Turn any vegetable into fries and it's bound to be good. Sweet potatoes, avocados, parsnips, squash, and yes, even portobello mushrooms are all excellent substitutions for the regular french fry. I had two different versions of portobello fries, ones coated in panko, and others just lightly floured. Although both were good, this recipe is a little different and a little more special with the addition of grated parmesan. Serve this vegetarian side dish as an appetizer or side with cilantro lime aioli and you'll be regretting not making more!
Portobello Fries with Cilantro Lime Aioli
Cilantro lime aioli
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 oz cilantro stems included
- juice of 1 lime
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ tsp salt
- Oil for frying
- 3 portobello mushrooms stems removed
- ½ cup flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 eggs whisked
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- Prepare the cilantro lime aioli. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Pour enough frying oil into a deep saute pan until it's about ½ inch high. Preheat to 350 degrees F.
- Slice mushroom caps into 1 inch thick slices. Set aside.
- Combine flour with seasonings from garlic salt - black pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl. Put parmesan in a third bowl.
- Dredge the sliced mushrooms in flour. Dip them in the egg then coat with shredded parmesan. Carefully drop the mushrooms into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve with cilantro lime aioli.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
As far as fries go, this recipe is a standard recipe. The only difference is after you coat the mushrooms in flour and egg, you sprinkle parmesan rather than bread crumbs. Freshly grated will coat the portobellos better but you can also use already shredded cheese.
When preparing the mushrooms, you can choose to remove the gills or leave them be. Recipes that stuff the mushrooms usually call to remove the gills to make more room, but they are generally left in. I tried the fries both with and without the gills and noticed a very subtle stronger earthy flavor with the fries with the gills. The gills can be slightly bitter so if you're not a fan, feel free to scoop out them out.
We're going to pan fry the mushrooms rather than completely deep frying so you don't need to fill your fryer with oil. Instead, pour enough oil into a deep saute pan about ½ inch high. Cook the mushrooms on one side until golden brown, flip and cook on the other side until browned. Remove the fries and drain the excess oil on paper towels.
Plate up the fries and serve them with cilantro lime aioli. This aioli is my favorite dip so far and is perfect for the mushrooms. Maybe it's all in my head but because these are mushrooms, they feel just a bit healthier than regular fries!
For more snack inspiration check out these Cajun beer battered fried pickles!