Fried Oyster Mushrooms | Crispy fried mushrooms with a spiced batter and panko crumb breading and a juicy, chewy inside. These pan fried oyster mushrooms take under half an hour to make and are great on their own, as part of a grain bowl or in an Oyster Mushroom Po' Boy Sandwich.
Some people call this vegan fried chicken, and honestly? I kinda get that. These fried mushrooms are super crispy on the outside with a spiced batter and panko crumb breading and still have a juicy inside with a meaty chew to them. They're not chicken (obviously) but they are delicious.
Use the table of contents below to jump to any section of this blog post. You can also use the jump to recipe link above to get right to the recipe card.
What do Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like?
Oyster mushrooms have a delicate and chewy texture and a mild and savory flavor.
When I say they have a meaty chew to them, I don't mean as a meat alternative but they have more of a bite to them than say button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms which in my opinion are soft and squishier.
If you haven't tried oyster mushrooms before then I really recommend this crispy fried oyster mushroom recipe.
If you're plant based you'll love these crispy mushrooms and I think if you're not you'll still love them - they're that good. You just can't go wrong with a spiced, crispy fried mushroom. Serve them as is or in a sandwich or wrap.
What are oyster mushrooms?
Oyster mushrooms are a type of mushroom that grow in large clusters with thin stems and large flat caps. They get their name from the oyster shape of their large flat caps.
How to clean oyster mushrooms before cooking: just wipe them with a paper towel. You can rinse them if you want to, but it's not necessary. Don't soak them in water.
How to prepare oyster mushrooms for cooking: cut off the base of the stems, where the mushrooms are connected to each other. You can cut off the stem and bread and cook just the cap, but I like to keep it on.
NOTE: This recipe uses oyster mushrooms that have a thin stem and flat cap, not king oyster mushrooms which are slightly different and have a very thick stem. See the photos above and below for the type used in this recipe.
About the ingredients for this recipe. See the recipe card below for exact amounts.
- oyster mushrooms: I use 100 grams, the size of the package at my grocery store for this recipe. The amount of batter and bread crumbs should be enough to bread that amount of mushrooms. Feel free to double or triple the entire recipe.
- all-purpose flour and cornstarch: for the batter. The cornstarch helps the batter crisp.
- gochugaru chili pepper: gochugaru is a coarsely ground Korean red chili powder that has the texture of small flakes. I get mine at my local Asian store, Lucky's. For this recipe, you can substitute cayenne pepper, using 1-/8 -¼ teaspoon depending on your preferred spice level, or leave it out.
- spices: I use onion powder, garlic powder and paprika to flavor the batter. Feel free to use your favorite spices.
- salt: I use kosher salt. If using table salt, use half the amount called for.
- cold water: using very cold water in the batter helps the batter crisp up when it hits the hot oil.
- panko bread crumbs: panko crumbs are big, flakier and lighter than regular bread crumbs and cook up super crispy, making them perfect for this recipe.
- chill ½ cup of water
- wipe the mushrooms to clean them and then separate them, cutting off the very base of the mushroom cluster. I leave the stems on, you can take them off if you want.
How to Cook Oyster Mushrooms:
Prep the mushrooms and then make the batter.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, gochugaru, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Whisk well.
Slowly add the cold water while whisking. You add it slowly to prevent lumps from forming.
Dip the mushrooms one by one or add them all to the batter and gently stir to cover.
You may need a tablespoon more or less of water, depending on how you measure your flour, etc. You're looking for a thick batter, in between cake batter and pancake batter.
Pour the bread crumbs into another bowl.
RECIPE TIP: How to bread mushrooms. Designate one hand as a wet hand and one hand as a dry hand. This avoids having clumpy wet batter and bread crumbs on your fingers. Use the wet hand to dip the mushrooms into the batter, lift them out and drop them into the bread crumbs. Use the dry hand to press bread crumbs onto the battered mushrooms.
Bread the mushrooms. Work one mushroom at a time, make sure they are completely covered in batter. Using your 'wet hand' lift the mushrooms from the batter, letting the excess drip off and then drop the mushrooms into the bread crumbs.
Use the 'dry hand' to pick up bread crumbs and press them into the mushroom and then roll it around in the bread crumbs to completely cover it.
Use your 'dry hand' to remove the mushroom from the bread crumbs and place them on a plate for frying.
Fry the mushrooms. I like to shallow fry whenever I can, and these mushrooms are flat enough to shallow fry. This yields the same texture and crispiness as deep frying but with a fraction of the oil.
Cover the bottom of a skillet with oil and heat the skillet over medium or medium-high heat, depending on your pan and strength of your element.
When I use a cast iron skillet, I use a medium heat because it conducts and holds heat well. When I use my favorite large non-stick skillet, I use a medium high setting (usually 6) and if the mushrooms cook too fast, I turn the heat down a bit.
Don't be scared to adjust the heat on your stovetop while cooking. Turn it up and down as needed.
Once the pan is hot, add the mushrooms to the pan without crowding them. I do 2 batches. Cook the mushrooms for about 2 minutes per side, flipping only once.
Once the mushrooms are done, remove them to a cooling rack and sprinkle kosher salt on them.
How to serve Fried Oyster Mushrooms
You can serve oyster mushrooms as is for an appetizer or a side for dinner. I love making them into po' boy sandwiches.
✔ This recipe is both vegetarian and vegan.
> To make this recipe spicier add more hot pepper powder in the flour mix, or cover the fried mushrooms in a buffalo sauce.
I use my favorite large non-stick pan for frying oyster mushrooms, but I also sometimes use one of my cast iron skillets for frying. Use what you prefer. I'll link my favorites below.
I really recommend eating this as soon as you make them. Fried foods are always best hot and fresh and can get sort of soft or less crispy when left to sit.
These mushrooms don't get soggy in the fridge and I have reheated them in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes to re-crisp them after sitting in the fridge, but I still think they are best fresh.
More breaded appetizer recipes
Tips + FAQs
Oyster mushrooms do not taste like chicken, they taste like mushrooms. They have a mild and earthy flavor.
You can bread and fry oyster mushrooms, or just pan fry them. To pan fry oyster mushrooms, leave space around the mushrooms in the pan so that they fry instead of steam otherwise their texture can be soggy, the same as other mushrooms.
Fried Oyster Mushrooms
- Prepare the mushrooms: Trim the very bottom of the stem from the mushrooms, including where they are all attached together. I leave some stem on. Wipe them with a paper towel to clean them if needed.
- Make the batter. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, spices and salt. Slowly add the cold water, while whisking, to avoid lumps. You may need a tablespoon more or less of water, depending on flour measurement, etc. You want a very thick batter, thicker than pancake batter but not as thick as cake batter. It will need to coat the mushrooms and catch the bread crumbs.In another small bowl, pour in the panko crumbs. Set a plate to the side for the breaded mushrooms.
- Bread the mushrooms. Designate a wet hand and a dry hand for breading so you don't end up with clumpy breading on both hands. With the 'wet hand' drop a mushroom in the batter, turn to coat and then drop the mushrooms into the bread crumbs. With the 'dry hand' coat the mushroom in the bread crumbs. Grab a small handful and drop them on top of the mushroom and then roll it around to fully coat it. Set the mushroom on the small plate for frying.
- Fry the mushrooms. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. (I put my element on 6 out of 10). Add enough oil to coat the bottom.Once the oil is, hot add the mushrooms. You will probably have to fry in 2-3 batches. Fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- Serve the mushrooms. Remove fried mushrooms to a cooling rack (with holes in it), with paper towel underneath. Sprinkle with kosher salt directly after they come out of the oil. Serve warm.
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
SHARE THIS RECIPE
Rating, commenting, and sharing my recipes really helps. Thanks for taking the time! Mention @pipercooksblog on Instagram.