Mushrooms are forms of fungi.
All mushrooms are fungi, but not all fungi are mushrooms.
Being fungi means that they are neither fruit nor vegetable, and not even really a plant at all.
Full of antioxidants not found elsewhere, mushrooms are good for you.
Of course not all mushrooms are good for you and you certainly need to know what you are looking for if you are ever foraging for mushrooms.
One percent of mushrooms are deadly, and about 20 percent will make you quite ill.
Not really worth the risk of picking something I don’t know.
About half of all mushrooms are not really edible or worth eating.
It is only around 4 percent of all mushrooms that are in fact tasty and considered flavorful enough for us to eat.
It is said that before the earth became covered with trees it was actually covered in large mushrooms.
And when I say large I mean 24 feet high! Over the years, mushrooms have been used for medicinal and culinary purposes in many civilizations.
Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs were convinced that mushrooms provided eternal life and banned commoners from eating them.
Certain mushrooms have been used for their psychoactive properties, by medicine men in some cultures.
Of course you don’t have to be a medicine man to take a trip using magic mushrooms.
And many have!
Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes, and some can be an acquired taste, and not something that appeals to everyone.
Prices vary depending on the type of fungi you are seeking.
Truffles which are technically mushrooms being the most expensive.
The European white truffle can cost as much as $2,500 a pound!
Other than having unique antioxidants that boost your immune system, a good source of selenium, niacin, dietary fiber, mushrooms are low in calories, sodium, and fat.
They also create vitamin D when exposed to sunlight and therefore can provide us with that as well.
But the best part about mushrooms as far as I’m concerned is that they taste amazing, and bring a flavor to food that is unique.
How to Make Breaded Mushrooms
You can make these breaded mushrooms in lots of different shapes depending on the type of mushrooms you use.
If using small button mushrooms then usually leaving them whole will work.
If you go for bigger types then it may be a good idea to cut them into bite sized pieces.
The goal is to coat the mushrooms well, balancing between the liquid batter and the breadcrumb mixture.
This will also help deep fried foods get that golden brown color we look for.
Once the mushrooms are well coated fry in two inches of oil until they are golden brown, turning once during the process.
As soon as they are done, remove and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb the additional oil.
There are many dips you can use to accompany these delectable treats.
Many people will use ranch dressing as an easy one right off the shelf.
I like to make a quick Middle Eastern garlic dip which I think complements the mushrooms really well.
You will need:
Place the garlic and salt into a food processor and chop the garlic, scraping down the sides to be sure all the garlic is chopped as finely as possible.
With the processor running, drizzle the oil through the opening in the cover alternating with lemon juice.
Eventually you will have a thick dip that has the consistency of mayonnaise.
Breaded Mushroom Recipe
Crispy Za'atar Breaded Mushrooms
- Put the bread crumbs into the third bowl.
- Pour about two inches of vegetable oil into your frying pot and heat until the oil is hot enough for frying.
- Place coated mushrooms into the hot oil until golden brown, turning once.
- Remove and place on a tray lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
- Sprinkle with black pepper if you would like. More salt pepper to taste.
- You will need three bowls for this recipe.