Afraid that deep-fat frying will leave you
with soggy tempura, singed fish, burnt crispy pata or, worse, blistered hands? Here are some deep fat-frying
tips to make this specialized cooking style easy and safe.
Before frying, make sure the fryer and all utensils you
intend to use are wiped clean and bone-dry. Water droplets aggravate splatters.
Using ice-cold batter on food makes it extra crisp. (Simply
put ice cubes in the batter or pop it in the freezer before cooking.) Batter-coated food
should be air-dried first for 30 minutes to reduce splattering when it hits the hot oil.
The pot of deep-fat-frying should be deep enough to allow
for bubbling and spattering, otherwise oil splatters will find its way on your hands or
stove (or oven) top. Protect first yourself with a wire mesh designed to fit over the
cooking container, and then your stove burners.
The oil's temperature makes or breaks what you're
deep-frying. Sliced potatoes, meat, small whole fish and other fleshy food stuff's should
be deep-fried in moderately hot oil. If fried in oil that's too hot, the food's surface
will burn even before the inside gets a chance to be cooked.
On the other hand, foodstuff dipped in egg, breadcrumbs or
batter need instant "sealing" so it is best to use very hot fat to immediately
fry the coating. Pre-cooked food such as croquettes, and smaller food slices will
deliciously crisp in very hot oil.
To check if the fat's hot enough for frying, test the heat
by sprinkling little drops of water into it. If the sound is sharp and high, then the oil
is ready. Other signs are small ripples on the surface or a strong characteristics smell.
You can also use the bread method---drop a cube of white bread into the oil, and if it
browns uniformly in 60 seconds, the oil is moderately hot (a cook's thermometer should
read a temperature of around 350 °F to 365 °F); 40 seconds, oil is very hot (temperature
around 365 °F to 382 °F) and 20 seconds, oil is extremely hot (temperature around 382
°F to 390 °F).
Never throw food to oil. Slip it instead into the pan to
Deep fry in small quantities, large chunks of food
dramatically reduce the oil's temperature. When fat is not hot enough, it cannot
immediately seal the surface of what's cooking. Therefore, food turns soggy and taste like
grease. Likewise, food will just soak and turn droopy in too little oil. Don’t scrimp
on fat for deep-frying ---food must be completely submerged if you really want it golden
Aside from corn oil, other types of oil best for frying are
canola, corn, peanut, safflower and soy. (Olive oil, because of it's distinct flavor and
aroma, is suitable for frying fish, fritters and croquettes --food that requires short
exposure to heat-but not for deep-fat frying. It develops an acrid taste when heated for a
Recycle's the word; don’t throw away used frying oil.
Unless it has been used previously to fry fish, oil can be stashed in the fridge and be
used for deep-fat frying (so you don't have to consume a whole container of fresh oil
everytime). Remove food particles by straining it through a coffee filter or a
double-layer of cheesecloth.
If you're cooking tempura, fry veggies first before the
shrimps since these don't leave a distinct smell in the fat. Use fresh or little -used
The secret for crispy-licious french fries is through
double-drying--lightly fry potato slices then set aside. After it has cooled off, deep fry
to a golden brown.
If the thought of used-oil odor and stale aftertastes turn
you off, "refresh" oil by frying a raw potato or a handful of parsley for about
10 minutes before frying your main meal.
In case you do burn yourself, apply ice cube immediately to
cool off the heat and seal it off from oxygen (the main culprit for the pan). Follow with
a burn ointment, or in the absence of one, dab of toothpaste will suffice. More serious
burns should be referred to a doctor.
Drain your deep-fried food in paper towels to absorb extra
oil and cut down on unwanted fat.