Fried Morel Mushrooms
by Joshua Heston & Dale Grubaugh
Mushroom hunting can be tricky business. Not easy to find, rarely in the same place twice — and important not to confuse with poisonous toadstools — this is not a sport for the uninitiated. However, frying mushrooms is another story entirely. If you can fry bacon, you can fry mushrooms.
But back to the hunting for a moment. How about some real life tips? Wear heavy boots when you go mushroom hunting — and be careful where you reach. A recent video went social-media viral, showing a morel mushroom — recently reached for — around which was coiled a good-sized timber rattler. It was a pretty snake and a nice mushroom, but not worth getting bit for.
Carry a mesh bag. Morels spore after you pick them so it’s a small bit of kindness to spread the wealth, so to speak, and let the spores land where they will, possibly allowing another mushroom hunter — next year — to find a good mess, just waiting for the frying pan.
Frying mushrooms is also a time to again be reminded we share this planet with a lot of other life. Slice the mushrooms carefully and then soak in salt water, rinsing well. This will flush out the little black bugs that live inside morels, using the mushrooms like some sort of edible high-rise apartment complex.
Lastly, get yourself some good, local eggs — you know the ones that have bright yellow, hard-to-break yolks — for the dredging. You’ll be glad you did!
- A good-sized bag of mushrooms
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 eggs
- Oil or lard for frying
Slice mushrooms in half length-ways and soak overnight in salt water.
When ready to fry, drain, rinse, and pat dry.
Sift flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
Whisk buttermilk and eggs until thoroughly blended and set aside.
Heat oil or lard in a heavy bottom skillet at medium-high heat.
Dredge mushrooms halves in flour and spice mixture. Then dip in egg/buttermilk wash. Then dredge in flour again. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.
Yield: makes a lot… if you start with a lot. So get to lookin’ for mushrooms. Maybe even take your cat with you!
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED APRIL 25, 2015.
Fried Mushrooms: State of the Ozarks
Photo credits: J. Heston ©2015, April 30, May 3, 2011