Fried chicken or grilled chicken? Mozzarella sticks or string cheese? French fries or baked fries? Given the choice between fried foods or better-for-you foods, many people would choose fried foods without blinking an eye. There's something about the crunch of potato chips and the taste of natural sugars after they have caramelized from frying that makes them hard to resist. But did you know there is a healthier way to eat fried foods? It all depends on technique and using the right oil.
If you want to address your fried foods addiction, you should consider eating fried foods at home, where you can be in control of the cooking process. And you may want to limit the number of times per week that you eat fried foods.
Tips and Techniques
Batter and breading is important when it comes to the absorption of oil. All-purpose flour contains gluten which is great for adhering to foods, but if you use too much, the extra batter or breading will cause the food to absorb more oil. Add gluten-free ingredients like cornmeal or rice flour to the batter or breading to help reduce absorption. And batters that use learners or carbonated beverages produce gas bubbles that discourage oil absorption.
Clean oil is important when it comes to taste. If you're frying something that is battered or breaded, you should use a slotted spoon to remove stray bits as you fry. If you do not remove the battered or breaded bits, you risk the bits burning and infusing your food with an odd taste.
Oil temperature can make a difference as to how much extra oil foods will absorb. If the oil is not at a proper temperature, the food will absorb more oil, which will add calories and fat and make foods soggy.
Right after frying foods, you should drain cooked foods on a paper towel lined plate for a couple of minutes to remove any excess oil.