Mushroom Pakoras with sauce

Mushroom Pakoras with Mint-Cilantro Dip

This recipe is a bit of a globe trotter. The chickpea batter is inspired by Indian pakoras, yet the mushroom pieces emerge from the oil lightly coated, like Japanese tempura. With its mix of mint, cilantro and lime, the sauce could be Mexican. The mushrooms? Grown right here in Canada. Given the diversity of flavours and ingredients, I’m tagging this an international dish.

While you don’t need a passport to make these, if you’re new to deep frying, you might want to familiarize yourself with the territory before forging ahead.

  1. Small pieces deep fry more quickly and evenly than larger pieces. If your mushrooms are tiny, you can deep-fry them whole, but with standard-sized mushrooms, quartered works best in this recipe.
  2. Use a light, neutral oil with a relatively high smoke point. Canola, peanut, safflower, and sunflower oils are good choices.
  3. Make sure your saucepan has high sides and a heavy bottom for even heat distribution.
  4. Don’t fill the pot with oil more than half way. This prevents splashing and wastes less oil.
  5. Oil heat is crucial to a crisp batter. You’re aiming for 375°F. I use a candy thermometer to monitor the oil, but a simple drop of batter will do the trick. Simply drop a bit of batter into the oil. If it bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil is hot enough. If it burns, it’s too hot. If it sinks, it’s not hot enough.
  6. The oil temperature will drop when you add the pakoras. Make sure it returns to temperature between batches.
  7. Don’t overcrowd the pakoras. They need space to cook evenly. Frying fewer pieces will also help maintain a steady oil temperature between batches.

Mushrooms are an ideal ingredient to start your deep-frying ventures. Their dry exterior means they won’t splutter when they hit the oil. Because they cook quickly, these pakoras can be in and out of the oil in minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Charmian Christie of The Messy Baker.

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 4 to 6


Mint-Cilantro Dip

3/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon honey

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

generous pinch fine sea salt

Mushroom Pakoras

3 cups vegetable oil, divided

8 to 10 white button mushrooms, about 2 inches wide

1 cup chickpea flour (also called gram flour or besan)

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 cup club soda


Mint-Cilantro Dip

Place all the dip ingredients in a blender. Pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Pour into a small bowl and set aside while you cook the pakoras.

Mushroom Pakoras

  1. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towel. Set aside.
  2. Pour all the oil except 1 teaspoon into a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat oil to 375°F while you prepare the pakoras.
  3. Wipe mushroom caps, remove stems and save for another recipe. Cut the cap into quarters. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk chickpea flour, cumin seeds, salt, and cayenne to combine.  Add the crushed garlic and the reserved 1 teaspoon oil. Slowly whisk in the club soda. The batter should be smooth and thick like pancake batter. Add the mushroom pieces and toss to coat evenly.
  5. When the oil has reached 350ºF, use a fork to gently place 6 to 8 pakoras —  one at a time —  in the hot oil. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, turning once, until golden brown all over. Remove Pakoras with a slotted spoon and place on the paper towels to drain. Continue cooking the pakoras in batches making sure the oil returns to temperature each time.

Serve while still hot with the dipping sauce on the side.

This bite-size snack is perfect for any occasion, from a girls night in to a Super Bowl party. A big thank you goes out to Charmian Christie for sharing this mouthwatering, culinary treat!


Mushroom Poutine Bites

Mushroom Poutine Bites

Who doesn’t love a big plate of gravy dripping, cheese squeaking poutine?  Well in Canada at least.

I’ve taken some of the best parts of poutine and created these wonderful little bites of perfection. Fries, cheese and a rich mushroom gravy all surrounded by a buttery crust that fit into the palm of your hand.

Recipe courtesy of Heather Lang from The Tasty Gardner

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes (includes cooling time) | Makes: 24


1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1 medium onion, sliced
3 tbsp flour
1 cup beef broth, vegetable broth, dark beer or combination of any of those three
1 tsp dried thyme
4 sheets puff pastry, thawed
2 cup shoestring French fries
1 cup cheese curds


  1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat the oil until shimmering.  Add the onions and mushrooms and cook until caramelized about 30-40 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the mushrooms with flour and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add your liquid of choice and increase to high. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened. You want your gravy very thick.
  4. Place mushroom gravy in a long narrow dish and place in fridge. You want the mixture to be cold when you assemble to keep the pastry from getting super soggy. By putting it in a long dish you are giving it more surface area to cool quicker. Should only take about 20 minutes.
  5. Cook your French fries according to package directions. Cut into smaller pieces.
  6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out your first sheet of pastry.
  7. Make little hills of about 1 tbsp fries, mushroom gravy and cheese. Brush some water around the edges of the hills and place the second sheet on top. Press the dough down around the little hills to seal in the ingredients.
  8. Using a pizza/pastry roller or a knife cut the little packages into individual pockets. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.
Mushroom Gorgonzola Spanakopita

Mushroom Gorgonzola Spanakopita

Recipe courtesy of Carole Nelson Brown from The Yum Yum Factor

Makes: (30 approx.)


1 454g package frozen filo pastry, *thawed at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tbls olive oil 1/2 leek, sliced thinly 1 clove garlic, chopped
1 lb mixed mushrooms ( I used 3/4 button and 1/4 shiitake) slice
2- 3 tbls butter
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon port
2 handfuls baby arugula
145g gorgonzola, crumbled ( you will get a heaping cup)
1/4 cup ricotta

*Thaw the filo pastry overnight in the fridge then let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before using or you can also let it thaw for 3 hours at room temperature. Unused filo can be kept in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap for 5 to 7 days.


Make filling:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized, heavy pan and throw in the leeks. Saute over medium heat until the leeks start to take on colour and brown, adding the garlic in for the last minute. At this point, push the leeks and garlic to the side of the pan and start adding the mushrooms in batches. Add just enough to cover the pan in one layer, sprinkle with a small pinch of kosher salt and a couple of grinds of black pepper and brown.
  2. When they are nice and brown, push them to the side of the pan and pile them up on the leeks, add about 1/2 a tbls of butter and add the next batch of mushrooms, salt and saute and continue to do this until all the mushrooms are browned. At this point, mix all of the mushrooms with the onions and add the port to deglaze the pan.
  3. Stir a few more times and then scrape the contents of the pan into a shallow bowl. While the mushrooms are still hot, throw in a couple of handfuls of baby arugula and keep stirring until the arugula is completely wilted and then let it cool to room temperature.
  4. When the mixture is room temperature, add in the crumbled gorgonzola and the ricotta and mix well until everything is totally incorporated into the mushrooms.
  5. You can make the pastries right away or you can store the filling in the fridge but take it out 30 minutes before to bring it back to room temperature.

Making the Spanakopita:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C)
  2. Unwrap the filo pastry and cover with plastic wrap, then cover the plastic wrap with a damp towel. Work swiftly as the dough is delicate and dries out quickly, taking out only two sheets at a time.
  3. Place one piece of filo dough on a clean work surface so that the long edge is closest to you. (make sure the rest of the dough is covered while you work) Brush the sheet with some melted butter and then press a second sheet on top, smoothing it down so that the butter makes them stick together.
  4. Cut the piece, lengthwise, into four strips or five strips (roughly 12” x 2 3/4” strips – how many you get will depend on the brand of filo you buy as they are all slightly different sizes) . Use a ruler and a pizza cutting wheel or a very sharp, long knife to make it easier and to ensure a straight cut.
  5. Put 1 tbls of filling 1 cm from bottom of each strip and then fold the right hand corner over so the bottom edge meets the side edge to enclose the filling and form a triangle. Continue folding the strip like a flag, keeping the triangle shape. When you get to the last turn, brush the end with some more butter to serve as glue and finish the fold. Transfer each finished triangle pastry to a parchment lined baking sheet. Keep going until you have used all of your filo and/or filling.
  6. Brush the tops of the triangles with more butter, sprinkle a pinch of sesame seeds on each one and bake for about 15-20 minutes , until nice and golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  7. If you want to make them ahead of time, you can form them, brush with butter, sprinkle with sesame seeds and then place them in a single layer in a large freezer bag, covering the top with a piece of parchment and freeze them Bake the spanakopita straight from the freezer in the same way as you do for freshly made.


Roasted Mushroom Scones

Roasted Mushroom and Aged Cheddar Scones

These are a savory-breakfast-lovers’ dream! We make a few different types of scones, both sweet and savory, each year to bring to our family brunch gathering, and these are without doubt my favourite. So full of salty, savory mushroom flavour and ooey gooey aged cheddar cheese. They freeze wonderfully, too! Just take one out and warm in the oven and you’ve got a homemade treat to indulge in.

Recipe courtesy of Kelly from The Gouda Life. 



  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher/sea salt
  • ½ cup COLD butter,
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • ⅔ cup grated aged cheddar
  • 1 cup chopped roasted mushrooms, recipe follows
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly, to brush tops of scones

Roasted Mushrooms

  • 450g whole cremini, wiped clean and stems removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper



  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or two knives until you’ve got a crumbly mixture with butter pieces no larger than peas.
  3. I like to put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes here to make sure everything is as cold as possible. If you skip this step, no problem.
  4. Add the lightly beaten eggs and buttermilk and stir to combine. It will be wet and sticky.
  5. Add in the cheddar and cooled chopped mushrooms and knead the dough, folding it over on itself 5-6 times to incorporate the mushrooms and cheese.
  6. Again, I like to pop it in the freezer at this point for another 10 minutes.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, turn the sticky dough out and knead lightly a few more times. Roll the dough ¾ inch thick. Cut out 3 inch squares, then cut diagonally to make triangles. You should have about 10 scones.
  8. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush with a little beaten egg and a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper if you’d like.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Toss whole mushrooms in the oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Spread on a baking sheet and roast, stirring a few times, until tender and browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely before chopping up and adding to scone mixture. If you have leftovers, save them for an omelette in the morning.


I’ve used Cremini mushrooms here, but you feel free to use what you like best.

For cheese, I used a cheddar aged for 3 years but again whatever you like will be great. Something sharp and tangy works really well.

Mushroom Frittata

Mushroom Frittata with Truffle Cheese

This is one of those recipes you’ll want to make over and over again!

Recipe courtesy of Loreto and Nicoletta from SugarLoveSpices

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes | Serves: 4 double or 8 single


6 Organic free range eggs
4 tablespoons milk/
200g mixed mushrooms (Enoki, Baby Portobello’s, Shitake, Oyster)
50g grated Parmigiano  Reggiano or Grana Padano
1 clove garlic
1/4 yellow onion chopped
4 tablespoons e.v.o Oil
I teaspoon butter
1 Tablespoon freshly chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup white wine
Fine sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1/4 cup European shaved black Truffle cheese


  1. Clean mushrooms, cut them  in slices preserving their shape
  2. Clean garlic and press releasing some of the oil, in a sauté pan drizzle in 2 tablespoons evo oil and bring to a medium to high heat and toss in onions and garlic.
  3. Continually stir until onion becomes soft and translucent about 2 minutes, then add in mushrooms. and stir, you may need to add a bit of oil as the mushrooms will absorb a bit, season with salt and pepper.
  4. When the mushrooms are well coated with the oil add in the thyme and white wine and cook for about 10 minutes or until wine is all dissipated stirring occasionally. Finish with sprinkle of parsley and set aside to cool.
  5. Crack eggs in a medium bowl, spoon in milk ,add some salt and pepper and the grated Parmigiano cheese or Grana whichever you have and stir well until eggs, milk and cheese are well incorporated, add in cooled mushrooms leaving about 1/8 of the mushrooms for later use and stir again.
  6. In a 10 inch sauté pan drizzle in 2 tablespoon evo oil and drop in the butter, heat  on low until butter melts and rotate pan to evenly distribute the oil and butter throughout the bottom of the pan.
  7. Pour egg and mushroom mixture into sauté pan and move pan to evenly distribute the mixture well. Move mushrooms so they are distributed well throughout the pan. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes on very low heat. With a spatula check it from time to time to see that bottom is not browning.
  8. When the bottom is firm and a nice creamy color, put the remaining mushroom nicely on top, place a 10 inch dish that fits tight inside the pan and holding the dish firmly turn the pan upside down releasing the frittata from the pan to the plate. Then slowly slide the frittata nicely back into the pan.
  9. Let it cook on low for about 2-3 minutes uncovered check it by lifting the edge with a spatula if it is firm take off heat and slide frittata onto a plate, and shave some black European  black truffle cheese on top and finish with a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley, cut into 8 equal slices and serve.


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