The King is the largest in the oyster mushroom family and may also be known as the Trumpet Royale or French Horn Mushroom. Its characteristics are a bulbous stem headed by a tan cap - as they come in just about every size and shape.
My preference is to try to select those where the cap is as wide as the stem in its widest point - this will give nicer end pieces when the mushroom is sliced.
It has an excellent texture that responds well to grilling and sautéing and they can be quartered lengthways and roasted.
The method I'm using for this recipe is a new one for me and its so simple and delicious that I'm wondering why I've not seen it done before. Once again I'm taking inspiration from a recent dinner at Church Street Enoteca where I absolutely fell in love with these herb crusted King Oyster Mushrooms.
The mushrooms had been sliced and then delicately crumbed in a mix of fine breadcrumbs and herbs and then cooked, the result was that the texture of the mushroom was preserved inside that crisp flavoursome crust but it was also enhanced from the herbs in the crust. As an accompaniment it stole the show and had me racing to the kitchen to whip up my own version.
Herb-crusted King Oyster Mushrooms
3 King Oyster Mushrooms, sliced evenly
1 egg, lightly beaten with a dash of milk
small handful fresh parsley leaves
finely grated parmesan
Prepare the breadcrumbs:
Put the parsley leaves into a mini-processor and process until finely chopped. Add in breadcrumbs and process again until evenly distributed, you'll notice that the mix will take on a green shade. Finally tip in grated parmesan and process once more to combine. You should end up with a nice fine breadcrumb mixture.
Crumb the mushrooms:
Slice the mushrooms lengthways aiming for slices about ½cm/5mm wide.
Place the mushroom slices into the egg mixture and ensure they are well coated - remove a slice and shake to remove any excess egg. Place this into another bowl containing the prepared breadcrumbs. Cover with crumbs and then remove, ensure they are coated and then shake to remove any excess. Repeat the process with the rest of the slices.
Store the crumbed slices in the fridge or they can be cooked immediately.
Cook the mushrooms:
Use a non-stick skillet over a gentle heat - drizzle in a little olive oil and a knob of butter. When the butter has melted and has started to sizzle, add the slices, being careful not to over-crowd the pan. When brown on one side, flip over and brown the other. They will only take a minute or two to cook - place on paper towels to remove any excess oil and they are ready to serve.
You can serve these as an accompaniment to a roast or just enjoy them on their own perhaps with a nice green salad, they are seriously addictive.