UnChicken Fried Portabella

So if actual chicken fried steak doesn't have chicken in it- could I "unchicken" fry a portabella mushroom for Meatless Monday? This was the question I set out to answer. And the answer was a resounding yes. My carnivorous husband declared, "This is really good." 

I don't usually buy portabellas because they tend to run a little pricey, but I love mushrooms. One downside of grocery shopping during the Superbowl was that the store was out of regular mushrooms from pre-Superbowl appetizer shopping. With the way this came out I'll be buying portabellas again soon and I'll get two meals and leftovers out of the 3 I purchased.

UnChicken Fried Portabellas with Buttermilk Whipped Potatoes
(serves 4)

3 portabella mushroom caps
5 medium potatoes
4 TBS butter (split into 3 TBS & 1 TBS)
1 1/3 cup flour (split into 1 cup & 1/3 cup)
3 cups milk (split into 1 cup & 2 cups)
1 egg
1 tsp Frank's Hot Sauce
1 tsp paprika
4 tsp pepper (split into 1 tsp, 1 tsp & 2 tsp)
3 tsp salt (split into 1 tsp, 1 tsp & 1 tsp)
4- 8 TBS oil
1/3 cup buttermilk

1. Peel & slice potatoes into large chunks. Start them boiling in a pot of water. Set oven to 300.

2. Slice 2 "steaks"off the top of each of the portabellas.

I chopped up the leftover bottom parts of the portabellas and am marinating them in balsamic vinegar for tomorrow nights burger topping. 

3. Set up your flour & milk/egg station for breading. Place 1 cup of flour on a plate.

Mix in paprika, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper.

Beat the egg and add 1 cup of milk to it. I add 1 tsp of Frank's Hot Sauce just to give it a little kick. 

4. Start a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet over low so that it heats up slowly.

5. Time to bread the slices. You want to repeat this process on each slice so that they've been breaded twice. So once in the milk mixture, flipping to get both sides. 

Once in the flour, flipping to get both sides. You can also use your fingers to spread some flour over the caps if it's easier.

Then repeat. One more quick bath in the milk mixture and another dunk in the flour.

Put them into the pan of oil and turn it to medium low. 

Flip once so that they get golden brown and crispy on each side and then remove them to a baking sheet.  Put the pan into the oven so that the portabellas stay warm and cook all the way through the middle. 

Repeat until all 6 slices are cooked. 

6. Turn off the potatoes. They should be completely cooked. Drain the water and dump the potatoes into a food processor with the blade on. Add 1/3 cup buttermilk, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and 1 TBS butter and puree until smooth. Shut it off but leave the cover on so that they stay warm. I also turn off the oven at this point so that the mushrooms don't overcook. 

7. Time to make the gravy. You can't have something "chicken" fried if there's no white gravy on it! Give the pan you cooked the mushrooms in a quick rinse and melt 3 TBS butter in it. Once it's melted add 1/3 cup flour. 

Whisk away so that it clumps a little bit. Once it starts browning slowly add 2 cups of milk while continuing to whisk. Continuously whisking will help keep your gravy from getting lumpy. If it does lump up on you just give it a quick mix with some electric beaters after taking it off the heat.

Stir until thick and bubbly. Add 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp pepper and mix in. Adjust to taste.

Time to eat! Enjoy this "steak" of the veggie world. 

See it even looks like a chicken fried steak when you cut in!


  1. Made this for dinner tonight, loved it!!! I'm vegan so I left out the egg and used plain soy milk when I coated the "steaks". Those were the only changes I made. The gravy topped it all off. Thanks for the recipe!! Jeana

  2. So glad you liked it! My carnivorous husband thought these were hearty and delicious. I try to create recipes that can be adapted fairly easily for vegan/vegetarian lifestyles. - Naz