Lion’s Mane Mushroom Croquette

Several weeks ago, our dear friend and loyal customer Katherine shared a recipe for “Lion’s Mane Mushroom ‘Crab’ Cakes”. The original author compared the texture and flavor of the sauteed mushrooms with crab, apparently to tempt their reader to using this often-overlooked mushroom. Resembling a cauliflower, lion’s mane mushroom is a white fungus with a hair-like texture that bears resemblance to its namesake. It’s also known as the hedgehog mushroom and is native to North America, Europe and Asia. I shared the recipe with Lisa and we have been collaborating an adaptation. I have made it a couple of times to get some of the adjustments right and have decided this hardy main (pun intended) dish is great with an artichoke and potato dish OR could be portioned smaller for a first course at a dinner party. Accidentally it is also vegetarian and easily could be gluten free by substituting GF breadcrumbs.

A hardy main course when paired with artichoke and potato side dish
  • Olive oil for sauteing mushrooms plus more for frying croquettes.
  • 8 oz Lion’s Mane Mushroom shredded to resemble crab meat chunks. Pull the mushroom apart
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion (or shallot)
  • Original recipe calls for ¼ cup chopped red pepper which is out of season, Lisa substituted a diced jarred pepper but I left it out. I will probably try fresh red pepper in season but for now I used:
  • ½ teaspoon Espellete pepper (sub black pepper if necessary)
  • 1 stalk chopped green garlic (or 2 cloves minced)
  • ½ cup diced celery (optional Lisa version)
  • Nice squeeze of anchovy paste about 1 tablespoon (optional/omit for vegetarian)
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • As for seasoning: the original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of Old Bay Seasoning, both Lisa and I broke this down into our own versions and please feel free to season this any way you like. I used 1 teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon celery seed, ¼ teaspoon ground mustard, ½ teaspoon paprika and a pinch of mace.
  • Aioli or just buy a jar of Golden State Pickle Works Allium Mayonnaise (I promise to do some home-made versions of mayo and aioli in the future)
  • Lemon wedges for garnish (optional)
Often mistaken for cauliflower, Lion’s Mane mushroom have a meat-like texture and exquisite flavor
Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add prepared mushrooms and onions (and peppers if you are using them), cook until soft, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and celery (if using) and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated from the pan and the mixture resembles steamed crab meat, about 5-7 more minutes. Remove from heat and reserve in a large bowl in the fridge. Let cool 10-15 minutes. 

Once mushroom mixture is cool, add panko breadcrumbs, eggs, parsley, and seasonings, gently fold everything together with clean hands or a rubber spatula until well incorporated. Use a ⅓ cup to scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet and carefully shape into ¾-inch thick patties. Let rest in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up. If your mixture is too wet to “cake” add more panko if it is too dry add the juice of half a lemon.

In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, place the patties into the oil and cook until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until browned. Season with flaky sea salt and serve with allium mayo and enjoy.