Crispy Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms with Marinara and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Feathery and dramatic, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms (also known as maitake) become delightfully crispy when fried. You know they are nearly ready when the sizzling oil starts to subside. Here, prepared marinara and freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese give these crispy mushrooms Italian-American flair.

crispy hen-of-the-woods mushrooms with marinara and parmigiana-reggiano
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 2 cup marinara sauce

  • Canola oil 

  • 1 ¼ pound fresh whole hen-of-the-woods (maitake) mushroom heads (about 4 heads)

  • Kosher salt, to taste 

  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving 

  • Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish 

  • Lemon wedges, for serving 


  1. Heat marinara in a medium saucepan over medium, stirring occasionally, until hot, about 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm over very low.

  2. Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches in a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven; heat over medium-high until oil reaches 350°F. Working in batches if needed, fry mushrooms in hot oil, carefully turning occasionally, until just crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Trim off tough ends; season with salt to taste.

  3. Spoon marinara onto plates or a platter, and top with mushrooms. Generously sprinkle with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and garnish with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.


Find hen-of-the-woods mushrooms at specialty and Asian grocery stores or online at

Suggested Pairing

Earthy, berry-forward Chianti: Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico

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