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Mushroom Appetizer


Maitake mushrooms are ideal for this dish, and are now widely cultivated, or available to order online. However, other mushrooms would be delicious as well. When frying, don’t worry if the mushrooms break up a bit. You can fry all the little pieces which are my favorite nibbles. These are fantastic with a glass of Sonoma-Cutrer The Cutrer Chardonnay.

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    Serves 2

    Total Time 20 minutes

    Prep Time 15 minutes

    Difficulty Level Easy


    2 c rice flour (for the batter)

    1 egg yolk (for the batter)

    2 c club soda, chilled cold (for the batter)

    Canola oil for frying (for the batter)

    1 lb Maitake mushrooms, sliced into 1/4 inch slices (for the batter)

    1 c corn starch (for the batter)

    Sea salt (for the batter)

    Lemon wedges (for the batter)

    1/2 c fresh lime or lemon juice or a combination (for the Ponzu sauce)

    2 tbsp rice vinegar (for the Ponzu sauce)

    1/3 c Japanese soy sauce (for the Ponzu sauce)

    2 tbsp mirin (for the Ponzu sauce)

    2 tbsp light brown sugar (for the Ponzu sauce)

    1/2 tsp Asian fish sauce (for the Ponzu sauce)


    1. In separate bowls whisk the Ponzu sauce and tempura mixtures to combine. Set aside the Ponzu sauce to serve alongside the mushrooms. Add 2 inches of oil to a deep sauce pan or Dutch oven and heat to 375 degrees.

    2. Dust Maitake with the cornstarch shaking off any excess. Dredge them in the batter and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon or spider, transfer to a paper lined rack to drain.

    3. Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve warm with the Ponzu dipping sauce and lemon wedges on the side.

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