The secret to the best mushroom fries is the freshest oyster mushrooms — firm and free from blemishes. The best, of course, are those that have just been harvested. If there is an oyster farm near you, you’re guaranteed to have the freshest oyster mushrooms under the sun.
If not, well… Good oyster mushrooms can be bought in the market and grocery too. Just inspect the mushrooms carefully. They should be uniformly off-white in color and dry to the touch. The texture should be springy and there shouldn’t be any bruises.
Would it help if the mushrooms were dried before frying? Well, if you dehydrate the mushrooms, you’ll get chips. Good for snacking too but you won’t get the wonderful contrast of crispy coating and lightly chewy mushrooms underneath. It’s that textural contrast that makes the battered and fried crispy oyster mushrooms so irresistible.
Mushroom Fries (Battered and Fried Crispy Oyster Mushrooms)
- Tear large mushrooms vertically into two to three portions.
- Place all the mushrooms in a large mixing bowl and toss with the salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg then pour into the bowl with the mushrooms. Mix well to coat each piece of mushroom with egg.
- Whisk together half of the starch with the baking powder and dump into the bowl with the egg-coated mushrooms.
- Mix to distribute evenly. If the mixture appears too wet, you may add another quarter cup of starch. For a thicker coating, use all of the starch.
- Heat the wok. Pour in enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least three inches at the center.
- When the oil reaches 350F, fry the oyster mushrooms in batches until golden and crisp.
- Drain the cooked mushrooms on a rack, cook the next batch, and so on, until all the mushrooms have been fried.
- Serve the crispy oyster mushrooms fries immediately with spicy mayo for dipping.