Stir-frying is a method of cooking invented by the Chinese. It gained popularity across the world quickly, as it was fast and effective. The Chinese also became famous for two other methods: steaming and deep-frying. While not as popular as stir-frying, deep-frying is also common in the preparation of dishes such as spring rolls, wontons, dim sims and fried fish. Here are some kitchen how to’s when it comes to deep-frying your dishes.
1. Use a deep-fat fryer. You do not always need a wok, but if you do want to use one, make sure it is securely in place. Flat-bottomed woks work best for electric ranges while round-bottomed ones are good for gas stoves. Either way, make sure the wok is safely secured in place.
2. Slide in the food to prevent splattering. Remember to add ingredients such as dim sims in small amounts to avoid overcrowding the wok. Overcrowding will lower the temperature and may lead to wasteful spillage.
3. The right temperature for deep-drying depends on the recipe, but it is advised that you heat the oil to anywhere between 350° and 375° Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that the temperature will drop slightly as you slide the food in. Larger items can be fried at a lower temperature. A good way to measure this is to carefully dip the tip of a wooden chopstick into the oil. If small bubbles appear, then the oil is hot enough.
4. Peanut oil is usually good for deep-frying as it has a high smoking point and does not burn easily at high temperatures. Canola and corn oil are also good. Sesame oil is not recommended for deep-frying even though Chinese food largely depends on it. Olive oil, too, is not a great choice given the high quantities you will need for deep-frying.
5. Deep-frying a dish twice is not mandatory but it does give dishes such as wontons a crispier coating. The only difference between frying once as opposed to twice, is that the latter creates a sharper texture, resulting in a crisper coating and juicy interior.
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