Panko-Crusted Portobello Mushroom Burger

I’ve never cooked with portobello mushrooms before. However, I was completely motivated to try it after watching an awesome episode of the Sandwich King, hosted by Jeff Mauro. 

Jeff made it look like building this mouth-watering burger was a cinch! Since TJ is fond of sandwiches and I enjoy mushrooms, I figured this meal would make us both quite happy.

The prep time didn’t take too long. I removed the mushroom gills with a spoon, snapped off the stem and rinsed them. I used my Progressive Mandoline Slicer to get super-thin slices of red onion. I didn’t have any Japanese mayonnaise so I used some regular mayo to make the teriyaki spread. Then I laid out my breading station with some 4C Panko seasoned bread crumbs, flour and beaten eggs.

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I don’t deep-fry that often and therefore I didn’t have a fryer thermometer. I did manage to find a good cooking technique resource online to figure out when the temperature would be just right. One of the methods it suggested was to insert a wooden spoon into the oil, and when there was a steady flow of bubbles surrounding the spoon that meant it was ready for frying. This tip worked out really well! Once I knew the oil was good-to-go, I quickly dredged the mushrooms and delicately placed them in the pot.

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After those beauties were lightly golden brown (about four minutes) I drained them on some paper towels and placed them in my toaster oven at 300 degrees to keep them warm while we got grilling. When I say “we”, I actually mean TJ, as I’m not too familiar with his Cuisinart Griddler. I watched him use it so now I know next time, lol. We do have an outdoor grill as well but this griddler just seemed way more convenient for the small amount of grilling we needed to do. TJ was able to get some beautiful grill marks on the pineapple slices and the bread. Then it was time to build!

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The Panko gave this juicy portobello a great crunch. The sandwich had a nice zip from the raw red onion, a pleasant sweetness from the grilled pineapple and teriyaki spread, and wonderful flavor from the fresh onion rolls. The next time I make these, I may look into baking the breaded mushrooms in lieu of frying them just to keep it a bit lighter. We ate these portobello mushroom burgers with a side of Cool Cucumber Salad.

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Here is the original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/jeff-mauro/panko-crusted-portobello-mushroom-burger-recipe/index.html

Ingredients

Peanut oil, for frying, enough to fill your skillet 1 to 11/2 inches deep
4 round pineapple slices (either fresh or canned), each justover a 1/4-inch thick
Butter, for grilling
4 onion rolls, split, buttered and griddled
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 portobello mushroom caps (about 1 pound), gently cleaned and gills removed
1/2 cup Japanese mayonnaise (or regular if you can’t find it)
4 teaspoons teriyaki sauce
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 to 8 leaves red leaf lettuce

Preparation

Heat the peanut oil to 350 degrees F in a large cast-iron skillet.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the pineapple slices to get nice grill marks, about 2 minutes per side. Butter and grill the buns as well.

Set up a breading station of flour, eggs and panko seasoned with salt and pepper, in 3 separate shallow dishes. Dredge each mushroom cap in the flour first, then the egg and finally the panko. Fry the breaded mushrooms until golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack or paper towels.

Whisk together the mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce in a small bowl.

For the sandwich build: Spread some teriyaki mayo on the bottom and top halves of the buns. Top the bottom bun with a pineapple slice, a fried portobello mushroom cap, some onion slices and red lettuce leaf. Oh man!

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