This recipe is a veganized version of the classic Canadian dish, poutine. I have never been to Canada but I have been to Caribou, a poutine restaurant in Liverpool, and was inspired to recreate one of their delicious vegan poutine options.
The word poutine is thought to be Québécois slang for ‘mess,’ which is accurate when you consider how perfectly unstructured this dish is. You only need a fork to eat it and it looks appetizing even if you have no plating skills whatsoever.
The gravy has a rich umami flavor, taking on all the caramelization of the mushrooms and onions which gives it its deep color. The bicarbonate of soda helps to speed up the browning process.
If you don’t have liquid smoke then substitute it for another tablespoon of soy sauce, but I do recommend trying to find it. Its distinctively smokey aroma really adds to the flavor balance of this recipe and you’ll find so many other uses for it in vegan cookery.
Garlic and herb vegan cream cheese melts really nicely into the hot gravy in place of cheese curds and adds both creaminess and tang.
You can use whatever fries you prefer, I’ve used oven baked for convenience but you could make your own from scratch. In the UK gravy and ‘chips’ (as in fries) is actually a northern specialty and this topping would be amazing with a portion of proper chip shop chips.
I’ve also made this recipe with hash browns instead of fries which works really well for soaking up all the gravy.
Vegan Poutine With Garlic Mushroom Gravy
- 1 kg french fries, frozen
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 medium white onions, halved + sliced
- 200 g chestnut button mushrooms, halved
- 1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3-4 medium garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 2 tsp plain flour, sifted
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp vegan cream cheese, garlic & herb
- 1 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven. Bake the french fries according to instructions.
2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok.
3. Sauté the onions and mushrooms with the bicarbonate of soda on high heat for 1-2 mins.
4. Add the agave syrup, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and sesame oil. Turn down to medium.
5. After 5-6 minutes, once they are browning nicely, add the crushed garlic and black pepper. Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir regularly.
6. After 5 more minutes, add the vegetable stock.
7. To thicken the stock into a gravy, stir in 2 tsp of sifted plain flour and 2 tsp of nutritional yeast.
8. Turn heat back up to medium-high and let it simmer until the sauce is thickened.
9. Once they are golden brown, dish up the french fries.
10. Add the chopped parsley to the mushroom mixture at the last minute and then serve over the fries.
11. Add small scoops of the cream cheese and top with fresh chives.
12. Serve immediately.
Get more like this—Sign up for our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!
Photo: Anna Burgoine