Andy Baraghani's crispy mushrooms with soy butter are autumn on a plate

An easy technique makes mushrooms your dinnertime secret weapon

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published October 6, 2022 2:00PM (EDT)

Crispy Mushrooms (Mary Elizabeth Williams)
Crispy Mushrooms (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

In "Quick & Dirty," Salon Food's Mary Elizabeth Williams serves up simplified recipes and shortcuts for exhausted cooks just like you — because quick and dirty should still be delicious.

I had started the day at an academic conference in Belgium and capped it with a grueling class in the Netherlands. Now, it was nearing 9pm, and I was exhausted, famished and frankly, moody. As I trudged through the early autumn darkness to my temporary lodgings, I longed for a meal that would be simultaneously soothing and fortifying. I longed for . . . mushrooms.

From the moment I first tore into Andy Baraghani's brilliant "The Cook You Want to Be" last spring, I knew it would become one of my favorite cookbooks. It's everything a keeper cookbook should be. Baraghani's recipes are approachable, adaptable and, to use one of his own words, mighty. Long on flavor, short on fuss, these are dishes feature all my favorite flavor profiles — buttery things, tangy things, slightly burned things. And Baraghani's crispy mushrooms, cooked down until they are their richest, most umami selves and then enhanced with the sharpness of garlic and the unctuousness of egg yolk, are the culinary equivalent of a crackling fireplace.

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For a bright fall brunch or a just starting to get chilly evening, these mushrooms will do right by you, in about 15 minutes flat. Their one magic trick that makes them perfect is, Baraghani explains, is to "just let them be." Don't stir them around, don't be impatient with them. Just let them cook; let their flavor deepen and deepen. And then be happy that at the end of a brisk, busy day, there's a meal that asks you to do less, rather than more. By the time I'd all but licked my own plate of yolk slicked shiitakes and creminis clean, I felt more comforted and civilized than I had been in at least two Flemish regions.

Serve these mushrooms with good bread and a leafy salad, if you want to round it out, or eat just as is, if you want to go easy on yourself.

* * *

Inspired by "The Cook You Want to Be: Everyday Recipes to Impress" by Andy Baraghani

Crispy soy butter mushrooms and egg yolks
2 servings
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes


  • 1 1⁄2 pounds mixed mushrooms 
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons of sherry or red wine vinegar, or 1/4 of a lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped chives
  • 2 egg yolks
  • salt and pepper, to taste



  1. With a kitchen towel or paper towel, wipe the mushrooms of dirt and cut off any woody ends. Cut any caps into even slices.
  2. Set a skillet or cast iron pan over medium high flame and heat your oil. Let it get good and hot.
  3. Add your mushrooms, and stir to coat. Give a grind of salt and pepper and let them cook undisturbed about 3 - 4 minutes to brown.
  4. Flip the mushrooms to cook on all sides, another 7 or so minutes. Add a little more oil if needed. 
  5. Lower the heat a little and add the butter, garlic and soy sauce and stir everything together for just another minute. Add the splash of vinegar or squeeze of lemon and stir again. You'll probably want to grind on a little more pepper.
  6. Spoon the mushrooms on to a plate, and nestle your egg yolks in their midst to make a luxurious, runny sauce. Top with a spinkle of herbs. Enjoy immediately.

Cook's Notes

I substituted some fresh thyme and sage in my mushrooms for an early autumn vibe.

Baraghani says you needn't be concerned about the yolks because salmonella is usually found in shells, not the eggs, but if you have any concerns, omit them or cook them gently in the pan before serving.

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By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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