Fry Cook

| 5 Comments
spring rolls 2.jpgThere's no denying that these were better than the baked version, but worth the stench and the danger? 



Until last week I had never fried anything in my life.  I don't think my mom ever fried anything in my life either.  We have always reserved our fried food eating for going out or for the occasional packaged potato or corn chip.  I'm hardly a paragon of healthy eating, what with my cheese habit and my beer gut, but the truth is that fried food doesn't make me feel good.  Every six months or so I'll eat an apple fritter and predictably I'll feel icky afterwords.  I can eat fries once a week, but I have been known to get fry burps afterwords, a real sign that fried food doesn't agree with me.

I have one frying ambition though- spring rolls.  I have made baked spring rolls but I think it makes the wrapping kind of tough.  I finally broke down last week and decided to fry some home made spring rolls.  Frying is easy, right?  You just heat up a bucket-load of oil and throw food into it until it turns golden...

Apparently there's a learning curve with frying.  First of all, I can't bear the thought of filling any of my pots and pans with inches of oil.  What do you do with all that oil when you're done frying?  Do you dump it down the drain? That seems wasteful and also unhealthy for the drain.  Do you filter it and save it?  Do you make it into oil burning candles?  I couldn't do it.  I put about a quarter of an inch of oil in a large frying pan. 

I heated it up.

Till it was really hot.

I added some spring rolls which sizzled satisfyingly.

But soon the rolls were frying too quickly and burning a bit.

The kitchen was filling up with a slight smokiness. 

The oil was looking a little suspect.

Turns out you should turn your oil down once you have heated it up.  I came very close to catching my kitchen on fire.  Apparently frying is much more of an art than I imagined.  Even if I hadn't almost made my oil catch fire, the kitchen was filled with fried-smell for hours afterwords.  Usually my kitchen smells great after I've cooked.  How can the smell of fried grease smell so good when you're eating the food and then smell so very wrong when just the grease smell is left?

I've decided that I'm not going to cultivate this kitchen knowledge.  I'm going to experiment with rice wraps next.  Perhaps I'll make thin pancakes to eat my spring roll filling with.  I make a plum dipping sauce and I want to eat more of it but I need to find a way to eat this without baking or frying.  Pancakes might be the ticket!

I think it's nice to find some things I don't need to master in the kitchen.
Enhanced by Zemanta

5 Comments

I've made Mu Shu pancakes and they are not very difficult. I love Mu Shu at chinese restaurants, and since I can't afford to eat out very often any more, decided to learn to make it myself. The pancakes are not the same as regular western pancakes, but made with a flour/boiling water dough, and doubled before rolling out, so they end up being very thin after the double-pancakes are separated.

This is a recipe very similar to the one I've used, would be worth possible experiments?
http://www.crumblycookie.net/2008/01/18/not-a-chinese-burrito/

What kind of oil are you using and at what temperature? Peanut oil can take high temps and not burn. I fry my eggrolls and spring rolls at 325 in a deep fryer using peanut oil. It really isn't hard nor is it an art. Like most things it just takes a little practice to get the fell of it. You can see my little counter top fryer here - http://bigredcouch.com/journal/?p=3042

I sometimes fry things but maybe 4 times a year. It takes getting used to. I try to reuse the oil depending on what I am frying. If I fry samosas I reuse it to cook some Indian food with later because the spice stays in the oil. The only thing I like about frying is the instant gratification.

Ohhh I haven't made spring rolls in ages. Did you use those wonderful clear rice wrappers? I'm only remember lightly frying them, more to just kind of seal them up..but never with all that much oil in the pan. And I use sesame oil.. I think that will go to a higher temp. OH, maybe what I made was Imperial rolls.. VIetnamese I believe. Delish.

Sorry it's taken me so long to comment!! Alison- I LOVE that blog!! I want to try doing the pancakes, I really think it's more my home cooking speed than frying.

Angie- I did use peanut oil but I kept the heat on high because I had no clue that maybe I should turn it down if my food was burning before really cooking. I don't think I'll be doing much frying in the future. I don't generally feel good after eating fried food (except for tortilla chips, that's my main once a week indulgence, when we can afford to we go out to eat on Friday and I get fancy nachos at our local pub) so I think it's better to find other ways of eating the spring roll fillings. I'll still get them as a treat when I go out though.

Amy- if I ever do fry again I'll remember that. Even when you shallow fry like I did - 1/4 inch oil covering the bottom of a pan is A LOT!!

Pam- you use the clear rice wrappers? That's something I want to try- I have never used them but they seem like a nice alternative to frying. Have you ever posted your method of doing the Imperial rolls? I want more info!!

Leave a comment

Recent Comments

  • angelina: Sorry it's taken me so long to comment!! Alison- I read more
  • pam: Ohhh I haven't made spring rolls in ages. Did you read more
  • amy: I sometimes fry things but maybe 4 times a year. read more
  • Angie: What kind of oil are you using and at what read more
  • alison: I've made Mu Shu pancakes and they are not very read more