The giant puffball is an out-of-this-world delicacy. A simple way to enjoy this unique mushroom is to shred it and make it into these delicious Puffball Patties; a crispy fried coating encases an interior of creamy, savoury white mushroom, mildly spiced and interspersed with the pop of fresh green peas. Serve it with your favourite dipping sauce for a patty the whole family will love, or slide it onto a bun for a delicious mushroom burger. (Skip to recipe.)
Giant puffballs are the aliens of the mushroom world, looking like large misshapen white volleyballs just dropped from outer space into the middle of a lawn or grassy field, but this species (Calvatia gigantea) is a great beginner mushroom. The giant puffball is easy to identify (you can't mistake it for any other kind of mushrooms - check out this blog post) and such fun to cook with. It's got a delicate mushroom flavour and fantastic texture; soft and silky.
The puffball is amazingly versatile; you can simply peel it, slice it, and fry it in butter, or cube it and add it to a mixed mushroom fry-up or veggie stir fry. But it can also be a star in so many fantastic recipes like puffball pizza or schnitzel or parmigiana. You can shred it and add it to a Puffball Fettuccine Alfredo (it just melts into the creamy sauce like silk) or turn it into these wonderfully moist and delicious Puffball Patties. The outsides are crisp and golden and the insides are a delight of soft mushroomy puffball studded with tender green peas and loaded with fresh herby flavour. Serve them with your favourite dipping sauce (ranch, marinara, cheese sauce, gravy) or make the patties a little flatter and tuck them into a burger loaded with all the trimmings. You can even make the patties a smaller size to make little puffball nuggets.
How to Make Delicious Patties from your Giant Puffball
Cut a chunk off your giant puffball and peel it. Then shred it on the large holes of a box grater.
Sauté the shredded puffball with some onion, salt, and a bit of butter until the liquid is evaporated out of it.
Then dump it into a bowl and mix it with frozen peas, parsley, and a bit of seasoning. Add an egg and a handful of sweet rice flour (or regular flour) to bind it all together.
An easy way to get equal-sized patties is to pat the mixture evenly into the bottom of the bowl, and cut it into wedges with a butter knife. Then you just scoop out one wedge and roll it into a ball. Flatten it into a patty and it's ready to roll.
Dredge the puffball patty in flour and fry it in butter until it's a crispy golden brown.
Now they're ready to serve - either plain or with your favourite dipping sauce. Try a ranch dip, or gravy, or marinara sauce. Tthey're great tucked into a burger bun with all the trimmings, or make the patties nugget-sized for a fun treat.
If you love mushrooms, you'll swoon over the delicate, earthy, mushroom flavour of the giant puffball. That tender, moist texture will have you licking your lips for more. These patties combine the softness of the puffball, the savoury herby flavour of the garlic, sage, and nutmeg, and the sweet pop of tiny green peas for a truly unique and enticing patty.
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What Else to do with your Giant Puffball?
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Kitchen Frau Notes: Sweet rice flour is a great binder. It's made from sticky rice (also called glutinous rice) and is completely gluten free. Its sticky nature helps hold foods together. It can be found in Asian food stores or aisles and goes by the names sticky rice flour, sweet rice flour, glutinous rice flour, and mochiko flour. If making these Puffball Patties for a regular (non-gluten-free crowd) you can substitute regular all purpose flour.
If you've got a huge puffball to deal with, shred it and cook 4-cup amounts with butter, salt, and onion, then cool that and put it into freezer baggies. Remove the air, seal, and freeze for up to 3 months. To use them, defrost and continue with the recipe for these Puffball Patties or make Puffball Fettuccine.
Puffball Patties - a Giant Puffball Mushroom Recipe
- 4 cups (300gms) coarsely shredded giant puffball
- 2 tablespoons butter + 2 tablespoons butter for frying the patties
- ½ medium onion, finely diced (½ cup)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (50gms) frozen tiny peas (petit pois or sweetlets)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 clove garlic, minced, grated, or pressed
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground sage
- ¼ cup (35gms) sweet rice flour (or regular flour for non-gluten-free) + another ¼ cup to roll the patties in
- 1 large egg
Peel and shred the puffball and set it aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes until translucent. Add the shredded puffball and salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the puffball is wilted and any liquid coming out of it is evaporated off. You don’t want the puffball to brown at all – just to stay white and get cooked. Transfer the cooked puffball to a mixing bowl.
Add the frozen peas and mix them in - this helps cool off the mixture (so it won't curdle the egg) and defrosts the peas.
Add the parsley, garlic, pepper, nutmeg, sage, ¼ cup sweet rice flour (or regular flour), and egg. Mix well with your hands, then pat the mixture evenly into the bottom of the bowl. To make 8 even portions, use a butter knife to cut the mixture into 8 wedges. Scoop out one wedge at a time and roll it into a ball. Flatten it into a thick patty, about 3 inches wide - some of the peas may try to escape, but gently push them back in. If you plan to use them as hamburger patties, flatten them a bit wider.
Put the remaining ¼ cup of sweet rice flour (or regular flour) into a shallow bowl. Roll each patty in the flour to coat all sides. Set them onto a plate, not touching each other.
Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Heat it over medium heat and fry the patties until crispy and golden brown on each side - 3 to 4 minutes per side. If they don't all fit in the skillet, fry them in two batches, dividing the butter between the batches.
Serve the patties with your favourite dipping sauce or pop them into hamburger buns and top with your favourite burger trimmings.
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