We get really excited about mushroom mondays around here! While we do maintain a generally omnivorous diet we do try to substitute a meat course once a week with a mushroom protein supplement, we have lovingly turned the idea into mushroom monday (you'll see this #mushroommonday hashtag pop up on our instagram each week!). This week we are still experimenting with the Lion's Mane, as it's a new variety to us, not only as growers, but also for our menu.
I'm not going to tell you some crazy story or bore you with facts when I know you really just want to know how to cook these crazy things! I will tell you, that my main goal is to find recipes that anyone can follow and enjoy a variety of mushrooms. So let's get into the real reason we are here, these tasty clouds of nourishment.
Think of Lion's mane like a seafood, or white fish replacement, or to compliment these items. I know it seems like there is a trend of sautéing or frying things here, and we will get outside of that but right now this is where our experimentation is at, keeping simplicity in mind. For this dish, we tore the Lion's Mane into roughly 1 inch (bite size) pieces, we tried larger clusters but found this gave the best ratio of coating to mushroom. Our liquid base is a 50/50 mayo to almond milk blend. If you're doing a small batch a tablespoon of each works great, and it's easy to adjust up if you're making a larger batch. For our dry coating we used Louisiana New Orleans Fish Fry "breading" mix. Just cover the bottom of the bowl or dish about a half inch to start, you can always add more as needed. If you're not a fan of spicy flavors any beer batter or fish fry batter would also work great. We just love a little kick, and the lemon flavor in this mix really makes the flavors pop. Before you start coating your mushrooms, preheat your pan or skillet with an oil of your choosing, we prefer coconut or olive oil for the added health benefits as well as flavors. Cover the bottom of the pan just about 1/8th of an inch deep. Bring to a medium heat while you start coating your mushrooms. We do this part in stages, you don't want to over fill the pan to the point that the oil cools too fast and the mushrooms absorb the oil. Do a water drop test to make sure your pan is nice and hot. Drop batches of prepared mushrooms into the hot pan, we used a #7 cast iron skillet and did about 10 to 12 pieces in a batch. Cook approximately 1 min on each side, or until a nice golden brown. Remove from pan and rest on a towel or surface to remove leftover oil. Enjoy!
These little "fish" bites are so good that if I didn't know what I was cooking, you would not have convinced me these were mushrooms. They are absolutely delicious and would pair well with any of your favorite seafood sides. I'd even go as far to say these would be amazing with a good southern dirty rice or grits. The other reason we love this recipe is that the Fish fry "breading" is corn based, so it's also gluten free! We love any dish that can cross the boundaries of many eating lifestyles!!
Let's break it down quick.
1 pint to 1 pound of Lion's Mane mushrooms (pulled apart)
1 tbsp. Almond milk (or your favorite milk substitute)
1 tbsp. Mayo (vegan or non)
1/2 cup Fish fry breading
1/4-1/2 cup cooking oil (olive oil or coconut oil recommended)
(adjust amounts as needed per amount of mushrooms)
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