This Vegan Asun Recipe is easy on the pocket yet bursting with flavors
Asun is a common dish at Nigerian parties. It is often created by marinating and slowly grilling goat meat, and then tossing it with onions and peppers. It is the perfect finger food, and will probably be the first dish to go. I always chuckle when I got to parties with buffet lines that have a designated person serving those popular dishes in portion.
This vegan asun recipe will do just that. Serve as an appetizer or a side dish and watch your guest be amazed.
Ingredients & Tools
🤑 Plant-Based Affordability with Oyster Mushrooms
To be plant-based does not need to hurt your pockets. That is one of the reasons why I created Je Gbese. I decided to go with oyster mushrooms because they're affordable and crisp up well, while yet holding a soft and chewy inner.
Oyster mushrooms average between $3.99/lb - $7.99/lb. The latter amount is usually found at certain Whole Food Markets, whereas the lower end of the price range can be found at local Asian grocery stores.
🇳🇬 The Meaning of Asun & The Technique
Asun literally means 'to cook over flames' in Yoruba, ah /soon/. In English it simply means barbecue.
The origin of the original asun recipe is from Ondo State, the 18th most popular state in Nigeria (36 states). Goat is a popular delicacy amongst Nigerians and a common choice when it comes to grilled meats because it is believed that the meat is tender and flavorful (but they can do the same with mushrooms!)
Asun is known to be super spicy and very delicious. The technique is to dice hot peppers and onions, fried and season. Then it is tossed together with the meat. The locals enjoy asun with nice cold beer or soda amongst a group of friends and family. If your nose is not running, it is not hot enough!
🌱 Plant-Based Asun Recipe Adaptation & Steps
For this asun recipe, I am deviating from the standard by a bit, however, the final look will give it those authentic vibes that we are going for. Firstly, the non-plant-based method would require us to bake our mushrooms with minimal seasonings and to instead focus on frying the peppers with seasonings.
Since our "meat" of choice is mushroom, I want to make sure that the flavors are fully absorbed into the mushroom. So that is why I heavily seasoned the mushrooms before baking. This technique will allow for savory and salty crispy mushrooms.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Using dried and clean oyster mushrooms, pull apart until you get size-able bitesize pieces. Combine your garlic and seasonings with oil in a bowl, mix until you form a paste.
Massage your mushrooms with paste until the color of the mushrooms has picked up the golden color of the curry.
Bake for 30 minutes. While baking, prep your onion and bell peppers by slicing the veggies into julienne strips. If using habanero peppers, finely chop it. Set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy-based pan over medium-high heat. Fry your onions and bell peppers for about 1 minute. Toss in baked mushrooms and pan fry for 4-5 extra minutes. Serve immediately.
🥡 Storing and Reheating
After making your mushrooms, you can store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat, microwave or bake in the oven for a crispier mushroom.
- Let your oven reach 375 degrees before placing your
- Hold off on seasoning your mushrooms with salt until the last step.
- If you'd like to avoid using oil, mix seasonings together before massaging your oyster mushrooms sans oil. For the final pan-fry method, use gradual amounts of tablespoons of water over high heat.
- ½ pound of oyster mushrooms, dried
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon of thyme
- 1 teaspoon curry
- ½ tablespoon of vegetable boullion
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- ½ onion
- ½ green and/or yellow bell pepper
- Preheat oven to 375
- Using dried and clean oyster mushrooms, pull apart until you get size-able bitesize pieces. Combine your garlic and seasonings with oil in a bowl, mix until you form a paste.
- Massage your mushrooms with paste until the color of the mushrooms has picked up the golden color of the curry.
- Bake for 30 minutes. While baking, prep your onion and bell peppers by slicing the veggies into julienne strips. If using habanero peppers, finely chop it. Set aside.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 57Total Fat: 3.5gSaturated Fat: .5gCholesterol: 1.7mgSodium: 151.2mgCarbohydrates: .6gFiber: .2gSugar: .4gProtein: .1g