I decided in 2010 that I would learn how to deep fry properly. It’s a cooking technique that seemed too daunting to attempt, what with the hot oil and all. And… I was also silly and thought that deep-fried foods were bad for my health. Now I know better because I’ve discovered that deep-fried foods are very, very good for my soul. And so – we had a few deep-fried adventures. I made deep-fried Japanese chicken nuggets (Japanese food is all healthy, right?), deep-fried whole prawns in their shells (the shell becomes crunchy and so good to eat!), deep-fried fish (mouthwateringly fragrant, our whole family LOVE this).

 One of the things that kept me from deep-frying was that I’ve had to cook on an electric stove, and it’s somewhat more difficult to control the oil temperature with an electric stove. When it comes to deep-frying, having the oil at just the right temperature is paramount. If the oil is too hot then you’ll end up with charred on the outside, cold and uncooked on the inside. If it isn’t hot enough, then you’ll end up with soggy, oily food. I realised that I could get around the electric stove issue by using a camping gas stove, which I was able to use outside, just atop our barbecue. Deep frying outside makes sense because sometimes the oil will spit and you’ll end up with layer of oil on your cook top and other surfaces close by. 

I later discovered a way of deep-frying on my electric stove that works really well. The first time you do it, allow time to slowly heat up the oil until you have the right temp. Once you have the right temp, make a note of where the knob is turned to, and that’s where you’ll have to turn it to next time you want to deep dry. It will be quite quick then.

Just a few tips if you’re new to deep-frying. Try to get rid of all distractions so you can concentrate. To make sure the oil is at the correct temperature, pinch of a little piece of bread and drop into the oil. The bread should be golden brown in 15 seconds. This is a fairly reliable method, and I still use it every time I deep fry. Don’t overcrowd your pan or wok, as this will lower the oil temperature. I’ve also learned that if the food that I deep fry is quite dry, then the oil will spit far less, if any, at all.

 

Deep frying isn’t confined to savoury dishes – one night I decided to make churros for dessert They were wonderfully sweet and crisp on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside. And the combination of chocolate sauce and fresh pastry was eye-rollingly good. I gave myself plenty of pats on the back for having learned to deep fry, that night.

 You’ll find a good churros recipe here, with excellent tips for cooking : http://www.cooking-mexican-recipes.com/churro-recipe.html

This recipe makes a larger quantity and has an amazing recipe for the chocolate dipping sauce : http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/19450/churros+with+cinnamon+sugar+and+hot+chocolate

My own tip for making churros is to use a pair of kitchen scissors to snip the lengths of dough as you pipe and drop them into the hot oil. Enjoy!

 

 

 
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