Crispy on the outside, melt in the mouth on the inside ... deep-frying yields such spectacular results when done properly that it's hard to re-create that delicious culinary magic any other way.
Imagine life without deep-fried golden crispy chicken, perfect fries, crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and delicately panko crusted tempura. And that's just the beginning.
Whether you're after comfort food snacks or elegant appetiser ideas, entrees or desserts, the deep frier has got them all covered, from chicken to churros.
If you're new to deep-frying it can be daunting as a beginner. Here are some tips to follow to get started and take the fear out of frying.
Here are 16 deep-fried foods along with the recipe on how to cook them:
Deep-fried foods recipes
1. Deep-fried chicken
To make this crispy and universally-loved classic, you need eggs, flour, salt and spices, chicken, and abundant oil with a hot smoke point. The steps:
- Make batter of beaten eggs and flour.
- Season batter and dip chicken pieces in it.
- Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes while heating oil to 170 degrees Celsius.
- Fry chicken and serve immediately.
2. Deep-fried soft crabs
For this recipe, have on hand crabs, artichoke, eggs, flour, oil, olive oil, and salt. Then:
- Prepare artichokes and soak them in fresh milk.
- Beat eggs and soak live crabs in them.
- Drain crabs and artichokes and sprinkle with flour.
- Deep fry crabs and artichoke.
3. Potato croquettes
The human race never seems to grow weary of pairing up carbs and hot oil, a combination which takes its most quintessential form in this recipe:
- Peel potatoes, boil them, and mash them into a puree with butter.
- Season with salt, white pepper, nutmeg, grated cheese, and an egg yolk.
- Form the croquettes.
- Pass them through flour, a beaten egg, and breadcrumbs.
- Fry in hot oil.
Rather than a single dish, tempura refers to a method of deep-frying vegetables, meat, or seafood using rice flour. For one vegan variation:
- Chop a variety of vegetables (cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, bell pepper, asparagus, etc.) into small sticks or florets.
- Mix rice flour and sparkling water to make the batter.
- Coat the vegetables in the batter and fry.
A delicious Indian appetiser made using a blend of spices and seeds, onion, peas and potatoes:
- Make the dough and set aside while working on the filling.
- Heat the vegetables and add the herbs and spices. Once cooked, add the potatoes.
- Assemble the samosas, fry until golden and serve with chutney or yoghurt sauce.
Another tasty, vegan appetiser from the sub-continent made using chick pea and rice flour, spices and vegetables:
- Combine the flours to make the batter.
- Mix the vegetables with the spices and coriander before stirring into the batter.
- Deep fry then drain on kitchen paper.
7. Thai shrimps
An easy Thai recipe for a seafood appetiser. Delicious served with sweet and sour sauce:
- Combine the minced beef and finely chopped shrimps.
- Add the chopped shallot and garlic and season well.
- Spoon onto the wonton wrappers and roll up.
- Deep fry until golden.
A Cuban favourite, slices of deep-fried plantain, known as tostones, make a tasty snack enjoyed throughout the Caribbean.
- Fry the plantain slices until golden.
- Flatten the slices then fry again until golden on both sides.
- Serve immediately.
Made to celebrate Chinese New Year, these deep-fried dumplings contain pork, scallions and classic Chinese flavours such as soy, ginger and sesame.
- Make the dough.
- Finely chop the spring onions and combine with the mince, ginger and sesame oil.
- Roll into portions and fill. Fold into a triangle.
- Deep fry until golden brown.
A delicious summer snack when cooked right, deep-fried calamari are found throughout the Mediterranean. Adding a drop of white wine to the batter gives it extra crunch.
- Wash and prepare the squid.
- Separate the eggs and mix the flour with the white wine until smooth.
- Stir in the egg yolks then fold in the whites.
- Coat the calamari, fry until golden brown and drain on kitchen roll before serving with lemon wedges.
11. Deep-fried tofu
Tofu doesn’t have to be dull. Give it some extra crunch by deep-frying it then serve it up with wasabi and daikon.
- Coat the tofu with egg and panko.
- Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown then drain.
- Arrange with classic Japanese garnishes.
Italian deep-fried rice balls by another name. Can be made with a meat filling or plenty of tasty vegetarian options.
- Cook the rice and stir in the parmesan before leaving to cool slightly.
- Add a beaten egg and season.
- Form into balls and fill.
- Roll the balls in beaten egg then breadcrumbs before deep-frying.
- Garnish with bay leaves.
This traditional recipe is made using glass noodles, carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, beef and a hint of chilli.
- Soak the glass noodles and make the filling. Leave the mixture to cool.
- Lay out the wrappers and fill individually. Use a little beaten egg to stick them down.
- Heat the oil and deep fry.
- Drain on kitchen paper.
What could be better than deep-fried cheese balls? This recipe from Rosanna Marziale contains two different types of cheese just waiting to ooze into your mouth.
- Cook the peas and prepare the tomato sauce.
- Boil the pasta and combine with the mozzarella.
- Make a ball shape before coating in egg and breadcrumbs.
- Deep fry then drain.
A traditional Italian dish, these zucchini/courgette flowers have a fruity twist thanks to the grape must and beetroot ketchup.
- Make the beetroot and grape must ketchup.
- Prepare the tempura batter and coat the zucchini flowers individually.
- Deep fry and remove.
- Assemble the dish with a shiso leaf.
A Mexican comfort food served throughout the Hispanic world, sugary churros with a chocolate dip are hard to beat.
- Melt the chocolate in a bain marie before adding cream and orange zest.
- Make the dough and stir in the eggs.
- Leave to cool slightly before filling a piping bag with a star nozzle.
- Heat the oil and pipe the batter directly in.
- Fry for 4-5 minutes, turning once.
- Remove, coat in sugar and cinnamon and serve immediately with the chocolate dip.
A New Orleans classic that will have you licking your lips until sunrise. Coat with icing sugar and lemon zest.
- Sift the flour, crumble in the yeast and make the dough.
- Leave to rise until double in size.
- Roll out and cut into squares. Brush with water, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise again.
- Heat the oil and fry the beignets once the oil is hot enough. Ensure they’re cooked evenly on all sides.
- Coat in icing sugar and serve immediately.