Deep fried mushrooms are a classic recipe. Deep frying creates a mushroom that’s moist and delicious on the inside with a crispy coating on the outside. Whether using white buttons or exotic oysters, they make a great party appetizer or all around snack.
Some people are disappointed when their mushrooms turn out runny rather than crispy. The secret here is to let the excess batter drip off, and then cover them completely in a layer of dry breadcrumbs.
Another thing to note is that not all oils are created equal when it comes to frying. Certain oils withstand high heat without breaking down better than others. Two good choices are olive or peanut oil. Never use something that can’t tolerate high temperatures, such as corn or sunflower oil.
You’ll see recipes that tell you to start frying when the oil is at a specific temperature. How do you determine that, short of having a thermometer or sticking your hand into hot oil? A common method is to throw a small piece of bread into the pot. The oil is at a frying temperature when the bread stays on the surface and starts to crackle and turn brown.
Of course you know that hot oil can be dangerous so please be careful. Not paying attention may result in a really cool scar with a really lame story behind it! Also never add water to hot oil.
- 1 lb fresh mushrooms (cleaned with stems removed)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 egg
- 2 cups breadcrumbs (Japanese style panko breadcrumbs are great, but normal ones work well too)
- Oil for frying
To begin, you’ll need two bowls. In one mix the flour, water, and egg thoroughly into a batter. Pour the breadcrumbs in the other bowl.
Dip the mushrooms into the batter. Once they are coated, let any excess drip off and then roll them in the breadcrumbs until they’re dry to the touch. Repeat for all the mushrooms.
Fill a deep, heavy skillet with the frying oil. Don’t fill the skillet more than half full, and leave at least two inches free at the top so you won’t have oil bubbling out of it. Heat the oil to between 350 – 375 degrees F. Use a thermometer or the piece of bread test mentioned above to determine the temperature.
Drop the breadcrumb-coated mushrooms in the skillet. It may be wise to use tongs to avoid burning yourself. Allow them to deep fry until they are a golden brown, turning over as needed. Don’t overcrowd the pan, if you have a lot of mushrooms do them in smaller batches rather than one big batch.
Remove the mushrooms with tongs and allow them to drain on a paper towel. Serve right away. Watch out, deep fried mushrooms are hot!
- Add a tsp or two of your favorite spice to the batter. Good choices are garlic powder, a little salt, thyme, Italian spices, or curry.
- Instead of an egg, use 1 cup of buttermilk.
- Replace the cup of water with a cup of beer for beer battered mushrooms.
This deep fried mushroom recipe calls for a skillet, but you can use a fryolator if you have one. Keep in mind that although it results in tasty snacks, no one ever accused deep frying of being the healthiest way to cook!