Fried foods. Are they worth the mess?

Reply Thu 5 May, 2011 08:15 pm
I hate frying food. I don't know what got into me tonight but I decided to make Korean fried chicken. My kitchen is an absolute disaster.

Korean fried chicken, for the uninitiated, goes like this: pat dry, coat, sift, rest, batter, fry, rest, fry, rest, sauce, serve . For EVERY piece of chicken.

It used nearly every dish in my kitchen -- not including the dishes it was served on. It required three large bowls, one small bowl, three wire racks, a cast iron dutch oven, two sheet pans, a sifter, a variety of measuring utensils, a beater, tongs, and some other crap like a deal to dispose of 2 quarts of oil.

But it did taste delicious!

Every time I lose my mind and decide to fry food I think about the popularity of fast food restaurants and I understand why people go there. Frying food is really only worth the bother if you're doing it all day long in some massive amounts.

What do you fry? Is it worth it? How so?
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Type: Question • Score: 8 • Views: 1,768 • Replies: 11

Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 05:56 am
There are very few fried foods I like. And for those I do, I can't each too much. Fried clams is one - but I am very particular - there are very few places that can prepare so it is yummy and not too greasy.

Like you said it is way too much work and mess. So the few times I have it, I get it out.

For some items - to get the fried taste, like fish, french fries, chicken, I will put a little oil on the bottom of a baking pan and cook in the oven instead of deep frying. Not quite the same, but you can get the taste without it being too greasy and it is slightly healthier for you.
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Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 06:00 am
apart from stuff done in a pan (eggs, bacon, ham, home fries), i don't ever fry anything, i used to make real french fries once every few years, but now i oven bake them
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Green Witch
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 06:14 am
I think of fried foods as a treat, not a meal. I might order a fried calamari appetizer, but I would not bother to make it at home.
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Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 06:33 am
I deep fry Russian Piroshkis and Indian Samosas and that's about it. Eggs, of course, if anybody wants them, but we usually poach or boil ours. The piroshkis and samosas don't take long, so they're not too greasy, and I don't use all the stuff you used. I use a slotted spoon to remove and plop them onto paper towels. I once made southern fried chicken for Alex and did the same thing. I would NOT bother with all those instructions. And you could have done all the battering etc a couple hours ahead and let them sit in the fridge... then pull them out to room temp, fried them and plopped them onto paper towels.
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Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 07:23 am
I don't fry.

Too much fat...and I don't really enjoy fried food...except on the rarest of rare occasions.

I'd hate to have such a messy kitchen afterwards, too!
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Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 07:28 am
I guess we're all in agreement!

I'd had Korean fried chicken once in a restaurant before so when I came across a recipe I thought I'd give it a try. It's not like American fried chicken -- not bready or crusty at all. You coat it with a very fine layer of corn starch (so fine you have to sift it off) and the batter is thin, more like a wash than a batter. This, coupled with the fry, rest, fry procedure gives it this super crisp outside and juicy inside. Very light, not greasy, really delicious -- especially when you hit the final step of tossing it in a chili, garlic, soy mixture. It was a serious pain in the neck.

One good thing -- my cast iron dutch oven looks sublime! I'm pretty good about keeping it seasoned but wow. Maybe I'll fry something again when my pan cries out for it.
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 07:49 am
Another one in agreement here.

I've never deep fried anything, at at most, I use a little oil to brown the breading on fish.

Otherwise, I use a little oil in the bottom of the pan for most things, but not much.

I rarely make anything that involves more than a cutting board, a pan and a pot, and a spatula. Maybe a bowl for dipping in a liquid, and a zip lock bag in place of dredging something in flour in a bowl.
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Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 07:53 am
No deep frying here. I deep fried shrimp for a Super Bowl party a few years back and wanted to move out afterward. My house smelled like oily shrimp for days. I'm like GW, I'll order an occasional deep fried dish out, but I don't deep fry here.
Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 08:06 am
same here. I used to love to make "boardwalk" fries at home but the smell lingered for days.
Now it's just a little butter in the fry pan to make chicken cutlets.
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Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 09:43 am
That sounds incredible - alot of work, but yummy.
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Reply Fri 6 May, 2011 09:49 am
I've never deep fried either. Only really hot frying I ever did was in a wok - not that much oil, all done fast.

On eating out, I like tempura and fried calamari and fried clams and and and. But I don't run into those often.
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