In this technique, foods are cooked by being
completely submerged in hot fat. The food is almost always given a coating
- a standard breading, a batter such as a tempura or beer batter or, in
some instances, simply a flour coating. The coating acts as a barrier
between the fat and the product and also contributes flavor and texture
contrast. One notable exception is potatoes.
As with the other dry-heat methods that use
cooking fats and oils, the foods must be naturally tender and of a shape
and size that allow them to cook quickly without becoming tough or dry.
Poultry, fish and potatoes are among the most commonly selected foods for
deep-frying. Vegetables, coated with breading or a tempura batter, are
also popular choices.
The correct way to deep fry is to assemble
all ingredients and preparations for deep frying -
Batter, breading, coatings (optional)
Item being prepared
Separately prepared sauce
Cut the item into the appropriate size.
Foods should be fairly thin, with a uniform size and shape so that they
can cook rapidly and evenly. Remove the skin (especially from fish), as
desired or as indicated in the recipe. Remove any gristle, fat or any
inedible shells. Cut the food into chunks or fingers, or butterfly and
pound it, depending upon the food's nature and the desired result.
Breading may be done up to one hour in
advance of deep-frying and chilled to allow the breading to firm. Batters
or plain flour coatings should be applied immediately before cooking. The
cooking medium must be able to reach a high temperature without smoking or
breaking down. Have available a neutral-flavored oil with a high smoking
point. A rendered fat, such as lard, may be used to create a special
flavor or effect, as in certain regional dishes.
In addition to the usual salt-and-pepper
seasoning mixture, spice blends, marinades, stuffing or fillings are also
commonly used to add interest to fried foods.