One can benefit greatly by living in close proximity to a keen forager with an eye for mushrooms. The mushroom season in Dunedin has been exceptionally good and boletus are plentiful should one know where to look for them.  Mushroomers may share their haul, but will never, ever tell where their mushrooms are found! Our generous benefactors have shared their bounty with us and some of the most thrilling mushrooms, the puffballs, grow right here in their garden!

Recipe for fried puffball mushroom

1 Good sized puffball, firm and pure white right through when sliced. The inside has a marshmallow like texture

2 to 3 Eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup dried breadcrumbs with a pinch of salt and pepper added and mixed in

Use a cast iron or heavy based pan big enough to fry the mushroom slices in 2 ot 3 batches

Enough pork fat or vegetable oil to come up to about 2.5 ml up the side of the pan. Apart from the great taste, pork fat can be heated to a very high temperature, ideal for frying

I have written about puffballs before, and this one was prepared by again slicing it into ‘steaks’ about 15 mm thick, dipped in egg wash and coated in dried breadcrumbs. This time the slices were fried until golden in pork fat, processed in our kitchen from a delicious home grown porker. I highly recommend frying in pork fat but those that fear animal fat can use vegetable oil. We ate the mushroom, dressed with a few drop of fresh lemon juice and ground black pepper, for dinner along with fresh tomatoes that ripened in Dunedin’s first hot summer since we moved here. The tiny lemons are from the tiny tree planted in our front garden 2 seasons ago.

Only flour for making the bread to produce crumbs and salt and pepper were purchased to produce this lovely meal.


2 thoughts on “Puffball

  1. Hi, I’m from England but have been living in NZ for about a decade now.

    One of the things I miss about England was puff ball mushrooms. They are my absolute FAVOURITE mushrooms, but I’ve been advised that the ones in NZ are not the same and are poisonous! 😦

    You would be doing me a huge favour if you could point me to a seller / grower of these mushrooms, or perhaps if you have some spores, I could buy them from you? 🙂

    Incidentally, my favourite recipe with puff ball mushrooms is to eat them fried in butter. Basic, I know, but they’re full of flavour and can hold their own without needing anything else 🙂

    Cheers for the article and happy eating!

    • Thanks for the enquiry. There is nowhere in New Zealand that you will find Puff balls for sale – the culinary sophistication is just not there. I have been eating these every year for the past five years I have been in NZ and am still around, hence it cannot be that poisonous. I agree with you about the flavour. I am just fortunate that they are growing where I live and nobody else would even contemplate eating these. The season is over now and spores would only be available next season. Keep in contact around February next year.

      Have a nice day

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