Happy As A Vegan Clam

New Year’s Eve is the single most superstitious day of the year.

Even if you’re typically a logical, pragmatic person, it’s hard to resist placing some significance on the visible acceleration of time. When faced with a full 365 days of unknown fortune ahead, wouldn’t you want to stack the deck in your favor, just in case? Don’t just raise a glass to good luck; make it a guest at the party by inviting these Plant-Based Baked Clams to join the fun.

Vegan Baked Clams

What’s The Significance of Clams?

Slang for dollars, round like coins, and known to produce lucrative pearls, clams are strongly associated with property across all cultures. In fact, the indigenous peoples of the Americas used the shells themselves directly as a form of currency. Beyond symbolism, this was literal money harvested from the sea.

That said, you can enhance your luck while preserving your karma by cooking up plants, not bivalves.

Ingredients for Vegan Baked Clams

How Can You Make Vegan Baked Clams?

The key ingredient is soaked Sugimoto shiitake mushrooms. Rich with natural umami, chopped to approximate the toothsome, chewy texture of diced seafood, it’s a wholly unique creation that no other plant or animal can replace. Koshin shiitake are ideal for their wide, flat caps, but Donko shiitake would also be welcome for a meatier, heartier bite.

Finely minced shallots and garlic are sauteed in peppery extra-virgin olive oil to infuse their savory aroma into the entire kitchen. Caper brine adds a distinctive oceanic salinity, accentuated by the gentle acidity of fresh citrus. Cheesy, buttery nutritional yeast brings everything together with light panko breadcrumbs for binding, toasting to a nutty and crunchy finish.

Vegan Baked Clams

What Are Variations On Baked Clams?

Consider this formula the classic rendition, simple and elegant, that goes with every occasion. If you want more pizazz and flair, you have plenty of room for creative adaption:

  • Clams Casino: Swap the olive oil for melted vegan butter and add 1/4 cup meatless bacon bits.
  • Dynamite Clams: Stir in 2 – 3 teaspoons sriracha and 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise right before baking.
  • Sweet & Salty Clams: Swap the breadcrumbs for crushed pretzels and add 1 tablespoon vegan honey or maple syrup.
  • Clams Rosa: Swap the white wine for red and add 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Optionally, add minced fresh basil.

Vegan Baked Clams

Tips For Success

The best party has food for everyone. That means catering to a diverse range of dietary restrictions, but it’s easy to accommodate with some simple modifications:

  • To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs or coarse almond meal.
  • To make this recipe without alcohol, use more mushroom soaking liquid instead of white wine.
  • To make this recipe oil-free, use more mushroom soaking liquid instead of olive oil. You may need more than the 1/4 cup listed; watch it carefully and make sure it doesn’t dry out.

Don’t take your chances with other hors d’oeuvres. Shiitake baked clams are bougie on a budget, which means you’re already well on your way to greater fortunes ahead.

Yield: Makes 12 Servings

Vegan Baked Clams

Vegan Baked Clams on a Serving Tray

Tender, briny, and oceanic, these baked clams are every bit as rich and luxurious as the classic Italian delicacy, but without a trace of seafood! Shiitake mushrooms make this plant-based appetizer the life of any party.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Shallot, Minced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 (2.47-Ounce) Package Sugimoto Koshin Shiitake, Soaked for 24 Hours and Drained (Liquid Reserved)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dry White Wine
  • 2 Tablespoons Caper Brine
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place 12 oven-safe ceramic seashell dishes or shallow ramekins on a baking sheet; set aside.

  2. Set a medium skillet over medium heat. Coat the bottom with olive oil and add the shallot. Saute for about 2 minutes, until translucent, and add the garlic. Cook for another 2 - 3 minutes, until lightly browned, and add the shiitake mushrooms. Stir well to incorporate and saute for another minute.

  3. Deglaze the pan with white wine, caper brine, and lemon juice, using your spatula to scrape all the browned bits from the bottom. Let simmer for 2 - 3 minutes to cook off the harsh edge of the alcohol.

  4. Fold in the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, and fresh parsley. Immediately turn off the heat. Mix thoroughly to make sure the stuffing is entirely combined; if it's too dry, add a splash or two of the mushroom soaking liquid, as needed.

  5. Portion about 1/4 cup of the mixture into each dish, packing it in very lightly. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown all over. Serve hot or warm.

Notes

  • To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs or coarse almond meal.
  • To make this recipe without alcohol, use more mushroom soaking liquid instead of white wine.
  • To make this recipe oil-free, use more mushroom soaking liquid instead of olive oil. You may need more than the 1/4 cup listed; watch it carefully and make sure it doesn't dry out.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 106mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

This post was made possible as a collaboration with SUGIMOTO Co. My opinions can not be bought and all content is original. This page may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting my blog!

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