Fried oyster mushrooms are meaty, savory and deliciously golden brown. Sauteed with garlic and herbs, they're a perfect side dish or topper for crostini. Done with only 5 ingredients in just 20 minutes or less, let's get cooking!
(These are gluten free and vegetarian/vegan)
What Inspired This Dish
I am a mushroom lover! If you browse through my recipes, you'll find all kinds of mushroom recipes and these fried oyster mushrooms will work in all of them. Try using oyster mushrooms in my Wild Mushroom Soup, Mushroom Lentil Stew, the melty Mushroom Croustade or Italian classic Risotto With Mushrooms.
Mushrooms add such a wonderful texture. They go beautifully with a steak, grilled chicken or pasta and they make a great meat substitute too.
Ways To Use Fried Oyster Mushrooms
- Top a slice of toast or small crostini slices with the fried mushrooms, add a slice or sprinkle of cheese (mozzarella, swiss or parmesan are wonderful) and broil until bubbly and browned on top.
- Serve on top of a perfectly grilled steak or chicken breast.
- Use as a tasty garnish on top of cream of mushroom soup.
- Stir them into any risotto recipe at the end or serve on top.
- Serve them with fresh pasta with olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese or add to stroganoff.
With just oyster mushrooms, butter (or other fat) and a little seasoning, this is a simple yet very luxurious recipe. Read on for some interesting varieties of oyster mushrooms.
Oyster mushrooms - These are the star ingredient. Easy to find at most grocery stores if you are in specialty markets you may find some more exotic types too.
Butter or Margarine - I used butter but if you are vegan, margarine or olive oil works well too.
Thyme - I've used thyme in this recipe because thyme is such a lovely match for the mild earthy flavor of fungi. If you prefer, you can substitute parsley, a small amount of finely chopped rosemary or omit herbs altogether.
- See recipe card for quantities.
Types Of Oyster Mushrooms
There are many varieties of oyster mushrooms. You will find them at your green grocer or out in the wild. Oyster mushrooms usually grow on fallen or dead deciduous trees in tight clusters or bunches. There are many mushroom growing kits on the market so you can grow your own. Check out this awesome company, Grow Mushrooms Canada, located on Vancouver Island close to where I live.
- Blue oyster mushrooms are a subspecies of the common oyster mushroom and have a similar delicate flavor with a tender cap and somewhat chewy stipe (stem).
- King oyster mushrooms are another type, often found in Asian and large grocery stores. The firmest and most substantial oyster mushroom, these work great sliced thick and cooked on the grill. The fat stem can be sliced into thick round slices when making this recipe and they will resemble fried sea scallops!
- Yellow and Red (Pink) oyster mushrooms are another subspecies. These are tasty and make every dish extra beautiful and unexpected.
Any or all of these oyster mushrooms work great in this fried recipe.
This simple oyster mushroom recipe has very few steps. You'll be done in 20 minutes or less!
- Using your hands, pull the oyster mushrooms apart into desired size chunks. They will tear apart easily, kind of like string cheese. If stems are long you can cut them in half crosswise. Keep in mind that they will shrink a little during cooking so choose the size accordingly.
2. Melt butter or margarine in a large frying pan on low heat.
3. Once butter is melted and starts to bubble, add in the herbs and mushrooms. Stir them around and then let them fry slowly over the low heat.
4. First they will release any extra water and then they will start to brown.
5. Once they are almost as brown as you want them, stir in the remaining butter and garlic and finish frying until they are as brown as you like.
6. Fry until mushrooms are to your taste. They can be soft and voluptuous or you can let them get crispy edges for toothsome texture and deeper flavor.
Hint: You can add in 2 tablespoon of dry white wine at this point and let it cook down until the mushrooms are dry again. This is completely optional but adds a little acidity and a restaurant quality flavor.
Serve while hot and enjoy
- Vegan - Use margarine instead of butter for a vegan variation.
- Oyster Mushroom Sauce - Add in a cup of heavy cream and continue to cook until cream is reduced by half and creates a luscious sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve over pasta, toast, steak or chicken.
- Fried Mushrooms and Leeks - Add in a cup of sliced leeks with the mushrooms for a lovely sweet and savory addition.
Storage and make ahead
Oyster mushrooms can be fried ahead and stored in the fridge in an airtight container up to 3 days. Gently reheat in a frying pan, adding a little (1 teaspoon to 1 tbsp) butter, oil or broth as needed and continue to use as you like.
These mushrooms can be frozen but the texture will not be as good upon thawing. If frozen and thawed, they are best used in other recipes like pasta filling, sauce or soup.
I recommend eliminating the air as much as possible if you choose to freeze for later. I pack mine tightly in containers, top with a little olive oil and then the lid.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Store bought oyster mushrooms are generally very clean, grown organically and do not need to be cleaned. If you pick wild mushrooms or your grocery store shrooms are a bit dirty, first try brushing the dirt off gently. If they are quite soiled, use running water and a small brush or your hand. Work rapidly to limit the time under water so the mushrooms don't soak up too much water. Lay to drip dry on a towel and use as normal. If they have soaked up some water, they may need a little more time in the pan to let it cook out and evaporate.
Yes, they fry up so nice and crispy because of their lower water content compared to some mushrooms. Because they generally have less water than many other mushrooms, it is important to use some oil, butter or other liquid like broth to start cooking in. No matter the recipe, frying them first will give them wonderful flavor and texture.
Earthy and savory, oyster mushrooms are milder than shitake. They have a nutty flavor that hints at spice and gets richer as they get more browned. These mushrooms will absorb flavors they are cooked with making them excellent in mushroom soup and stew recipes as well.
Yes. Oyster mushrooms are virtually fat free, low in calories, high in fiber and have some protein. These mushrooms also have iron, niacin, folate, vitamin B5, and trace amounts of many more.
In addition to these nutrition values, oyster mushrooms contain antioxidants too. These are an amazing and nutritious food to include in your diet.
No but they do have a similar texture to chicken thighs and can be flavored with the same ingredients as chicken. So, you can use them as a substitute in many recipes for chicken.
One last note, cook your mushrooms slowly at first so they cook through before browning on the outside. This will keep them soft on the inside and then you can choose to leave them soft or cook until crisp on the outside.
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Fried Oyster Mushrooms
- ½ lb Oyster Mushrooms Approximately 3 cups of sliced mushrooms
- 3 tablespoon Butter, divided or margarine for vegan version
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Thyme, finely chopped Rosemary or savory are good alternatives
- 2 tablespoon Parsley, finely chopped
- Using your hands or a knife, pull or cut the oyster mushrooms apart into desired size chunks.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter (or margarine) in a large frying pan on medium heat. Once butter is melted and starts to bubble, add in the chopped thyme and mushrooms. Stir them around and then let them fry. First they will release any extra water and then they will start to brown.
- Once they are almost as brown as you want them, stir in the garlic, parsley and remaining tablespoon of butter and finish frying until they are as brown as you like.
- Optional* You can add in 2 tablespoon of dry white wine at this point and let it cook down until the mushrooms are dry again. This is completely optional but adds a little acidity and a restaurant quality flavor.Serve while hot by themselves, on top of toast or alongside your favorite main course.