This Happy Hour gastropub favorite is easily made in the less noisy comfort of your kitchen following The 99 Cent Chef's clear and concise stop motion animated recipe video.
And a portabella mushrooms' mildly earthy flavor pairs perfectly with my Ginger Mayo Dipping Sauce. I like to use powdered garlic or ginger for flavoring boring mayo. You can also serve the fried mushrooms with ketchup if you like.
I often get packages of portabellas at my local 99c only Store. If you are not so lucky to find them on sale at your local grocery, it's okay to use standard white button mushrooms. Just cook them whole.
I'm a fan of portabella mushrooms, they are so meaty and tender, and they cook quickly. Just click on any of the following recipes to see what else you can do with them: Stuffed Portabella with Chicken & Cream Cheese, Portabella Crab Rockefeller (featured on the Cooking Channel,) and a Portabella Mushroom & Bell Pepper Cheeseburger.
Portabella Crab Rockerfeller
So if you are going to splurge on fat (or, cheat on your diet) make it with The 99 Cent Chef's Portabella Mushroom Fries. Or, if you just want to dine vicariously, then check out my uniquely animated video.
Portabella Mushroom Fries - VIDEO
Play it here. Video runs 3 minutes, 12 seconds.
To view or embed from YouTube, click here.
Ingredients (1-2 servings)
- 5 ounces of portabella mushrooms - usually 1-3 to a package
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 2 slices of bread (about 1/2 cup) - blended or fine chopped. Okay to use packaged breadcrumbs. Any type bread will do - even old hamburger and hot dog buns.
- Oil for frying - about 1/2 inch deep in the frying pan.
- Salt and pepper to taste - you can season the raw breadcrumbs, or sprinkle it on cooked fries.
Ginger Mayo Dipping Sauce
- 3 tablespoons of mayo - light or regular
- 1 teaspoon of dried ginger - okay to use fresh grated (about 1/2 teaspoon or to taste.)
To prepare, simple really, just mix the mayo and powered ginger all together, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Directions for Portabella Fries
With a damp sponge, remove any dirt off mushroom caps, then pat dry. Add oil to a pan (about 1/2 inch deep) over a medium-high heat.
With a spoon scrape out the black fuzzy gills under the mushroom cap. Scrape until you start to see the beige flesh underneath - you don't need to remove every last bit. (If you are using small white button mushroom, cook them whole -- just wipe off any dirt; no need to scrape out the gills.)
Slice mushroom into about 1/2 inch pieces. If you like thicker fries then make the slices even wider.
Now to make the coating ingredients. First up are the breadcrumbs. I have a small food processor, but you could also use a regular blender, to chop up 2 slices of bread. With a bit of work you could also hand chop. It's okay to use packaged breadcrumbs, too. Tear bread slices into pieces, add to blender and pulse until breadcrumbs are fine. Spread out breadcrumbs on a plate.
Next, whisk one whole egg in a shallow bowl. And finally spread out 1/2 cup of flour on another plate.
To coat the mushroom slices, first coat all sides of a slice in flour. Next, add the floured slice to the egg wash, again coating all sides.
Finally, add wet mushroom slice to breadcrumbs and sprinkle crumbs all over. Repeat the steps until you have a plate of coated mushrooms ready to fry. You can work in batches if you have a lot of slices.
The oil should be nice and hot by now. Carefully add the smallest slice to make sure the oil is up to temperature -- the slice should sputter and bubble right away. Add the other slice to fill the pan.
Total frying time may vary, but should be around 5 -7 minutes for each batch of mushroom slices. Mainly watch the slice edges in the oil and look for a nice golden brown to form. Once this happens, turn the slices over to brown the other sides.
The mushrooms will tenderize whether the breadcrumbs are light brown or dark brown -- it's up to you how you like it. When portabella mushrooms are done remove and drain on a wire rack or on paper towels.
Serve with my Ginger Mayo Dip. You can also use regular ketchup.
You can add spices to the breadcrumbs for extra flavor. Of course, I like Cajun spices. Dried parmesan is a tasty addition to the crumbs.
Oven cooking is a lighter way to go. I tried oven cooking the fries, but they dried out and the breadcrumbs didn't brown well.
Next time I would first lightly brown the breadcrumbs in a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan (about 2 minutes.) Coat the portabella slices as listed above. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and add the slices on a wire rack or baking pan. Bake for about 20-30 minutes. Slice into one fries at 20 minutes to see if the mushroom center is tender and moist, if so, then they are done, if not then check back every ten minutes.
You could also try slice the mushroom a little thicker to keep the fries from drying out. Give the baking method a go, if you want to save on oil and calories.
And finally, if you don't have portabella mushrooms on sale, it's just as delicious to use easy-to-get small button mushrooms. I would coat them as described above and fry them whole.