Fried Mushrooms, Pearl Onions, and Garlic Cloves
Fried Mushrooms, Pearl Onions, and Garlic Cloves

From the left: Fried Pearl Onions, Garlic Cloves, and Button Mushrooms

Deep Fried VeggiesI’ve made these breaded and deep fried mushrooms several times in the last 6 months, and figured it was time to add them to the site. As I was preparing to bring them to a barbecue recently I ran across a bag of pearl onions I had purchased on discount. I hadn’t really made a plan for what to do with them, but they are just so cute and ‘romantic’ to me that I couldn’t resist the buy.

I quickly realized these would be perfect to serve along side the mushrooms, since I would already have the assembly line set up for breading, so I got work pealing. I’m not going to lie. It was time consuming. But I will tell you that this little labor of love was more than worth it, as this experimental recipe turned out FANTASTIC!

Hand Peeling Pearl Onions

Hand Peeling Pearl Onions Can be Tedious.


My mom says that you can blanch pearl onions quickly in boiling water and then, after they cool, you can simply slip them out of the outer layer. We both thought that this might be a little more wasteful of an extra onion layer on an already tiny little specimen, however, I totally understand if one is needing to get the job done faster.

Update: I have since learned that you can also buy them already peeled in the freezer section, and this would be perfect since you will be softening them through frying anyway.

Mushrooms, garlic, and pearl onionsAlong with this issue of peeing the pearl onions, I happened to glance at the jar of pickled garlic my brother-in-law gave me, (which I love to eat like chips, but have to be careful about eating, as I just REEK of garlic whenever I do!) and thought, ‘Hey! I bet deep fried garlic cloves would be REALLY good!’ So after pain painstakingly peeling all those tiny pearl onions I set to work peeling 2 whole heads of garlic cloves.

You know, this would have been perfectly fine, if I had not decided afterward to put my contacts in. Yes, folks, I cried like a little baby. NO amount of hand washing, peroxide, or rubbing with a spoon was going to get that off my fingers. And don’t even think you can use tweezers to get those suckers in. Nope. Just break down and put up with the sting. It will all be over soon enough…. I hope.

Deep Fried Garlic ClovesDeep Fried Pearl Onions

Well, I survived the tediousness of pee2ling the onions and garlic, and I survived the tear-gas experience of putting in my contacts after, and I am glad I did. Not only were the mushrooms a success, as I knew they would be, the experimental pearl onions and fried garlic cloves were a 100% triumph at our gathering as well.

Try all three, or pick the one that is your favorite, but with this tried and true process using cornstarch, egg, and flour/panko combo you can’t go wrong!

Fried Mushrooms, Pearl Onions, and Garlic Cloves

By: semiserious chefs
Serves: 6-8


  • 20 small white mushrooms, stems removed
  • 20 pearl onions, skinned
  • 20 cloves of garlic, skinned
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of cornstarch
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 4 cups of traditional panko
  • 1/2 T salt
  • 1/2 T pepper
  • 1 table spoon smoked paprika
  • Oil for deep frying – 360°F


  1. Mix the flour, panko, salt, pepper, and paprika in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Set up an assembly line where there is one bowl with cornstarch, then a bowl with the eggs beaten, and a plate with some of the flour panko mix.
  3. Using one hand as your ‘dry’ hand, and one hand as your ‘wet,’ first roll each item in the cornstarch then drop into the egg, (dry hand). Then roll to coat in the egg and drop into the flour/panko and roll to coat, (wet hand). Add more of the flour panko mix to the plate as it gets used up. Doing it this way keeps your ‘mass’ from getting clumped with excess egg.
  4. Gently drop the breaded pieces into the hot oil. Let fry for 2-3 minutes until the outside is gold, but not dark, working in batches until all pieces have been breaded and fried.
  5. Let drain on a drying rack over a sheet pan with paper towel below.
  6. Salt generously to taste and serve warm with your favorite sauce for dipping. I might suggest trying sauce gribiche, home made thousand island, Thai citrus coconut, or even just horseradish.

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