This spicy cumin lion’s mane mushrooms recipe has a very unique tasty blend – cumin and chili. This dish is inspired by the Spicy Cumin Lamb and the recipe is adapted from 老饭骨.
As you may have known, I am a mushroom lover! Because of how the texture resembles meat, It’s one of the many ingredients used as a meat substitute in many traditional dishes. When I first tasted lion’s mane mushroom, it was in satay and rendang at a vegetarian restaurant in Malaysia. The mushroom texture is like meat with a fiber-like mouthfeel. I remember I had to confirm with the store owner that it was indeed mushrooms after I took the first bite.
We call this monkey head mushroom back at home, which is a direct translation of 猴头菇 (Hóu tóu gū). It’s also known as lion’s mane, bearded tooth, and yamabushitake. Most came in dried form that you need to rehydrate before use. I fell in love with the fresh taste of this mushroom in an herbal soup that I’ve tried a few years ago at Moon Garden. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I spotted this fresh mushroom at HMart and WholeFoods Market.
How to make Spicy Cumin Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Step 1: Prepare the mushrooms
Since fresh lion’s manes mushrooms are used, you don’t need a lot of prep work. Simply clean the ‘mane’ with a brush, then, cut off the tough part from the stem, if any. I didn’t find any tough part on mine. Using your finger, tear apart the mushrooms into large bite-sized pieces. Note: Try to keep them in large pieces (like my video) so you’ll be able to put them in skewer after you boil and marinate.
Bring a pot of water to boil and season with sugar. Cook mushrooms for about 3-5 minutes until they turn slightly tender.
Drain out the water and let cool. Using both of your palms, gently squeeze out the water and set it aside.
Step 2: Season
Prepare a thin batter. This acts as a binder and helps create that crispy outer layer when cooked.
Next, add cumin seeds, cumin and chili powder, salt, and sesame seeds into the prepared mushrooms bowl. Use your fingers to rub the seasoning into the mushrooms.
Now, pour in the batter and evenly coat each mushroom piece.
Step 3: Cook the Lion’s Mane mushrooms and serve
Skew a few pieces of mushrooms on a bamboo stick.
Squeeze them gently so mushrooms stick to the bamboo (see picture)
Heat a large iron or non-stick skillet with a thin layer of oil over medium heat.
Place skewer in, slightly apart. Cook each side until a thin crispy crust is seen, then flip (please use a pair of tongs).
Continue to cook until the mushrooms are golden brown all over, about 3-5 minutes total. The time needed solely depends on how large the pieces are. The larger the pieces, the longer it takes to brown and fully cooked through.
Serve hot with some extra cumin and chili powder mix or a drizzle of my homemade chili oil with sediment.
Spicy Cumin Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Cooking Tips
- Don’t over boil the mushrooms or it will turn mushy. Boil until it’s slightly tender. You’ll have another chance to cook them later.
- When I insert the mushrooms into the skewer, I fold the large piece into half so it secures better on the stick
- To create a nice layer for pan-frying, I gently squeeze the mushrooms pieces after I insert them into the stick.
This Spicy Cumin Lion’s Mane Mushrooms is
- Inspired by the spicy cumin lamb and this recipe by
- Use gluten-free flour as a no wheat option
- Perfect appetizers or finger food
- TASTY and EASY!
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Spicy Cumin Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
- 16 oz fresh lion’s mane mushrooms
- cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons water
- ½ tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder plus extra for topping
- 1 tablespoon chili powder plus extra for topping
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon salt plus extra for topping
- ½ teaspoon mushrooms seasoning
- Gently clean mushrooms with a brush, then cut off any tough parts from the stems, if any. Next, use your fingers to tear mushrooms into larger than bite-sized pieces.
- Fill a large pot or pan with water (about 6-8 cups depending on the pan size) and bring it to a boil. Then, add ½ teaspoon of sugar into the hot water.
- Add mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes until slightly tender. Cooking time may be shorter for smaller mushrooms pieces.
- Drain out the water. Once cooled, using your palms, gently squeeze mushrooms to remove all the liquid and transfer to a bowl.
- Meanwhile, whisk together flour and water into a thin paste, set aside.
- Rub mushrooms with cumin seeds, cumin powder, chili powder, salt, and mushrooms seasoning until all mushrooms are coated. [Increase the salt if you plan to serve this as-is]
- Add the batter and sesame seeds, then use your fingers to coat the mushrooms until well combined.
- Thread a few pieces of mushrooms (about 4) onto the skewer. Repeat until all mushrooms are done. (I got about 9 skewers)
- Set a large shallow pan (big enough to fit the skewer) over medium-low heat. Cover the bottom with a thin layer of oil (see video or picture above for reference).
- Carefully lower the skewer onto the hot oil.
- Cook until all sides turn golden brown and a thin crust forms, turning occasionally. Please make sure to maintain a light sizzle over medium-low heat and fully cook through the mushrooms.
- To prepare another spice mix for topping, combine 1 tablespoon of cumin powder and chili powder with ¼ teaspoon of salt.
- Sprinkle onto the cooked mushrooms before serving. Alternatively, serve the skewers with chili oil and sediment for a spicier kick.
- Chili powder – I used Sichuan chili powder.