Eat Fried Food – The Right Way
Ok a nutritionist should not be encouraging anyone to eat fried food – right? Well, it so happens that if you do it right, you don’t have to worry about indulging in a little fried food for the soul once in a while.
I have to say, I’m a sucker for crispy food. And you can do this in a healthful way. The best way is to make it at home following these steps.
Use the right oil
Different oils have a variety of smoke points. Check out this list.
So it will be wise to use a thermometer when frying. When you heat an oil beyond its smoke point, you damage the oil, then you damage your food, and contribute to damaging your body. Also, the manufacturing process can damage the oil as well. You’ll find super high heat processing in cheaper oils like vegetable oil, corn oil and canola oil. This is what many restaurants use. So not good!
Check out this very informative blog post about oils – what you should know about healthy cooking with oils and the best oils to consume.
Make sure the oil is hot enough
This is one of the main reasons why fried foods soak up a lot of oil. Follow recipe instructions for temp – between 300 and 400 degrees. Again, use a thermometer to achieve the best results because too high of a temp will mean burnt on the outside and a not cooked on the inside.
Don’t overcrowd your pan
Or you’ll get soggy food and absorb way too much oil. Overcrowding your pan will lower the temperature too much. Leave enough room and fry in batches. And make sure you pat dry food before putting it into the hot oil. This is why fried chicken is coated with flour. It needs to be dry.
Don’t turn your food over too quickly
Follow recipes as stated. Or your breading can be left in the pan.
Crispy Oven Frying
This is my choice for “frying”. It’s less messy and you get a wonderful crisp without using so much oil. It’s just much easier and you can do bigger batches at one time. I lightly spray the pan with high-heat oil and spray the top of the food also. When I want to get a crispy result in the oven, I crank the heat up to 425-450 degrees and do quick, high heat cooking. Quick is key with high temp roasting or oven” frying” so food doesn’t burn and the result is crispy heaven. Here you would have to use oil that is stable at this temp. I use a “breading” technique to get the crisp I want in the oven. Check out my recipe for zucchini “fries” and crispy chicken nuggets.
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- Heat three inches of high heat oil in a deep-fryer or cast iron skillet – bring temp to 350° (remember to use a thermometer).
- Mix 1/2 cup flour or gluten free substitute – I use tapioca starch – and 2 beaten egg yolks, and one cup of seltzer water – lumps are ok. Don’t over-mix.
- Dredge the cut up vegetables and/or shrimp (about 20 pieces or so) in flour or starch, and then in the wet batter, drip off excess and immediately put in the oil. You can cook about 7 pieces at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Cook 1 to 2 minutes only. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately, with ginger dipping sauce.
Ginger Dipping Sauce:
1/4 inch of ginger root (peeled)
1 clove garlic
1 TBSP honey
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
pinch of red chili flakes
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
Be blessed in whole health.