I love purchasing food magazines from other countries when I travel. when I was recently over in the USA I may have picked up one or two (or three or four). International food magazines are so different to what we have in Australia and I find this particularly true with American ones. From the way they photography food right through to the recipes.
This is how I discovered the technique of marinating mushrooms in buttermilk. My first thought was why? I became fascinated enough with this process that I had to try it and find out why you would bother for myself.
It turns out that by soaking them in buttermilk for a few hours it intensifies the taste of the mushrooms and strengthens the umami flavour. Who would of thought?
Of course in the end I couldn’t help myself but take the technique and devise a recipe with my own twist. In the end, as I often am, I was influenced by Japanese ingredients.
Most Japanese ingredients and beer can be easily purchased in Australia. You will find mayonnaise and wasabi paste in the Asian ingredient section of any supermarket, and Japanese beer at your local bottle shop. You may have a harder time finding yuzu and matcha powder, but any Japanese grocery store will stock these items.
For those that aren’t familiar with yuzu juice, is the juice from the fruit of a citrus tree called yuzu. They resemble small grapefruits in appearance and the tart taste is a cross between grapefruit and mandarin orange. If you can’t find yuzu juice, substitute a smaller amount of lemon juice.
I have no real substitute suggestion for matcha powder. But if you are going down the lemon juice route with your mayonnaise, then maybe you could use some smoked sea salt instead?
Beer Battered Mushrooms with Green Tea Salt & Yuzu Wasabi Mayo
- 4 large Swiss brown/portobello mushrooms
- 600 ml buttermilk
- 190 grams plain flour
- 1 egg
- 250 ml Japanese beer
- oil for frying 4-6 cups
- Green Tea Salt
- 3 tablepsoons sea salt flakes
- 1 teaspoon green tea powder matcha powder*
- Yuzu Wasabi Mayonnaise
- 125 ml Japanese mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
- 3 teaspoons yuzu juice*
- Prepare your mushrooms by removing the stems and then scraping out the brown gills. Cut mushrooms into 1.5cm thick slices. Lay them in a large dish with sides. Then cover them with the buttermilk. Marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours (minimum one hour).
- While the mushrooms are marinating prepare green tea salt and yuzu mayonnaise.
- For the green tea salt, mix salt and matcha powder in a small bowl. Crush the sea salt flakes slightly either by using a spoon or pestle, but don’t over do it, you still want to keep some the flakes for texture.
- To prepare the mayonnaise mix the Japanese mayonnaise, wasabi paste and yuzu juice in a small bowl until completely combined.
- Once the mushrooms have marinated in the buttermilk for a few hours, remove from the fridge and prepare your batter.
- In a large bowl mix flour, egg and beer.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 180 degrees C (350 deg F).
- Coat mushroom slices in batter, they don’t have to be perfectly coated. Place a few in the fryer at a time (don’t over crowd them) and fry until they are golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen towel.
- Repeat until all mushroom slices are fried. Serve immediately with mayonnaise and salt.
- * yuzu juice and matcha powder can be found at all Japanese grocery stores.
I have to say these are the tastiest deep fried mushrooms I have ever eaten. The recipe has become a family favourite. Due to the deep frying aspect, they won’t be a frequent family favourite I must admit, but will happily pull it out once in a while for a special treat.
Then again with all the healthy properties for mushrooms, is the unhealthy deep frying aspect of this recipe cancelled out?
I will definitely be having a go at making a healthier oven baked version in the future.