I feel very guilty whenever I serve and eat fried foods. For this reason, I have looked into investing in an air-fryer and have sought out recipes that bake instead of fry.
Having said that, some recipes just can’t be made without deep frying. Sometimes you have to live a little.
Here are some tips for frying that minimize smoking of oil and fat absorption by food. I got some of these tips from the www.npr.org website “The Science Secrets To The Double Fry”.
To ensure the crispiness of deep-fried foods, such as french fries, chicken, samosas, and pakodas, you should fry them twice. The reason being, when you fry food, you are dehydrating it. However, when food is dense or thick, the water vapor trapped in the center of the food rises to the surface as it cools resulting in a soggy crust.
Let the fried food to cool slightly to allow the water to condense onto the outer surface before frying again. The second frying will drive off the surface water and crisp up the outside. The second frying requires less time. The resulting dish will have a lovely golden color and a crispy exterior.
Tips for Deep Frying:
- Use a wok or a deep straight-sided pot with a small diameter, i.e. a 5-quart cast iron pot is a good choice;
- Use an oil with a high smoking point like peanut oil, sunflower oil, canola oil or ghee (I reserve the ghee for fried desserts);
- The level of the food should not be higher than the level of the oil;
- The level of the oil in the pan should be around 2 1/2-3 inches deep;
- Heat the oil gradually. Do not let it smoke;
- Set fried food directly on paper towels as this allows the surface oil on the food to be absorbed immediately;
- Use metal tongs or a slotted metal spoon to remove fried foods from the pan;
- The first fry at 350F is for cooking the food through. This will be a longer frying time. Frying time will vary depending on the thickness of the food. The food should be light in color after the first frying. You may need to reduce the heat after the first 5 minutes to prevent over-browning.
- Remove the food and place it on a paper towel-lined tray. The fat from fried food gets reabsorbed into the food within seconds of coming out of the frier. To avoid this, quickly mop up the surface of the food with paper towels after setting it down on the tray.
- The second frying is at 375F and for a shorter time. Once the food has had sufficient time to cook through and is light golden brown, remove it from the frying pan and set it on a paper towel-lined tray before serving.
Written by Anju Kapur of Anju’s Table. All content and images on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without my permission. Should you wish to share this recipe on your site, please add a link to this post as the source.