Is It Safe To Deep Fry Whole Mushrooms?

A plate with deep-fried mushrooms
A plate with deep-fried mushrooms - NoirChocolate/Shutterstock

If you're thinking about hosting friends at home, preparing easy and delicious snacks is a no-brainer, especially when the bite in question is deep-fried mushrooms. They're particularly ideal for vegetarians or vegans, and go well with multiple sauces and condiments, making them the perfect bite-sized munch to eat while watching a film or sports game during a get-together with family or friends. They're also totally safe to deep fry whole (as long as you take some precautions).

Shiitake and even portobello mushrooms can be fried whole, but cremini, button, and enoki mushrooms are some of the best varieties to use since they're small and will create the perfect bite. When using whole mushrooms, one way to do it safely is to make sure that they're properly cleaned. The best way to wash mushrooms before cooking them is either by soaking them in cool water for a few minutes or wiping them clean. It's important to make sure that they're dry before starting the preparation process, and you can do that by using a salad spinner or simply patting them dry with a paper towel. Don't forget to cut the ends of the mushrooms (the hard part in the bottom). Once that's done and they're all clean, you should be in the clear to deep fry them whole.

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Safely Deep-Frying The Crispiest Whole Mushrooms

Deep-fried enoki mushrooms
Deep-fried enoki mushrooms - gowithstock/Shutterstock

One of the most common ways to prepare deep-fried mushrooms is by battering and breading them before they hit the hot oil. Any batter recipe will work (even one for fried pickle or fish and chips), which usually consists of ingredients like all-purpose flour, baking soda or powder, and vinegar — some even add beer. You can add herbs and spices to both the batter and mushrooms as you like; beyond salt and pepper, consider elevating whole fungi with chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Of course, battered and fried mushrooms are perfectly fine in a pinch, but if you want to kick things into high gear, a final coating of panko breadcrumbs is where it's at. The panko breadcrumbs will make sure that the deep-fried mushrooms stay crispy not only right after they've been cooked but for hours later.

It's also possible to prepare deep-fried whole mushrooms without coating them in batter at all. Just hit them with some flour and an egg wash before loading on the panko. They'll be crunchy and delicious.

No matter how they're coated, though, maintaining an even oil temperature is crucial to the dish's outcome. Not hot enough, and the mushrooms might turn out soft and greasy, too hot and they might burn (and you might start a fire). The ideal temperature is between 325 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which many cooks recommend monitoring with a meat thermometer in order to avoid any kitchen disasters.

What Condiments Can You Pair With Deep-Fried Mushrooms?

Bowls displaying a variety of condiments, sauces, and dips
Bowls displaying a variety of condiments, sauces, and dips - Olesia Shadrina/Getty Images

The great thing about deep-fried mushrooms is that they go well with many different sauces and condiments, from store-bought products like ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, and ranch, to more elaborate dips such as Mexico's peanutty salsa macha. Just let them cool down for at least a few minutes after they come out of the fryer before you start dunking.

This snack can be as simple or as fancy as you want, and it depends on who you're serving it to. Children? Definitely can't go wrong with a sweet-and-sour ketchup dip, or maybe even add a side of kewpie mayo, and if you can't decide between the two, why not try a mayo-ketchup mix like mayochup? If you're serving adults, you can definitely advise your guests to add hot sauce to the mushrooms, and that can be either Tabasco sauce, sriracha, or your pepper sauce of choice -- the more the merrier. Or if you'd like a gentler heat, you can even try pepper jelly. Due to subtle, versatile flavor of most mushrooms, this dish even tastes good with a variety of cheese dips, and other dairy-based sides like yogurt mint dip.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.