If you’re ever looking for a party on a plate, look no further. Today I’m making Vegan Mushroom Asado fries as a tribute to growing up in Southern California, and they are GOOD!
Why Asado Fries?
Let’s start with a little backstory, shall we? I spent the first 30 years of my life in Southern CA, so when Bri from Plvntfood asked if I wanted to make something from where I grew up, I didn’t need to think too hard. Mexican culture is such a huge part of California, (I mean, it was Mexico not long ago) and the food is something I’ve loved since I was a wee child.
Enchiladas, burritos, tacos, tostadas, you name it, I ate it. Obviously, not much of that changed after I went vegan because Mexican cuisine is easy to veganize. And now, more than ever, there are tons of vegan Mexican restaurants in LA/Orange County/San Diego.
But, one thing that I used to eat often before going vegan that I hadn’t had in a loooong time, was Carne Asada Fries. If you’re not familiar, they’re kind of like nachos, but not quite. If you google the name + Albertacos or Alberto’s you will see a dish that is not terribly good looking. BUT, I loved it.
I remember one time, after a party in college, going to an Alberto’s at probably 3 a.m. and in my inebriated state I NEEDED asada fries. If you know what they look like, they’re massive, and my boyfriend at the time told me that there was no way I was finishing them myself. Lol, sure. So, of course I ate them all, and maybe had some regrets after. But, they always hit the spot.
Fast forward to now. I had to think about it and couldn’t believe I hadn’t made them myself, yet! I had vegan versions of it in the past, but they were from Organix (in Eagle Rock, CA.), and so delicious. I was inspired by that version, with their seasoned mushrooms, to make these Champiñón Asado Fries. (Grilled Mushroom Fries, in translation)
And y’all, I think I’m going to fantasize about these, often. Marinated mushrooms, melted vegan cheese shreds, guacamole, fries, and cashew cream? A combination that dreams are made of. Now, let’s get into tips and substitutions!
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Cashew cream – the recipe I list for this makes more than you need for this dish, but is a great option to have if you don’t have vegan sour cream on hand, or sold near you. Otherwise feel free to use store-bought, and skip making it!
- Baby Bella mushrooms – button mushrooms or diced portobello mushrooms will also work.
- Tamari – liquid aminos, soy sauce, or coconut aminos will also work. If using coconut aminos, add salt to the marinade.
- Lime juice – used in both the marinade and guacamole, lemon juice will also work, but will have a slightly different taste (obviously).
- Red onion – this truly works best here, but yellow or white will work in a pinch!
- Avocado/Guacamole – I have a super simple guac recipe in the plug-in, but if you have a store-bought one you really like, skip making it!
- Fries – I used frozen crinkle cut fries for this, but you can make your own fries if you choose, just skip the air fryer directions. You could also use tots or another type of fry, but it won’t be quite the same. (probably still really good, though)
- Vegan cheese shreds – here I used Daiya’s cutting board shreds that are mixed cheeses, but whatever cheese shreds you prefer should work! You can also go the homemade cheese sauce route, but then you have nacho fries (also good but not the same).
- Diced tomatoes – asada fries don’t always have these, but they’re a really nice addition. If you want to use pico de gallo or salsa instead, that also would taste great.
Other hometown vegan recipes:
- Plvntfood – Stinger Sub (Philly cheesesteak with Buffalo “chicken” fingers)
- From My Bowl – Cheesy Vegan Crab Dip
- One Great Vegan – Haitian Jackfruit Enchiladas
- Silvia Ryan – Potatoes Au Gratin with Mushrooms
- Eat Pigs Not Figs – Cheezy Elote Poppers with Fresno Chilis
- Thee Burger Dude – Frisco Burger
Don’t those all sound incredible?! Make sure to check out their posts and drool over all of the vegan goodness. I’m seriously eyeing those elote poppers. Now, let’s get to that recipe!
- 1 cup (128 g) raw cashews + boiling water
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 ml) lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) tamari
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lime juice
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) organic high heat oil (like canola or sunflower)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 12 ounces (340 g) baby Bella mushrooms, quartered
- 3/4 cup (122 g) diced avocado
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) finely minced red onion
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 16-ounce (454 g) bag frozen fries
- Cooking oil spray
- 1 cup (90 g) vegan cheese shreds (cheddar or similar)
- 1/3 cup (47 g) diced tomato
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) finely diced red onion
- 1 tablespoon (2 g) chopped cilantro
- For the cashew cream, soak the cashews in boiling hot water for 15 minutes. While those are soaking, move on to the mushroom and guacamole prep.
- For the mushroom asado, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the tamari, lime juice, oil, garlic, cumin, and oregano, until combined. Then, add mushrooms to the marinade, and toss to coat. Set them aside, and prep the guacamole.
- For the guacamole, place the avocado, red onion, lime juice, salt, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Using a spoon or fork, mash together to combine, until a little chunky in consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Now, place the frozen fries in an air fryer and lightly coat with cooking oil spray. Air fry at 400F (200C) for 14 minutes, tossing fries a bit halfway through.
- While the fries are cooking, warm a skillet over medium heat, and once hot, add mushrooms and their marinade to it. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the marinade has reduced completely, stirring occasionally, and the mushrooms have become dark brown.
- After the cashews are done soaking, and while the mushrooms and fries are cooking, drain them and place them in a blender pitcher with the water, lemon juice, and salt. Blend for 45 seconds, then scrape the sides of the blender down and let sit for 2 minutes. Blend again until very smooth, then refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- After the fries are crispy and golden, transfer them to an oven safe tray or baking sheet. Top the fries with most of the cheese shreds, reserving a tablespoon or so to the side, and place the fries under a broiler for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
- Next, top cheesy fries with mushroom asado, then the remaining shreds, and broil again until just melted. Then, drizzle or dollop cashew cream over the top (however much you prefer), and top with tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, and the guacamole. Enjoy while warm!
All substitution notes and suggestions are in the blog post.
Tell me, what is a dish that you first think of when you think about where you grew up? Let me know in the comments! <3