Grab the napkins! These saucy sandwiches are filled with pulled mushrooms coated in a sweet and smoky barbecue sauce and topped with a zippy cabbage slaw. Many store-bought barbecue sauces are loaded with sugar, but my version uses dates for natural sweetness. The sauce conveniently simmers while you shred the mushrooms. It will look like a lot of mushrooms at the start, but they’ll shrink as they cook. Use the biggest skillet you have – 12-inch (30 cm) if you have one, but 10-inch (25 cm) will work fine too. – Bri Beaudoin
Barbecue Pulled Mushroom Sandwiches
Date Barbecue Sauce
- ⅔ cup water
- ¼ cup firmly packed pitted Medjool dates
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp smoked sweet paprika
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1½ cups shredded green cabbage
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise more for serving
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
- 2 scallions
- fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb (454 g) trumpet (king oyster) mushrooms
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 4 brioche buns or other soft buns, sliced in half horizontally and lightly buttered
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, dates, tomato paste, tamari, apple cider vinegar, grapeseed oil, pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Cover with a lid and simmer over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes for the flavours to meld. Transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender and add the lemon juice. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and grainy Dijon mustard. Toss until the cabbage is evenly coated. Stir in the scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut the caps off the mushrooms and slice them as thinly as possible. Rake a fork down the mushroom stems to shred them, like this:
- In your largest skillet, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, scatter the prepared mushrooms into the skillet and sear, undisturbed, until golden brown on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown all over, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Let the skillet cool down slightly (about 1 minute), then pour the barbecue sauce over the mushrooms. Toss to coat, then cook for 1 to 2 minutes to let the mushrooms absorb some of the sauce.
- Place an oven rack in the centre position and preheat to 300°F (150°C). Place the buns on a baking sheet and bake until warm but still soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Spread the mayonnaise on the top and bottom halves of the buns. Divide the mushrooms and slaw evenly among the bottom halves, then finish the sandwiches with the tops. Serve hot with plenty of napkins.