Turkish Recipes: Crispy-Fried Morel Mushrooms

Have you ever tried a really expensive and rare food and then wondered what all the fuss was about? Can a food really be that good? After this year’s Üzümlü Mushroom Festival, we were really curious about the morel mushroom; so expensive in the UK but an affordable seasonal food in Turkey – as a treat. We bought 200 grams yesterday from Fethiye market for 10 lira because we decided it was about time we tried them.

We don’t think this is a Turkish recipe, but, as these morel mushrooms were pulled from Turkish earth – probably from around the Üzümlü area – and because the morel mushroom is so special, we just had to post this recipe to show you what we decided to do with them for lunch this afternoon. Neither of us had ever had the pleasure of sampling the kuzu göbeği mantarı (morel mushroom) so we were really curious and quite excited.

Morel Mushrooms - Kuzu Göbeği Mantarı

Morel mushrooms drying in the sun

As it was the first time we’d tried them, we wanted to keep the recipe really simple so we could (hopefully) appreciate the morel mushroom for what it was and see what all the fuss was about. A bit of research and the general consensus seems to be that morels are best enjoyed in a crispy coating and fried. So that’s what we did – with a couple of our own additions.

Egg-coated Morel Mushrooms

Egg-coated morel mushrooms

Kızarmış Kuzu Göbeği Mantarı (Crispy-fried Morel Mushrooms)

  • Slice the mushrooms in half lengthways (we’d seen them being cooked on the barbecue in this way at the Üzümlü Mushroom Festival) and rinse excess dirt off. (We then put them outside to dry off for a few minutes.)
  • While the mushrooms are drying, beat two eggs in a bowl, sift some flour onto a plate and leave them to one side. We also added a pinch of salt and pepper to the flour.
  • Once the mushrooms are dry, melt a knob of butter in a frying pan.
  • This is our extra optional bit. Grate a clove of garlic into the pan and add a finely chopped chilli.
Fried Morel Mushrooms

The morel mushrooms are fried till crispy

  • Coat the mushrooms with the egg and then with the flour and add to the frying pan. (Every recipe we’ve seen says to use water biscuits or breadcrumbs but we had neither in the house, so flour was the substitute.)

Apparently, morel mushrooms need to be well-cooked as they contain toxins when raw. We fried them for around ten minutes until our coating went crispy.

Fried Morel Mushrooms

Just morel mushrooms. Nothing else.

And then we served them up on a plate. No salad, no other accompaniments – just a plate of crispy-fried morel mushrooms…and they were worth every single kuruş of our 10 lira.

If you’ve never tried them and you have access to them at a decent market price, give them a go. We thought the çintar mushroom was good but the kuzu göbeği is now our new favourite mushroom. We’re converts!

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  1. Yum! I’m so jealous! I haven’t seen these here at all…just regular button and oyster mushrooms. Maybe this weekend after all the rain. Morels are also great in risotto or pasta – not Turkish, but still tasty! Enjoy!

  2. @ Joy: They’re particular to this area. Sooo lovely. Our next move is to try the the morels mushrooms with risotto I think. Thank you!

  3. Looks good, but I’d probably fry them until they were ruined — in fear of toxicity!

  4. @ Cathy: I thought about that when I read about the toxins. Apparently, they’re not too bad though, just something to watch out for… 🙂

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