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How to fry mushrooms

Firstly buy fresh mushrooms, and use them as soon as you can. This needs to be the same day, or perhaps the next day, but not more.

The freshest mushrooms are the heaviest for their size. In general, I’ve found brown button / cup mushrooms tend to cook fresher than white cup equivalents. The larger portobello and similar still work on the same principles

Pick each mushroom one at a time at the supermarket / veg market, and judge the weight in your hand. Discard the lightweight mushrooms and only buying the heaviest for their size. Mushrooms are sold by the weight, so you will pay slightly more, but it’s more than worth it for making really tasty mushrooms you’ll want to eat again and again.

Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 6 – 8 regular sized FRESH mushrooms per person, chopped into 3 – 4 slices per mushroom.
  • A little good quality oil for frying
  • An equivalent knob of butter for frying (or a vegan equivalent)
  • A good pinch (three fingers & thumb, approx. 1/4 teaspoon) of freshly ground salt.
  • A good pinch (three fingers & thumb, approx. 1/4 teaspoon) of freshly ground black pepper.

Optional extras:

  • Freshly crushed garlic (4-6 cloves for two people)
  • A little thick cream, about 75-100ml
  • Freshly toasted bread and butter to serve as soon as the frying is done.

Preparation:

  1. Remove any dirt from each mushroom with a dry paper towel (no need to peel, and don’t wash with water). You can also use a specialist silicon mushroom scrubbing spounge thing.
  2. Thickly slice the mushrooms into 2-4 slices per mushroom for a regular to large button/cup mushroom. These should be around 4-5mm thick per slice. They will get smaller when cooking.

It’s important that you only add the salt & pepper half-way through the frying, and not at the start of cooking, otherwise the early salt tends to make the mushrooms leach out some of their water into the fry pan, and make them slimy.

Method:

  1. Pre-heat a heavy large frying pan on the stove, to a level between medium & hot on most stoves.
  2. Add about a tablespoon of oil, and a tablespoon of butter to the pan.
  3. Individually place each mushroom into the oil/butter mix puddle, and slide to the edges of the pan. Continue until all the mushroom slices are in the pan (or as many as you can fit in the first fry).
  4. Fry for 3-4 minutes on the first side, until starting to go golden brown.
  5. Only now sprinkle the freshly and coarsely ground salt and pepper onto all the mushrooms as they currently sit in the pan This is also when you’d add the optional crushed garlic.
  6. Working quickly and in the order you first added the mushrooms to the pan, flip each mushroom slice over with some tongs.
  7. Cook the last side for 2-3 minutes, until also golden brown on the second side.
  8. When both sides are now golden (add the optional thick cream and stir through very briefly) remove all mushrooms from the pan.
  9. Serve immediately. Ideally on some freshly toasted bread & butter, on a hot plate.
  10. If doing a second batch, give the pan a quick wipe around with paper towel before repeating at step 1.

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