These delectable sandwiches are like the wild cousin of a classic Peruvian roasted chicken dish. Instead of chicken, we have tender oyster mushrooms soaked in a traditional blend of herbs and spices, and pan-seared until they’re irresistibly crispy. Imagine a crusty ciabatta roll, generously stacked with sizzling mushrooms, creamy avocado, tangy red onion, and a sprinkle of microgreens. And let’s not forget the star of the show – the green sauce that’s so delicious and addictive, it should come with a warning label. Trust us, these sandwiches will have you floating on a cloud of culinary bliss!
The first swap for this Peruvian sandwich was to replace the roasted chicken. I opted to use oyster mushrooms, which are tender and meaty with lots of health benefits. Oyster mushrooms have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, plus they are high in protein, vitamins, minerals, with no cholesterol or fat.
How to make the Oyster Mushrooms “meaty”
Creating plant-based recipes that rival or even surpass their meat-based counterparts is all about giving vegetables the same treatment and attention. Oyster mushrooms are marinated in a delightful blend of olive oil, vinegar, cumin, paprika, oregano, and garlic. infusing them with incredible flavor. Once they are nicely flavored, the mushrooms are weighed down with a heavy cast iron skillet and seared in a sizzling hot pan. Pressing the mushrooms down as they cook accomplishes two things:
- The extra weight squeezes out all the moisture so that the mushrooms get a good, crisp sear on the outside.
- The weight also presses the mushrooms down and makes their texture more dense and meaty.
To press the oyster mushrooms place a cast iron skillet right on top of them as they are cooking. Cast iron works well because it’s quite heavy, but you can use a regular pan or a baking pan and weigh it down with something, such as a couple of cans – anything heatproof will work fine.
Once the mushrooms are nicely seared and crisp, layer them on Ciabatta, or Portuguese rolls, with thinly sliced red onion, avocado, and some greens, such as peppery arugula, or nutrient dense and delicious microgreens. Finally, the piece de resistance – drizzle the whole thing with creamy, herby, garlicky and spicy Aji Verde.
As if these sandwiches aren’t amazing enough already, serve them with a side of light and crunchy Tostones – twice fried plantains.
Peruvian Sandwiches with Oyster Mushrooms and Aji Verde
For the mushrooms:
- 6 oz oyster mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- freshly ground black pepper
For the sandwich:
- ½ avocado sliced
- red onion thinly sliced
- microgreens, lettuce, mixed greens or arugula
- 2 Ciabatta or Portuguese rolls
- 1 recipe Peruvian Aji Verde
Preparing the Mushrooms:
- Remove any tough mushroom stems and save them for making veggie broth.
- Place 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, salt, cumin, paprika, oregano, and garlic in a medium bowl. Add the oyster mushrooms and toss to coat.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. Place the mushrooms in the pan and place a cast iron skillet, or other heat-proof weight, on top.
- Sear the mushrooms until deep golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes per side.
Assembling the sandwiches:
- Slice the rolls in half. Layer with the greens, sliced avocado, red onion and the oyster mushrooms.Drizzle with the Peruvian green sauce.