• Sam Burgess

Buffalo Mushroom Vegetarian Sandwich- "Chicken of the Woods"

You won’t believe this buffalo “chicken” sandwich that looks, feels, and tastes like fried chicken is made from wild foraged mushroom! Chicken of the Woods (also known as "Hen of the Woods" on the west coast) are dense and savory. Prepare them just like a chicken by buttermilk fried and tossed in buffalo sauce.

Makes: 6-8 sandwiches


  • 1-½ pounds fresh Chicken of the Woods mushrooms

  • 1-½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1-½ tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • ½ cup hot sauce (Hanks RedHot, WingIt, Valentina, or Cholula) or more if desired

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced on a bias (~1 cup), for serving

  • 6-8 buns of choice, toasted, for serving

  • Bleu cheese dressing or Ranch, for serving

  • Pickles, for serving


  1. Wipe away any dirt from the Chicken of the Woods mushrooms. If water is needed, use sparingly, as the mushrooms will absorb it and it will negatively affect cooking. Use a Forge To Table 8” Gyuto to trim any dense, fibrous, or unwanted pieces from the mushroom. Slice into large pieces the size of chicken cutlets and place onto a sheet tray or large plate.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper, and mix well to combine. Place buttermilk in a separate medium bowl.

  3. Dip each mushroom ‘cutlet’ into the buttermilk, letting it soak for about 20 seconds, before letting the excess drip off. Toss in the seasoned flour, coating mushroom completely, and place back onto the sheet tray or large plate. Repeat this process with remaining mushrooms until all are dredged.

  4. In a large skillet heat ½ inch of oil until 350F degrees. Use tongs to lower dredged mushroom pieces into the oil, cooking until deeply browned and crispy on one side, about 3-4 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Remove and reserve fried mushrooms on a separate sheet tray lined with a cooling rack or paper towels. Repeat this process until all mushroom pieces are deep-fried and delicious.

  5. Use a Forge To Table 8” Gyuto to slice scallions on a bias and reserve in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter and hot sauce. Lightly toast buns on a skillet or toaster oven. Dip each fried mushroom into the buffalo sauce, flipping once to coat both sides and let any excess fall back into the bowl.

  6. Assemble sandwiches by placing a few pickle slices on the bottom bun, then a buffalo mushroom cutlet, topped with bleu cheese or ranch dressing, a handful of sliced scallions, and finally the top bun. Enjoy immediately!

Chef’s Notes:

  • Chicken of the Woods mushrooms are usually wild foraged across North America during the spring and fall season after rain. Always make sure your wild mushrooms are coming from an experienced forager!

  • Make the sandwiches vegan by substituting oak milk for buttermilk, melted coconut oil for butter, and omitting bleu cheese or ranch dressing.

Recipe by Sam Burgess

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