Portobello Mushroom Schnitzel – Delicious Crunchy Vegan
Beer-Battered Schnitzel Recipe with Panko. Irresistible!
A few years ago, after lots of trial and error, I developed a truly amazing batter coating for fried foods. I was tired of making batters that didn’t stick, soaked up too much oil and didn’t have a really great crunch to them. I combined a tempura-style batter, enhanced with spices for extra flavor, with panko breadcrumbs (and optional sesame seeds) to create the ultimate crispy/crunchy coating. Over time friends, family and even blog readers started calling it Tori’s Crispy Panko Coating. I’ll take full ownership here, as it took me many experiments and lots of messy dishes to get it exactly right! You may have seen it before on my Crispy Panko Fish Tacos recipe (minus the hot sauce). Here I’ve combined my “famous” coating with Portobello mushrooms to create an entirely new, incredibly addictive vegan entree.
Schnitzel, which is typically made with pounded meat that has been breaded or fried, is Austrian in origin. Traditionally it was made with veal (known as Wiener Schnitzel) or pork. Chicken schnitzel is a favorite dinner in our household, but lately I’ve found myself experimenting with vegetarian alternatives to the dishes we eat on a regular basis. Replacing the chicken with sliced Portobello mushrooms seemed like a tasty meatless alternative. I took this concept a step further and replaced the usual egg-and-breadcrumb coating with my “famous” Crunchy Panko Coating for an ultra-crispy, incredibly delicious and fully vegan entree. Portobellos hold up well when battered and fried; they have a remarkably meaty taste thanks to the exposed gills beneath their cap, which allows for air to flow through and evaporate any excess moisture. The resulting Portobello Mushroom Schnitzel is addictive and can be served as an entree or appetizer. I think they’re good with just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, but feel free to serve them with your favorite dipping sauces. I’ve pasted a few ideas below. They’re remarkably budget-friendly too– four portobello caps can be stretched into six full entree servings.
I’ve been saving this one for a special occasion, but I can’t keep it a secret anymore. It’s just too good. Every time I cook it for guests I get requests for the recipe. I figured it’s probably time to get it up on the site, that way I won’t need to keep printing it out for friends. This is going to become one of your new favorite meatless dishes, promise!
Vegan Note: To keep this recipe completely animal-free, be sure to choose a vegan-friendly beer for the coating (or stick with seltzer). You can check your favorite brands against this database. http://www.barnivore.com/beer
Tzatziki (not vegan)
Yemenite Schug (spicy)
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Tori's Crispy Panko Coating Ingredients
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp hot sauce
- 12 oz. beer or seltzer water, or more as needed
- 3-4 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional, recommended)
- 4 large portobello mushroom caps (1/2 lb. total), cut into slices a little wider than 1/2 inch
- Grapeseed oil for frying
You will also need
- Mixing bowl, skillet, paper towels or wire cooling rack
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder and cayenne.
- Stir in the hot sauce and beer or seltzer until a thick but pourable batter forms. Note that the beer will be difficult to measure out due to foam; you’ll need at least one 12 oz. bottle of beer to make this batter. The batter should be thick like pancake batter, but if it appears clumpy or overly thick add more beer, seltzer or water until mixture is thin enough for dipping.
- Stir together the panko breadcrumbs and sesame seeds, then pour them onto a plate. Dip the mushroom slices into the batter...
- ...then into the panko sesame mixture to coat. Use one hand for wet dipping and the other for dry, otherwise you’ll end up with lots of clumps in the dry coating ingredients.
- Heat ½ inch of grapeseed oil in a skillet over medium until hot but not smoking. Fry the mushroom slices in batches of 4 or 5 pieces for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. You may need to add more oil midway through cooking. Drain on paper towels or a wire cooling rack.
- Sprinkle with additional salt to taste, if desired. Serve hot.