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Buttery Pan Fried Morel Mushrooms

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Lightly crisped in savory butter, these pan fried morels are absolutely delicious. So let’s learn where to find morel mushrooms, how to identify morels, and the best way to fry morel mushrooms. 

Morel mushrooms on a red and white cloth napkin on a table.

When I was a kid, my dad and I would go out in the woods and forage for wild morel mushrooms. It was my favorite time of the year. 

Sometimes we would strike it rich and come home with a giant bag full of mushrooms. Other times we would come home with only a handful. You never quite know what you will find.

One of the most coveted, and expensive, mushrooms out there, morels have a wonderful meaty texture and a slightly nutty taste. They are amazingly delicious and taste completely different from the store-bought mushrooms you may be accustomed to.

Where Do Morel Mushrooms Grow?

Morels grow in the forest, typically in places where the land has been recently disturbed by logging, flooding, or fire. You can’t grow morel mushrooms on a farm because the development of the mushrooms from the fungus is too spontaneous. 

If you are foraging for your own morels, you must make sure you are actually picking morels. There are fungi that look similar, but are false morel mushrooms. They are poisonous and even the fumes while cooking them can be toxic. 

The easiest way to check if you have a true morel is by making sure the head and stem are connected (one fluid piece) and the inside of the stem is hollow. If you notice the head is not attached, or see a cotton-like substance inside the stem, you should steer clear.

Foraging for mushrooms can be dangerous, so be sure you know what you are doing!

Since they can’t be farmed and the foraging process takes attention to detail, finding fresh morels can be tricky if you want to buy them. This also makes the morel mushrooms price higher than other mushrooms. They have a short season in the spring and early summer where you may be able to find them at a specialty store or local farmer’s market. 

If you want to buy morel mushrooms, it’s more common to find them dried. You just need to rehydrate them before cooking.

Also, never eat morels raw. They have a toxin that must be cooked out.

Ingredients for Fried Morels

I love my morels lightly coated and cooked in really good butter because that is how my dad used to make them. I’ve had them in fancy cream sauces and even in omelets, but hands-down pan fried morels in butter are my favorite.

Morel mushrooms frying in a pan with butter.

To make this fried morel mushroom recipe, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients.

  • Morel mushrooms
  • All-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Unsalted butter

How to Fry Morel Mushrooms

Place your morel mushrooms in a large bowl and cover with warm water. Add in 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and mix to dissolve.

Let the morels sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours but up to 12 hours. I usually let mine sit in the fridge overnight.

When you pull the mushrooms out of the fridge do not be surprised if you find little dead bugs floating in the water. This is normal. They like to hide in the little crevices of the mushroom cap.

Always soak your mushrooms (even the store-bought ones!) – the salt water soak will help draw out all the bugs and dirt.

Drain the mushrooms, rinse and cut in half. If you notice any dirt inside the mushrooms just wipe away with a damp paper towel.

In a bowl add flour, kosher salt, ground pepper and garlic powder. Gently toss the mushrooms in the flour mixture. 

In a large skillet, add butter and melt over medium heat. Add in the mushrooms, making sure to not crowd the pan, and cook for about 7 minutes per side. The bottom should be browned before flipping. 

Once fully cooked, add to a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess oil. Serve warm.

These decadent pan fried morel mushrooms make an excellent appetizer, or as a side dish with my Pesto Gnocchi with Asparagus!

Fried morel mushrooms on a piece of parchment paper.

More Amazing Mushroom Recipes

Pan Fried Morel Mushrooms by Nutmeg Nanny

Pan Fried Morel Mushrooms

Yield: 1/2 pound
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Lightly crisped in savory butter, these pan fried morels are absolutely delicious. So get out and forage those mushrooms and get to cooking!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound morel mushrooms
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (more if needed)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl add all morel mushrooms. Cover with warm water and add in 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Mix together to dissolve salt.
  2. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours but up to 12 hours. I usually let mine sit in the fridge overnight. When you pull the mushrooms out of the fridge do not be surprised if you find little dead bugs floating in the water. This is normal. They like to hide in the little crevices of the mushroom cap.
  3. Drain the mushrooms, rinse and cut in half. If you notice any dirt in the inside of the mushrooms just wipe away with a damp paper towel.
  4. In a bowl add flour, kosher salt, ground pepper and garlic powder. Gently toss the mushrooms in flour.
  5. In a large skillet, add butter and melt over medium heat. Once hot, add in mushrooms, making sure to not crowd the pan. Cook for about 7 minutes per side. The bottom should be browned before flipping. 
  6. Once fully cooked, add to a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess oil.
  7. Continue with remaining mushrooms until all are cooked. Add in more butter to the pan if needed.
  8. Serve warm.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram using the hashtag #nutmegnanny

Barry

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

before salt water soak, i soak them in filtered drinking water overnight and then take the water back to where i harvested the morels and pour it back on the ground - its rich in spores and helps a goof]]d crop next year. THEN is soak them in saltwater for a bit. I love em just cooked in butter with no covering really wonderful and the taste is amazing

Gary whalen

Wednesday 19th of June 2019

I get 50 to 75 lb a year here in Montana, from the previous year's forest fire. I ate a lot of mushrooms in frying them is the best in butter but I do dip them in egg before I roll them in flour and spices good eating

Jeffrey a Graham

Saturday 13th of May 2017

We fry morels in butter no flour we call this fried mushrooms.Then we also make morel gravy to serve on toast cook some mushrooms in butter remove from pan add flour make a white sauce thick or thin add back your mushrooms serve on toast,Best is the dip in beaten egg roll in home made cracker crumbs fry in blue bonnet margarine.I freeze these for later use as grandchildren love them also make stuffed morels to freeze wrap in foil warm in the oven later.

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Thursday 2nd of April 2015

[…] Nutmeg Nanny: Pan-fried Morels […]

Rob

Monday 20th of May 2013

Wow, this brings back memories! Every time Dad tells me he has some I want to fly home and head straight to his kitchen. Where can I buy some? I've never seen fresh morels in the store!

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