Why It Works
- A thin batter coats the mushrooms in a light glaze that fries up sheer and crisp.
- Brushing the morels with a pastry brush removes forest-floor debris.
Springtime brings the year's first round of morel mushrooms, with their wonderful, subtly smoky, damp-earth flavor. We love them all sorts of ways, whether sautéed or doused in cream. Here, we take another tack, coating them in a thin fritto misto–style batter, then frying them until it's sheer and crisp. Fried morels are delicious eaten on their own, like salted peanuts, or heaped on a seared steak.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (4 1/4 ounces; 120g)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 cup (240ml) dry white wine
- 1/2 pound fresh morel mushrooms (8 ounces; 225g)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
In a medium bowl, whisk flour and salt together. Gradually whisk in wine until batter is smooth.
Using a dry pastry brush, whisk away any dirt trapped in the crevices of the morels. Trim ends of morel stems and slice morels in half lengthwise. Brush away any dirt you find inside.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels, then set a wire rack on top. Fill a heavy skillet or wok with 2 inches vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat until temperature reaches 350°F (175°C) on an instant-read or candy thermometer.
While oil is heating, whisk batter once more, then add morels, turning them with a fork to coat. Working with one at a time, lift morels from batter, allowing any excess batter to drain off, then carefully lower into oil. Working in small batches, fry morels, turning frequently, until golden and crisp all over.
Using a slotted spoon or spider, lift morels and transfer to wire rack to drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt while still hot. Skim off any batter debris from oil before starting next batch. Serve right away.
Instant-read or candy thermometer, baking sheet, wire rack, pastry brush