Love mushrooms? Let me show you how to make easy mushroom fritters, also known as "Funghi Fritti" in Italian. These crispy and golden brown fritters are a delicious appetizer (antipasti) or side dish that are perfect on their own and great for dipping. With just 6 easy ingredients, these are extremely easy and satisfying to make. (V, DF)
Why I made this recipe
I am a mushroom lover. I love foraging for wild mushrooms in the forest and I love plain white button mushrooms too. Whether in mushroom stew, classic creamy mushroom soup, a vegetarian mushroom sandwich, chanterelle mushroom risotto or in a gratin, I want to eat them in everything.
These crispy mushroom fritters are great along with a squeeze of lemon and a glass of wine. They are equally at home as a side dish with grilled steak and a little lemon aioli. For a richer dip, try easy homemade bacon aioli.
Soft tender mushrooms in a light and crisp batter are just so good, you'll wonder where they've been all your life! For even more ideas, check out these mushroom recipes.
Making the crispiest mushroom fritters only requires a few simple ingredients. While some recipes use egg yolks and have a thick batter, my recipe is much lighter, similar to a Japanese tempura. A mix of flour and cornstarch along with a little baking soda, keeps the batter light.
- All-Purpose Flour - All purpose flour has enough gluten to hold these together without making them heavy but it gets a little help from the next ingredient.
- Cornstarch aka Corn Flour - Using half cornstarch helps keep the amount of gluten minimal.
- Baking Soda - Baking soda adds a little levity, creating bubbles in the batter once the water is mixed in.
- Seasoning Salt - I love the subtle but savory flavors in seasoning salt and it keeps the ingredients to a minimum here. If you only have regular salt, reduce the amount by ½ teaspoon and add in a pinch each of pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.
- Mixed Mushrooms - Mushrooms are the main ingredient. You can use button mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, wild mushrooms or a mix of different mushrooms for added flavor and variety. When wild mushrooms are in season, you'll find chanterelles, lobster mushrooms and cauliflower mushrooms in mine! Small or thin mushrooms can be used whole, larger ones can be torn or sliced into bite sized pieces. Make sure to clean the mushrooms of any dirt and trim stalks if they are tough.
- Vegetable Oil - Canola, sunflower, peanut or any other neutral oil with a high smoking point can be used for frying. You can use olive oil but I like to use a simple and inexpensive vegetable oil.
See recipe card for quantities.
Substitutions + Variations
- Vegan - These fritters are completely vegan but the sauce isn't. To make the sauce vegan, simply use vegan mayonnaise.
- Green onion - I love the fresh, herbal flavor from the addition of chopped chives or green onions. If you don't have scallions, other fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, savory, or even sage can be used instead. If using these stronger tasting herbs, use only 1-2 teaspoons.
- Flour - To keep the batter light and crispy, it's important to have a low protein flour (lower gluten). To achieve this, I've mixed all purpose flour with corn flour, aka cornstarch. You can swap corn flour for rice flour if you want. If you have cake flour, you can use all cake flour and no cornstarch.
- Water - This recipe calls for plain COLD water, if you have club soda, you can use that instead for an even lighter, more effervescent batter.
- Spicy - For spicy fritters, sprinkle some chili flakes or cayenne pepper into the batter before coating the mushrooms and add some hot sauce to the lemon aioli dip.
Because this batter is so quick to whip up, preheat a deep pot or deep fryer to medium high heat before starting. Run your tap water to get it very cold or if you plan ahead, you can put your water in the fridge or freezer for awhile before starting.
Step 1. Wash mushrooms as needed and slice or tear into thin, bite sized pieces. (Slicing them thin ensures they cook through in the short cooking time.)
Combine the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda and seasoning salt in a large bowl. Mix well with a whisk to combine.
Step 2. Pour cold water into the mixing bowl and whisk just until blended. A few small lumps are ok.
Step 3. Add mushrooms, sliced green onions.
Step 4. Stir the mushroom mixture just until combined.
Step 5. Once the oil is hot, scoop mushroom batter into the hot oil by the tablespoon. Deep fry one layer at time to prevent overcrowding.
Step 6. Fry the funghi fritti until golden brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fritters from the oil and place them on wire cooling racks or paper towels to remove any excess oil.
Repeat until all the batter is used. Serve immediately while warm with fresh lemon wedges, lemon mayonnaise or aioli.
Make the Lemon Aioli Dipping Sauce
Tangy lemon mayonnaise (aioli) dipping sauce is a delicious dipping sauce for mushroom fritters.
Step 5. Combine mayonnaise, freshly squeezed lemon juice, the zest from the lemon and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.
Step 6. Mix well until smooth and creamy. Garnish with some freshly chopped spring onions or chives if you like.
To ensure your mushroom fritters are crispy and golden brown, use a high sided frying pan, deep sauce pot or deep fryer filled with enough oil to fully submerge the mushroom batter.
For deep frying safety, do not fill the pot or pan more than half full of hot oil, keep handles turned in so they don't get bumped by people or pets and keep small children away from hot oil.
Heat the oil to medium-high heat before adding the mushrooms to achieve a crispier texture. To test the heat, drop a small amount of batter into the oil. It should start to bubble right away and after a few seconds, it will rise to the top and float.
Avoid overcrowding the frying pan or deep fryer. Fry the mushrooms in small batches to maintain the oil temperature and prevent them from sticking together.
Arrange the fritters on a platter and garnish with lemon wedges and additional slivered scallions or fresh parsley for a pop of color. The crispy exterior and flavorful interior of the fritters combined with tangy, creamy dipping sauce is hard to beat!
These easy mushroom fritters can also be eaten and enjoyed as Japanese mushroom tempura if you serve them with soy sauce or ponzu sauce to dip in.
To serve these as a main course, serve them alongside rice, steamed green beans, kale or chard and an Italian chopped salad. Or if you want to serve them Asian style, serve them over sticky rice with shelled edamame beans or peas and a drizzle of soy sauce.
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More Mushroom Recipes
In addition to their delicious, earthy flavor, umami and great texture, mushrooms are also a healthy food. They are low in calories, fat-free, and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Mushrooms are a great source of B vitamins and are also rich in antioxidants. Here are a few more of my favorite mushroom recipes.
Cheers and happy cooking, Friends! Sabrina
Mushroom Fritters (Italian Funghi Fritti Recipe)
- 1 c All Purpose Flour
- ½ c Cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Seasoning Salt
- 1 c Ice Cold Water or Club Soda
- ½ lb Mushrooms 2 cups
- ¼ c Green Onions
- 4-8 c Vegetable OIl enough to fill your pot half full.
Easy Lemon Aioli
- ½ c Mayonnaise Use vegan mayo to make recipe vegan.
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
- ½ teaspoon Garlic, minced or ½ teaspoon hot sauce optional
- Start by filling a high sided pot half full with vegetable oil. Place it on a burner set to medium-high. While it heats, tear or slice your mushrooms into small bite-sized pieces about ¼" x 1" and thinly slice green onion.
- In a mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients and whisk together well. Pour the cold water in and mix quickly and just until mixed. Add in sliced mushrooms and green onions (reserve a few green onions to garnish with) and stir to coat well.
- Once the oil is at 350'F or hot enough that a small bit of batter bubbles right away when dropped in, start cooking your mushroom fritters. Drop heaping tablespoon-sized portions in without dumping it on the previous fritter. Once there is a layer of fritters bubbling away in the oil, let them cook 3-5 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
- Once browned on all sides, gently scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place them on a wire cooling rack while you continue deep frying the remaining mushroom fritter batter. Once done, serve warm with extra scallions.
- Mix together mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice and the minced garlic or hot sauce if using. Serve with the fritters. This makes enough for 1 tablespoon of dip per person.