4 Steps to Healthy Frying

Learn the secrets of healthy frying with our step-by-step guide and delicious recipes.

Heat the Oil

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Step 1: Heat the Oil

We were surprised–and delighted–to perfect some frying techniques that fill the bill for healthy eating. Read on for the secrets of healthy frying.

Step 1. Heat the Oil.

Once you’ve selected a heart-healthy oil with a high smoke point (we use peanut oil; soybean and canola oils are also good), place the oil in a large pan like a deep skillet or Dutch oven. The pan you should choose depends on the foods you’ll cook—you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. Clip a fry thermometer to the side of the pan.

Coat Your Ingredients

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Step 2: Coat Your Ingredients

Some foods, like our doughnut holes, don’t require an exterior coating before they’re fried; the batter forms its own coating. Others, like fish, chicken, or veggies, benefit from breading or a batter. If battered, simply dip and fry. If breaded, use a three-step process (see Fried Catfish recipe for example).

Maintain Frying Temperature

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Step 3: Maintain the Temperature as You Cook

As you add foods, temperature can drop. Watch the thermometer, and slow the pace or adjust the heat. Too-hot oil will burn the exterior before the interior is fully cooked. Oil that’s not hot enough will slow the cooking process and result in greasy, soggy food.

 

Drain Fried Foods

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Step 4: Drain

Always use a slotted spoon to transfer foods into hot oil so the batter doesn’t clump. Then use that spoon to remove foods from the pan so they don’t sit in pools of oil. Drain fried foods on paper towels for a minute or two; the towels will absorb any exterior oil that may still be clinging to them.

 

Fried Catfish with Hush Puppies and Tartar Sauce Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Fried Catfish with Hush Puppies and Tartar Sauce

Coat the fillets and prepare the batter for hush puppies while you wait for the oil to come up to temperature. You can also make the tartar sauce up to two days ahead and keep it refrigerated. If you don't like catfish, use halibut, tilapia, or another flaky white fish.

View Recipe: Fried Catfish with Hush Puppies and Tartar Sauce

Fried Catfish with Hush Puppies and Tartar Sauce Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Maple-Glazed Sour Cream Doughnut Holes

Sour cream enriches these yeasted doughnut holes. Enjoy them for breakfast or dessert. Sugarcoat it: Omit the maple glaze and dip the doughnut holes in a mixture of granulated sugar and ground cinnamon for more texture.

View Recipe: Maple-Glazed Sour Cream Doughnut Holes

Tempura Tofu and Spring Vegetables Recipes

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Tempura Tofu and Spring Vegetables

Tempura is a versatile batter. Substitute peeled shrimp for the tofu. Or use asparagus and fresh green beans for veggies.

View Recipe: Tempura Tofu and Spring Vegetables

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