When you find giant puffball mushrooms, they usually come in such quantity that you need to find lots of ways to prepare them. In addition to our puffball mushroom crust pizza recipe, these are a delicious way to use all that mushroom flesh.
Despite the name, this recipe doesn’t actually use any mozzarella. Instead, it substitutes strips of puffball mushrooms for the cheese. The result, however, is delightfully (and surprisingly) similar to fried mozzarella sticks, in both flavor and texture. They’re not exactly the same, but they’re pretty damn close.
1 pound of puffball mushrooms, sliced into sticks
Enough vegetable or peanut oil to submerge sticks in fryer or pot
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 cup panko
1 cup flour
4-6 eggs, depending on size
1 quarter cup olive oil
Marinara sauce for dipping (either homemade or store-bought)
- Heat oil in either a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot to about 350 degrees.
- In a shallow bowl, mix together Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs and panko. Put flour in a second shallow bowl. Beat eggs in a third shallow bowl.
- Slice puffball mushrooms into strips, roughly a 1/2-inch wide and 3 or 4 inches long. They should be about the size of single-serving string cheese.
- Lightly coat mushroom strips in olive oil. Working one at a time, dredge each strip in flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture, and drop them into hot oil.
- Fry in batches without overcrowding the pan or fryer until sticks are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve with Marinara sauce.
Feature image via Bryan Gregson