king oyster mushrooms (approx. 9 mushrooms)
ground black pepper
cornstarch for coating
oil for frying
lemon wedges (topping)
chopped parsley (topping)
Wash and dry king oyster mushrooms.
Next, remove the ends, and slice the mushrooms down the stems, creating mini mushroom pucks, around 1/2 inch thick.
Using a sharp circular edge (e.g. a round piping tip), create holes in the center of your mushroom slices.
The hole diameter will depend on the diameter of your slice. For larger slices, create 3/4 inch holes. For smaller slices, it’s going to vary, but make your holes between a quarter inch to half inch.
Next, place your mushroom rings into a large bowl.
Add garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Add extra cayenne for spicier calamari. Toss it all together using your hands or tongs.
In a small bowl, add about 1/2 cup of cornstarch. Keep a container of cornstarch nearby in case you need extra. Take the mushroom rings one at a time and coat them in the cornstarch. Shake off any excess, and place them into a separate larger bowl.
Pour about 2-3 inches of oil into a pan or wok. Add 1/2 tbsp of corn starch the oil and stir. Heat oil to 375 F.
Carefully place mushrooms into the pan, and make sure to not overcrowd. Monitor the temperature to make sure it stays between 360 and 375 degrees.
Cook until calamari is a light golden brown (~2 to 3 minutes). Once your calamari is ready, place them on some paper towels to cool. Repeat until all the mushrooms are used up.
Garnish with some chopped parsley. Squeeze some lemon juice on top right before eating (or use lemon juice as a dipping sauce with some salt and pepper). Enjoy!