Prep 1 hr
Cook 45 mins
So many people spend hours and hours searching for Morels, and then ruin them by cooking them incorrectly. Follow this recipe for crispy Morel perfection! I usually do this outside with a cast iron skillet on a grill because the frying oil will make your kitchen smell for a while.
- 1 gallon morel
- 1 gallon water
- 1 cup salt
- 3 quarts lard
- 4 eggs
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 cup club soda
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 1⁄2 tablespoon salt
- Using a small, sharp knife, Cut Morels in half "long ways." For exceptionally large mushrooms, cut them in half long ways, then again long ways, so that you get 4 equal pieces.
- Fill a bowl (approximately a gallon) with hot tap water. As hot as your sink will make it. Add roughly 1 cup of salt to the water and stir well until salt dissolves.
- Soak the Morels in the hot salt water for about 4 minutes. Everyone will tell you that you need to soak them overnight, but don't believe them. This step is intended to kill and remove the bugs from the mushrooms. There are no forest bugs that can survive under hot salt water for 4 minutes. If you soak them overnight, it damages the flavor of the mushrooms, adds too much salt water, and leaves them soggy. 4 minutes is all you need.
- Fill a shallow bowl with CAKE flour (yes, there's a difference). Add about 1 tablepoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of pepper. Sift and mix well. This is your Dry Batter Bowl.
- In a second bowl, beat 4 eggs and add in about 1 tablespoon of Milk and about a quarter cup of Club Soda. This will give the batter a light, crispy, tempura style. This is your wet batter bowl.
- At your sink put a sieve/colander/strainer in one side of the sink and get your soaking morel bowl to the left of that. Turn your sink on cold, at the lowest stream you can without it just dripping. The sink should just barely be on. Individually take each mushroom piece out of the salt water, and gently rinse it off under the old sink to remove and dirt or dead bugs. Then put the piece in the sieve to drip dry.
- Mushrooms should go FIRST into the Wet Batter, SECOND into the Cake Flour, and then THIRD knock off all the excess clumps and repeat until all mushrooms are coated with the flour batter. For that THIRD step, there are Plastic Tubs that you can buy that helps you batter almost anything. This works the best, but if you don't have that, just use a big Ziplock Bag to shake the mushrooms up in to get them well coated with the flour.
- Put your floured mushroom bowl in the fridge for about 30 minutes if you have time. This allows for the batter to stick better to the mushrooms.
- Fill your grease pan (skillet or pot) with Lard and heat to about 360 degrees. Don't use Vegetable oil or anything besides Lard. I know, it's unhealthy and no one uses Lard anymore, but it's the only way to make your mushrooms NOT taste like oil. Vegetable Oil, Peanut Oil, and Shortening will all leave your mushrooms tasting like oil. Use Lard! You only get this once a year, so forget about "healthy" and do 'em up right!
- To test if your oil is hot enough, toss a little bit of flour in the pan. If it bubbles, then the oil is hot enough.
- Toss the 'shroom in the oil. Let it fry for about a minute, then flip it and fry for another minute. Don't put more than 5 or so in the oil at one time because tossing cold mushrooms in the oil will cool it down.
- Allow the mushrooms to cool on paper towel.
- Add salt or Garlic Salt, or Lawry's Seasoned Salt as desired and eat. My personal favorite is Tony Chacheres Cajun Creole Salt, a little bit of garlic (salt or powder) and Coarse ground Black Pepper.
This method made some beautiful fried mushrooms. Did this on the fly for a Mother's Day gathering and everyone raved about them. I didn't have any lard on hand, so I used Crisco and it was good. Next time I will try lard to see the difference. Also, didn't have any cake flour.... a substitute I found called for 2 T cornstarch in your measuring cup, then fill it up to the 1 cup line. Still had a nice tempura-like texture.
We're new to Morels but had a bumper crop right in our yard this year so had to find a recipe for them and this sounded right and boy was it. Really pretty easy to put together with nice complete directions right down to how to clean them. We really enjoyed this, great almost woodsy flavor, but now need to figure out how to dry them as we've STILL got plenty large ones left.