned TikTokers with her recipes for buffalo ‘wings,’ burgers, and fried ‘chicken’ — all of which are entirely meat-free.

Shreya, who runs the blog Shreya’s Kitchen, has 1.1 million followers on TikTok who drool over her very tasty-looking dishes like Creamy Soy Tomato Ramen and Honey Chili Paneer.

But while some of her recipes make no attempt to mimic meat, like her Veggie Dumplings or Hot and Sour Miso Soup, others would fool many a carnivore at first look.

In fact, one recent video spotlighting some of her favorite vegetarian recipes has been viewed 7.5 million times. 

‘Ultimately, I just wanna say I am not here to convince or guilt anyone into not eating meat!’ she wrote on Instagram. ‘I’m just here providing some cool options for whoever has use for them!’

A vegetarian chef has stunned TikTokers with her recipes for things like buffalo ‘wings,’ which are entirely meat-free (pictured)

Her wings start with start with a whole head of cauliflower. Shreya breaks it up into large florets and batters them in a mixture of flour, spices, and unsweetened almond milk

Her wings start with start with a whole head of cauliflower. Shreya breaks it up into large florets and batters them in a mixture of flour, spices, and unsweetened almond milk

After air-frying them, she adds buffalo sauce made from hot sauce and butter before tossing them back in the airfyer

After air-frying them, she adds buffalo sauce made from hot sauce and butter before tossing them back in the airfyer

After air-frying them, she adds buffalo sauce made from hot sauce and butter before tossing them back in the airfyer

Buffalo ‘chicken’ wings made with cauliflower

Don’t call ’em chicken: These ‘wings’ are entirely plant-based, starting with a whole head of cauliflower. 

Shreya breaks it up into large florets and batters them in a mixture of flour, spices, and unsweetened almond milk.

After air-frying them, she adds buffalo sauce made from hot sauce and butter before tossing them back in the airfryer.  

‘This looks so good omg,’ wrote one TikTok commenter.

Her 'Crispy Fried Oyster Mushrooms' look like fried chicken bites

Her ‘Crispy Fried Oyster Mushrooms’ look like fried chicken bites

'Oyster mushrooms truly do have a “meat-like” texture that is fantastic if you are craving a meaty texture but want something plant-based,' she said

‘Oyster mushrooms truly do have a “meat-like” texture that is fantastic if you are craving a meaty texture but want something plant-based,’ she said

Her recipe calls for dipping the mushrooms in a wet batter made with spices, flour, and water

Her recipe calls for dipping the mushrooms in a wet batter made with spices, flour, and water

They're then dipped in a dry batter of flour, breadcrumbs, and more spices

They're then dipped in a dry batter of flour, breadcrumbs, and more spices

They’re then dipped in a dry batter of flour, breadcrumbs, and more spices

Crispy fried ‘chicken’ made with oyster mushrooms

No, these aren’t chicken either, much as they look like something that came out of a KFC bucket — and Shreya says they taste like meat, too.

‘Oyster mushrooms truly do have a “meat-like” texture that is fantastic if you are craving a meaty texture but want something plant-based,’ she said. 

‘Or even if you aren’t plant-based, this is just simply delicious for what it is, and I’m sure you’re going to love it!’

Her recipe calls for dipping the mushrooms in a wet batter made with spices, flour, and water. They’re then dipped in a dry batter of flour, breadcrumbs, and more spices.

Each piece is then fried and can be paired with dipping sauces.  

To replicate calamari, which is typically made with squid, Shreya used king oyster mushrooms, which she said are the best option when it comes to replicating the texture of seafood

To replicate calamari, which is typically made with squid, Shreya used king oyster mushrooms, which she said are the best option when it comes to replicating the texture of seafood 

The cook cut holes in the center of her mushroom slices in order to make a calamari-esque ring

The cook cut holes in the center of her mushroom slices in order to make a calamari-esque ring

The cook cut holes in the center of her mushroom slices in order to make a calamari-esque ring

The mushroom rings are then dipped in a wet batter, before being coated in a panko breadcrumb mix

The mushroom rings are then dipped in a wet batter, before being coated in a panko breadcrumb mix 

After coating the mushrooms in batter, they are deep fried and served with tartare sauce and a big squeeze of lemon

After coating the mushrooms in batter, they are deep fried and served with tartare sauce and a big squeeze of lemon 

‘Calamari’ made with king oyster mushrooms 

According to Shreya, while she loves cooking with tofu, when it comes to replicating faux-meat dishes, she believes that mushrooms are the best ingredient to rely on because they have a similar texture to things like chicken or fish. 

To create her calamari – which is typically made with deep fried squid – the chef used king oyster mushrooms in place of the seafood. 

‘The reason I’m obsessed with using king oyster mushrooms as a meat substitute is because you can manipulate the texture of these to imitate either chicken or seafood,’ she explains. 

Shreya begins the recipe by slicing round pieces of mushroom, before cutting out a hole in the center to create a ring to make them look more like classic calamari. 

She then dips the mushroom rings into batter, before covering them in flour, breadcrumbs, and spices so they can be deep fried. 

Finally, the ‘calamari’ rings are served with a tartare dipping sauce and a squeeze of lemon.  

Birria is a Mexican stew typically made with goat meat, but Streya makes her taco 'meat' with mushrooms and broth, which she makes with spices, tomatoes, and pre-made veggie broth

Birria is a Mexican stew typically made with goat meat, but Streya makes her taco ‘meat’ with mushrooms and broth, which she makes with spices, tomatoes, and pre-made veggie broth

The mushrooms are spiced and cooked in a pan, before being added to the soft taco tortillas

The mushrooms are spiced and cooked in a pan, before being added to the soft taco tortillas

The mushrooms are spiced and cooked in a pan, before being added to the soft taco tortillas

Like other tacos, she finishes them off with cheese, cilantro, yellow onions, and lime juice

Like other tacos, she finishes them off with cheese, cilantro, yellow onions, and lime juice

Birria ‘goat meat’ tacos made with mushrooms 

Birria is a Mexican stew typically made with goat meat, but Streya makes her taco ‘meat’ with mushrooms and broth, which she makes with spices, tomatoes, and pre-made veggie broth.

‘I never knew I could crave something I’ve never even eaten before I saw birria tacos. After seeing these all over my feed I knew I had to make a plant-based version so I could finally try them,’ she wrote on her blog.

Like other tacos, she finishes them off with cheese, cilantro, yellow onions, and lime juice. 

After seeing a recipe for Nashville hot chicken tenders on TikTok, Shreya said she was inspired to put a vegetarian spin on the dish using pearl oyster mushrooms

After seeing a recipe for Nashville hot chicken tenders on TikTok, Shreya said she was inspired to put a vegetarian spin on the dish using pearl oyster mushrooms

After seeing a recipe for Nashville hot chicken tenders on TikTok, Shreya said she was inspired to put a vegetarian spin on the dish using pearl oyster mushrooms 

The chef used a whole head of pearl oyster mushrooms as her chicken substitute

The chef used a whole head of pearl oyster mushrooms as her chicken substitute  

She dipped the head of mushrooms into a wet batter and then a dry batter, explaining that the batter should be used to pack the mushrooms together so they resemble one 'giant' tender

She dipped the head of mushrooms into a wet batter and then a dry batter, explaining that the batter should be used to pack the mushrooms together so they resemble one 'giant' tender

She dipped the head of mushrooms into a wet batter and then a dry batter, explaining that the batter should be used to pack the mushrooms together so they resemble one ‘giant’ tender

After deep frying the battered mushrooms, she then coats the crispy tender in a hot sauce

After deep frying the battered mushrooms, she then coats the crispy tender in a hot sauce

Hot ‘chicken’ tenders made with pearl oyster mushrooms

Shreya explained that she spotted a recipe for Nashville hot chicken tenders on TikTok and thought they looked so delicious, she couldn’t resist the chance to put a vegetarian spin on the dish. 

‘I have never felt sadder to be vegetarian than when I saw these on my [TikTok],’ she joked. ‘So I knew I had to make a meatless version.’ 

She begins her take on the recipe by mixing up two batters – one wet and one dry – using panko breadcrumbs and spices, before dipping a full head of pearl oyster mushrooms into the wet mix. 

The cook then coats the battered mushrooms in the dry breadcrumb-and-spice mix, explaining that you need to ‘really pack it on so [that the mushrooms] clump together to look like one massive chicken tender’. 

After battering the mushrooms, she deep fries them until they turn brown and crispy on the outside, before coating them in a Nashville hot sauce.  

She admits that her Paneer-Stuffed Aloo Tikki Burger isn't supposed to mimic real meat, and is made with potato and paneer, an Indian cheese

She admits that her Paneer-Stuffed Aloo Tikki Burger isn’t supposed to mimic real meat, and is made with potato and paneer, an Indian cheese

It calls for boiled and mashed potatoes mixed with spices and molded into patties. Then a cheese and panner blend is added between two patties, and the whole thing is cooked

It calls for boiled and mashed potatoes mixed with spices and molded into patties. Then a cheese and panner blend is added between two patties, and the whole thing is cooked

The deep-fried potato patty is placed into a bun with standard burger-style toppings, like lettuce and onion

The deep-fried potato patty is placed into a bun with standard burger-style toppings, like lettuce and onion

Paneer-stuffed aloo tikki burger made with potatoes

‘Who said plant-based burgers have to be boring?’ asks Streya.

She admits that this burger isn’t supposed to mimic real meat, and is made with potato and paneer, an Indian cheese.   

It calls for boiled and mashed potatoes mixed with spices and molded into patties. Then a cheese and panner blend is added between two patties, and the whole thing is cooked in an airfyer.

Streya also tested out Gordon Ramsay's vegan 'bacon' recipe on TikTok

Streya also tested out Gordon Ramsay’s vegan ‘bacon’ recipe on TikTok

It's made with crumbled tofu flattened between rice paper strips, then marinated in a mix of soy sauce, spices, and maple syrup

It's made with crumbled tofu flattened between rice paper strips, then marinated in a mix of soy sauce, spices, and maple syrup

It’s made with crumbled tofu flattened between rice paper strips, then marinated in a mix of soy sauce, spices, and maple syrup

The video, which she made as an ad for his new show, earned a 'well done' from Ramsay himself

The video, which she made as an ad for his new show, earned a 'well done' from Ramsay himself

The video, which she made as an ad for his new show, earned a ‘well done’ from Ramsay himself

‘Bacon’ made with tofu 

Streya also tested out Gordon Ramsay’s vegan ‘bacon’ recipe on TikTok.

It’s made with crumbled tofu flattened between rice paper strips, then marinated in a mix of soy sauce, spices, and maple syrup.

The video, which she made as an ad for his new show, earned a ‘well done’ from Ramsay himself.