Deep fryers were not invented to gross people out and edge them closer to coming down with a heart attack. Deep fryers are there to sizzle delicious foods to yet another level of flavor and crispness and perfection.
So if you are tired of seeing your local state fair rendition of the weirdest fried food (aka deep fried bubblegum), read on. Because this list of 20 foods is compiled not to make your stomach turn and your jaw drop, but rather to revive in us all the spirit of the deep fryer. Which ultimately, is good food. A little oily, a whole lot of crispy, and definitely not designed to be across-the-board nauseating.
There are of course some foods that once deep fried are going to either titillate the senses and appeal to some, or turn other people off completely. Whether or not a legitimately designed-to-be-delicious, deep fried food appeals to a person, is a matter of taste and what one is used to. But we promise, we are staying away from deep fried for the purpose of creating something gross and unappealing, and exploring some foods which can be amazing, deep fried.
Hey, and guess what? If you browse through this list, and find that you know about the deep frying of each of these food items - you are a hardcore foodie!
20 Ice Cream
At first consideration, deep fried ice cream might sound gross. But it is actually an upmarket, unusual and delectable dessert, especially if you are an ice cream lover.
A well made, deep fried ice cream ball is crispy on the outside, with a layer of creamy ice cream which has melted underneath, and a cold firm center. A real stimulus to the senses!
A traditional way to achieve this is to roll a very well frozen and deeply cold ball of ice cream in a chopped nut mix, then refreeze the ball. After which the ice cream ball is deep fried briefly in very hot oil. And voile! A deep fried ice cream ball dessert.
Deep fried flowers? Yup. A classic deep fried flower is the courgette or zucchini flower. Deep fried courgette flowers are a traditional Mediterranean dish, which basically guarantees them to be delicious. The way to make deep fried courgette flowers is pretty similar to the way one cooks a lot of deep fried foods. The flowers are coated in a batter, and like the ice cream balls, deep fried in very hot oil for a short period of time. They can also be stuffed for extra delicious.
While courgette and squash flowers are the most popular options when it comes to deep frying, there are other flowers that one can do this with too. Such as roses (!), dandelion flowers, and elder-flowers.
You may have seen deep fried avocado hitting a trend, and there is a good reason for this. It is delicious. Typically, avocado does not taste good cooked. However deep fried avocado, if done right, can be very tasty.
The way to achieve deep fried avocado perfection is to either slice it and coat in a layer of batter, or to turn it into guacamole balls, coat in batter, and deep fry those. It is very important that the batter is not coated on too thickly, as it must only form a crispy layer. You do not want a thick batter exterior which is chewy, oily and soggy. This does not go well with the soft and mushy avocado interior.
17 Bow Tie Pasta
One of the world’s biggest mysteries could possibly be why we are not all eating deep fried bow tie pasta on the daily. True, as a meal, it may sound a bit like a grease bomb, but as a snack, deep fried bow tie pasta could rival many a chip, nut, cracker or bread stick.
Let’s quickly get into detail on why bow tie pasta and the deep fryer are a co-creative relationship waiting to happen. Because pasta is a dense starch, it can be deep fried without it soaking up bucket loads of oil and turning into a grease oozing mess. The result is crisped little bow ties which have a satisfying crunch, that you can flavor up and down to snack town heaven. You can also do this successfully with penne!
Calling all olive afficionados. Yes, you can now deep fry your olives. And this is not some weird thing that only compulsive olive eaters do. Reputable places like BBC Good Food and The Food Network have done recipes for this. Deep fried olives have got class guys!
As with deep fried avocado, the trick to delectable deep fried olives is in creating a thin and crispy layer of batter on the exterior. Too thick a batter layer, and the olives will have a mushy mouth feel.
A good idea when deep frying olives is to stuff them. This creates an extra element, and also fills up the interior of pitted olives, which is a place where excess oil can collect.
Deep fried bacon is not a too far a step from extra crispy bacon you may find in a typical breakfast. Deep frying the bacon ensures that it is super crispy, and hard to the point that it can shatter, which will please the well done bacon crowd.
This lends it to being broken into pieces that one can use to level up things like wraps, salads, sandwiches, and just about anything you might want to put bacon on. A key point to consider when deep frying bacon is keep an eye on the cook time. Bacon which is deep fried for too long can blacken, and then you have taken things to far.
Besides simply deep frying plain bacon, you can also dip your bacon strips into batter, and then deep fry them.
14 Feta Cheese
Most people with half an appetite will know about deep fried halloumi cheese. But did you know that one can also deep fry feta cheese?! And it is pretty easy too. All you need to do, is roll cubes of feta cheese in flour, egg and bread crumbs, and deep fry for a hot moment.
The result should be a crispy crunchy exterior, with a hot, salty creamy, yet firm, interior. Feta cheese is almost impervious to melting, which actually makes it great for deep frying. Because this prevents the cheese from taking on a snot like texture, and running everywhere when one takes a bite.
13 Soft Boiled Eggs
This is another one of those foods which sound like they won’t be very good deep fried. Isn’t the whole point of boiled eggs, not to fry them?
Let’s explain the attraction of a deep fried soft boiled egg. The idea is to create a crispy outer layer of bread crumbs around the soft boiled egg. This adds texture and flavor, while the egg center retains all the delights of a soft boiled egg.
A deep fried soft boiled egg, with a crusty crumbed exterior is sure to impress. It looks complicated and sophisticated, but is super easy to do. All that is required is to roll soft boiled eggs in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs, and deep fry briefly. And if you really want to take things to another level, wrap a strip of bacon around the egg!
Yes, you can deep fry pickles. And yes, they are good! Acids and oil are a much loved way to balance flavors (think salt and vinegar chips and crisps). Deep fried pickles have this flavor play going on for them in a big way.
The method to going about deep frying pickles is to coat them in a batter, and then simply deep fry until the batter is cooked. You can also coat them in flower, egg and then bread crumbs for an even crunchier end result. You probably don’t want to go deep frying the pickles without a batter or bread crumb coating, as this will probably just result in oily, limp, hot pickles.
Bananas are probably one of the best food items to grace a deep fryer. They really lend themselves to being fried, and doing so takes a pretty commonplace fruit and elevates it to full on dessert status.
There are a couple ways that you can choose from when it comes to deep frying banana. The easiest and simplest way is to fry banana in lots of oil in a pan until it develops a beautiful brown caramelization in places. The second is to coat banana in batter and deep fry until the batter is cooked. The third is to create banana fritters, and deep fry those.
All delicious, and all dessert worthy.
Mushrooms tend to soak up a lot of oil when fried, so deep frying them is not everybody's first idea when it comes to cooking mushrooms.
However, there are two compelling points in the argument that mushrooms totally can, and should, be deep fried. Firstly, mushrooms will absorb oil whether you shallow fry them or deep fry. Second, thanks to the high level of heat present, deep frying can create a sealed outer layer, which can stop the interior of the mushrooms from becoming overly oily.
The way to achieve this of course is to coat the mushrooms in breadcrumbs or batter, to protect the mushroom from absorbing excess oil. If you have a good batter or bread crumb going on, you should land up with the perfect deep fried mushroom.
Deep fried anchovies? How can that in any way be good. Well in so many ways in fact, that deep fried anchovies are one of the most popular snacks foods in Spain. To the point where some tapas bars in Spain specialize in serving only deep fried anchovies. This sounds suspiciously like a snack that one needs to try on the double!
The method, like with all deep fried fare, is simple. Roll whole anchovies, or anchovy fillets in flour and seasoning and deep fry them until the outsides are golden brown.
A key part of the process is to consume them accompanied by very cold beer.
Want a quick, unusual strawberry centric dessert? Deep fried strawberries may be your answer. The sweet tartness of strawberries makes a great contrast when paired with sweet, doughy, fried items (like pancakes, crepes and waffles). So, deep frying strawberries in a thick batter coating is just the next logical step.
The key is to get the batter nice and thick, so that it develops a crunchy outer layer and and softer inner layer of batter, with the tart and juicy strawberry hidden in the center.
If you want to kick it up a notch, you can add cocoa powder to your batter to achievement the ultimate in dessert flavor combos, chocolate and strawberry.
Before you think we are pushing the boundaries on what can be deep fried and legitimately delicious, hear us out. Deep fried papaya is actually an authentic component of a traditional dish from Asia. Which is called Som Tum Tod. Som Tum Tod, is a salad, made from deep fried, green papaya. It is a deep fried version of the traditional dish of green papaya salad, and has a tempura vibe to it.
The basic method to deep frying green papaya is super simple, and easily done, as long as you have tapioca starch. All you gotta do is coat grated green papaya in tapioca starch, and… deep fry. There are other components to a Som Tum Tod, but this is the basic technique for creating the tempura style green papaya.
6 Bok Choy
Heard of kale chips? Who hasn’t! Well, deep fried bok choy is a very similar snack situation. While deep fried kale has recently run through healthy eating circles like wildfire, deep fried bok choy (and spring cabbage) has been served for a long time in Chinese style restaurants. Interestingly, it is commonly called ‘Chinese Seaweed’. But it is not seaweed, it is either bok choy, spring cabbage or other spring greens, which have been deep fried to be crispy and crunchy, and similar to dried seaweed.
To make your own deep fried bok choy / ‘Chinese seaweed’ / bok choy chips, just cut out the ribs, deep fry the leaves until crackly, and season with salt or other seasoning ingredients.
Like penne pasta, ravioli lends itself admirably to deep frying. However with ravioli, you can go an extra mile, and create an even crispier, more off the hook, deep fried snack.
Here is how you do it. Taking either fresh or defrosted ravioli, dip the little packets of deliciousness in flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs. You can even go back and forth between the egg wash and crumbs a few times, to build up a thicker layer of crumb. Once this is done, deep fry the coated ravioli, and you will have a crispy ravioli hors d'oeuvre, very similar to what Olive Garden sells as one of their appetizers!
Watermelon is another fruit which has been seeing the inside of a fryer or pan in recent times. It is also one of those, either you hate it or you love it fried items. Once again, the technique is to coat watermelon slices in a thick batter, and then deep fry them until the outside is crispy golden.
Where most people get caught with deep fried watermelon, is that it no longer has the signature cold and crunchy inside that one anticipates with watermelon. But if you clear that expectation out, and expect the watermelon to be warm and softened, deep fried watermelon can be a finger food or delicious dessert.
3 Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a notoriously not-delicious food item. They tend to have a unpleasant smell and many people don’t like them. However they are not inherently stinky. The reason why Brussels sprouts can taste bad, is they are usually overcooked. Brussels sprouts contain a health boosting sulfur based compound called glucosinolate. When cooked to long, this compound releases, and makes Brussels sprouts smell similar to rotten eggs.
So, to make Brussels sprouts delicious, and not stinky, just cook them quicker. And what better way to do this than deep frying?
If you want to try this, make sure that your oil is good and hot, and aim to flash fry the Brussels sprouts to keep them fresh tasting. Deep fried Brussels sprouts are typically served as a hors d'oeuvre.
Sushi is another delicious food item which can be deep fried. Sushi joints often do this, by taking a standard California roll on their menu, rolling it in tempura batter and deep frying it to get a crispy outer exterior.
If you want to try this, the trick to getting something delicious, that is not dripping in oil, is to use a good tempura batter recipe, the called for ingredients, and hot oil.
The 'proper' term for this is, tempura sushi. Now, tempura sushi, is not technically sushi, as authentic sushi is not deep fried. However, most sushi rolls are not even traditional sushi, if one want to get real technical and painful, so let’s just leave deep fried sushi, as tempura sushi.
In this instance we are now talking about deep frying actual seaweed, not deep fried spring greens to make what is called ‘seaweed’.
Deep fried seaweed may sound inedible, but it is actually a flavorful, nutritious and useful item which can be used in a lot of dishes. The most common way to use deep fried seaweed is as type of garnish, particularly for seafood dishes. Most edible seaweeds lend themselves well to deep frying.
Seaweed can not only be deep fried on its own, it can also be coated in batter and then fried, to create tempura seaweed.
And in Korea, people have been taking things to another level with deep fried, salty sweet kelp chips. Which have been a popular snack there for hundreds of years!