Here’s how frying works: When food is exposed to hot oil, the moisture inside boils and pushes to the surface and then out into the oil. As moisture leaves, it creates a barrier, minimizing oil absorption—when the frying is done right. Meanwhile, the little oil that does penetrate the food’s surface forms a crisp, tasty crust. To keep foods from soaking up oil, fry according to recipe instructions. For most foods, 375°F is optimal. Oil temperatures that are too low will increase fat absorption. When we added tempura-coated vegetables to cooler-than-optimal oil, the result was greasy and inedible—they absorbed more than 1 cup of oil instead of 1⁄3 cup. So, watch the oil temperature like a hawk using a candy/fry thermometer, and drain cooked foods on a paper towel for a minute or two before diving in.