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Introduced to the world in 2010, the air fryer has become a popular kitchen wonder in many homes, and suitable for creating a vast variety of cuisines. Notably, Asians have used it to replace the age-old method of deep-frying foods in hot oil – which the air-fryer doesn’t need beyond the marinade and batter. Besides that, it’s also great for roasts, grills, and baking.
What is it?
An air fryer is basically a compact but amped up convection oven. But while an oven heats the air within it with coils, the air fryer has a built-in heating mechanism and fan that blows hot air in rapid circulation to cook your food. The result is equivalent to high-heat cooking, a signature of Asian cuisines.
How to Deep Fry?
Deep fry is basically cooking with oil in very high heat. Although with the right temperature and cooking time, your deep-fried foods won’t end up soggy and oily – you’ll still need to use a fair amount of cooking oil. Not to mention the scathing heat.
With the air fryer, there’s no need to boil a whole wok of cooking oil. Just marinade and batter up according to the recipe, coat with 1 to 2 tablespoon of oil for extra crispiness, place the food in the fryer basket, set the temperature, and let it cook. Also, remember to flip the food halfway to cook thoroughly.
Yes. It’s really that simple, and you can follow any deep-fry recipe up to the cooking instructions, and use the air fryer for the rest!
Things to Remember
As mentioned, anything an oven can cook, the air fryer is most likely capable of doing the same as well and keeping in all the flavours. Roast, grill, deep fry, and baked pastry are perfect. Meats, fish and veggies are all good. Also awesome for any dry food leftovers that you’ve kept in the fridge. Reheating them can instantly bring back their crispiness.
Nonetheless, there are some things to keep in mind:
- Your marinated food shouldn’t be drenched in liquids, as the air fryer will just boil it but without blending it into the main ingredient. So make sure your marinated, coated or breaded foods are ‘dry’ when you place them in the fryer basket.
- Lay your food on foil or baking paper to hold – for easy handling, and cleaning afterwards.
- Don’t pack your fryer basket to the brim, as the hot air needs space to circulate and cook your food properly. Halfway-full is the maximum you should go if you’re pressed for time.
- Shake, rotate or flip your food when cooking.
- Always check your meat’s inner temperature to make sure it’s well-cooked.
- Place your air fryer a few inches from the wall, so that air may circulate for it to work properly.
- For meat grills, put a little water at the bottom of the fryer tray, so that the fatty oils drip down instead of coating your meat.
- Always clean your air fryer, preferably immediately after cooking.
Try it out!
Ready to try out your air fryer? Here are some of our favourite Asian dishes. Also, try the divine-tasting Tonkatsu pork or the classic umami crispy pork belly that has become one of the most popular air-fried Asian delights!