2 cups panko crumbs (see Cook's Tips)
1 tblsp chopped fresh thyme
1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
seasoned flour for tossing
1 egg, beaten
500 grams button mushrooms
oil for deep frying
1 cup mirin
½ cup sake
½ cup Japanese dark soy sauce
1 large green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
1. Combine the panko crumbs with the thyme and chilli and mix well. Wipe the mushrooms and trim the stalks if wished. Beat the egg together the ¼ cup water.
2. Toss the mushrooms in flour, dip in egg and toss in panko crumbs. Shake well to remove excess and transfer to an absorbent paper-lined plate while coating all the mushrooms. Refrigerate until ready to cook (they will keep perfectly for several hours).
3. In a deep fryer or large saucepan, heat the oil to 180ºC and deep fry the mushrooms for about 3 minutes or until golden. Transfer top an absorbent paper-lined tray or plat to soak up excess oil. Serve warm skewered with toothpicks with the sauce as a dip.
1. Place the mirin, sake, dark soy sauce and chilli in a saucepan and simmer until it has reduced by a quarter. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Baby mushrooms tossed in chilli-seasoned panko crumbs make a great nibble that's easy and quick to prepare.