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Battered Maitake Mushrooms and Dipping Sauces

February 23, 2011

That night Alex proposed, almost 6 years ago, we took a good walk to Edo’s Squid, a fantastic Italian restaurant in Richmond. My cousin started cooking there as a teenager, and our family considers it a favorite. AAM and I made it our own place through a ritual of walking there and enjoying a casual meal in the second floor of a townhouse. That night, we capitalized on our celebration, with calamari followed by spicy penne with broccoli rabe; the two dishes will always make me nostalgic. For awhile afterwards, we always ordered calamari, looking to find a dish that got even close to Edo’s Squid. Pretending to be food critics, we would compare the dipping sauces and qualities of squid. Sadly, or not sadly depending on your point of view, my transition from pescetarian to vegetarian has meant that I have bid adoo to calamari.

However, when I picked maitake mushrooms out of my green grocer box, I realized they *look* like calamari. I decided that I must try and make them into fake calamari. Researching on the web, I found that a website, Herbivoracious, which I already enjoy often, has a Beer Battered Maitake Mushroom recipe.  I decided I needed to try to make my own recipe, with a tip of a hat thank you to Herbivoracious for the inspiration. I enjoyed the mushrooms, but AAM doesn’t like mushrooms, so it might not be the perfect substitute. However, it is something. This way, when we tell Serafina the story of how her parents bonded over laughter and food, she can enjoy the story over a similar meal.

Battered Maitake Mushrooms

  • 2 cups of Maitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 bottle of dark stout beer (we used Highland Beer)
  • 3 tb paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 tb Hot sauce or Asian hot oil
  • Oil for frying

1. Mix the flour, paprika, salt and pepper together. Then pour in the beer. Stir the batter together.

2. Take the mushrooms and dip them in the he batter; dredge the batter all over the mushrooms. Be generous with the batter. Let sit for several minutes.

3. Heat up your pan slowly, with the canola oil and the hot sauce/oil. Your oil should be only a few inches high, and be sure to keep the heat low, you don’t want to burn yourself. Then add the battered mushrooms in. Let fry until the batter is crispy. Remove and place on a paper towel.  Serve with dipping sauces, such as Spicy Aioli, Basic Marninara, or  Asian-style vinegar

Spicy Aiolil

  • 2 tb mayo
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • splash of lemon juice

1. Mix the ingredients together and serve the side

Asian-style Vinegar

  • 2 tb rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp thinly sliced green onions

1. Mix the ingredients together and serve the side

Basic Marinara

That is pasta sauce silly.

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