Herb Crusted Beefsteak Fungus

On our recent mushroom foraging we came across this peculiar fungus that grows on the stump of oak and chestnut trees. Shaped like a liver or tongue with a colour and texture like steak when cut. The flesh has a tanin taste which can easily softened by soaking in water. In this recipe I have soaked the fungus in a white wine marinade before coating. Of course you can replace the fungus with a large thick mushroom such as the portabello mushroom (in this case you want need to marinate it). The Beefsteak Fungus season is from July to October.

Portions: 6 Portions

Preparation: 15 minutes (plus 30 minutes marinating)

Cooking: 5 minutes

Ingredients

Fungus

  • 600-800g beefsteak fungus or 12 portabello mushrooms (or a similar variety), cut into slices 1-1.5cm thick

Marinade

  • 2000ml white wine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, bruised with the back of a knife
  • pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped

To Coat

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 50g plain flour
  • 150g bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp mixed herbs, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp parmesan shavings
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Cook

  • olive oil

To Serve

  • mixed salad leaves or prepare a salad of sauteed mixed mushrooms with baby spinach, diced tomatoes and crumbled stilton. Drizzle with a little olive and balsamic vinegar

Method

  1. Marinade: Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Place the fungus in the marinade and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Herb Crust: Place the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Place the beaten egg in a bowl and the breadcrumbs mixed with the herbs and parmesan on a plate. Remove the fungus from the marinade and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel. Coat the fungus or mushrooms in the flour, shake off any excess flour and follow with the egg and then the breadcrumbs, covering them thoroughly. Place the fungus or mushrooms on a plate and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  3. To Cook: Pour the olive oil into a large frying pan so that it is around .5mm deep. Place the pan over a moderate high heat. Fry the coated fungus or mushrooms in the oil for 2-3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve.
  4. To Serve: Serve the herb crusted Fungus with a salad of your choice.