Deep Frying and Pan Frying | WYPR

Deep Frying and Pan Frying

Oct 30, 2018

Credit Andrea Nguyen/flickr

Frying food is an All-American tradition, and we never seem to tire of the results. There's more than one way to fry that chicken wing, and Chef Jerry Pellegrino, three main options exist for us: deep fat frying, shallow fat frying or pan frying. How do you know which one to use?

Here are some of Jerry's thoughts.

Audio will be posted on Wednesday. 

Pan Frying, Shallow Frying & Deep Frying – Pan frying means cooking food in a hot pan with the bottom lightly coated with oil. Shallow frying means cooking food in oil with a depth that reaches about half of the thickness of the food with the food touching the bottom of the pan all throughout. Deep frying means cooking food in oil deep enough to cover it to allow the food to float in the oil.

In the words of the Modernist Cuisine Guys – The physical mechanisms of deep-frying, shallow frying confit cooking require only a superficial explanation. We mean that literally: in each of these techniques, the oil only affects the surface of the food. Below the surface, heat is just heat; the food responds no differently than it would if it were baked or boiled in water. The food only is in direct contact with the oil about half the time it is submerged due to the eruption of steam bubbles pushing the oil away from the food’s surface. 

It’s only when the surface dries that oil will start to penetrate into the food.

Here are a few recipes that call for frying.

Chef Amy’s Fried Chicken


3 eggs

1/3  cup water

About 1 cup hot red pepper sauce

2 cups AP flour

1 teaspoon pepper

House seasoning, recipe follows

1 (1 to 2-pound) chicken, cut into pieces

Oil, for frying, preferably peanut oil

House Seasoning-mix together and store in an air-tight container

1 cup salt

¼ cup black pepper

¼ cup garlic powder

In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs with the water. Add enough hot sauce so the egg mixture is bright orange. In another bowl, combine the flour and pepper. Season the chicken with the house seasoning. Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg, and then coat well in the flour mixture. Heat the oil to 350°F in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil. Fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp. Dark meat takes longer than white meat. It should take dark meat about 13 to 14 minutes, white meat around 8 to 10 minutes.

Duck Confit Egg Rolls


1 pound shredded duck confit

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 quart peanut oil for frying

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons water

2 cups shredded cabbage

2 ounces shredded carrots

8 (7 inch square) egg roll wrappers

2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)

Season the duck with ginger and garlic powder and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

In a large skillet heat oil to about 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) or medium high heat. While oil is heating, combine flour and water in a bowl until they form a paste. In a separate bowl combine the cabbage, carrots and reserved pork mixture. Mix all together.

Lay out one egg roll skin with a corner pointed toward you. Place about a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the cabbage, carrot and pork mixture on egg roll paper and fold corner up over the mixture. Fold left and right corners toward the center and continue to roll. Brush a bit of the flour paste on the final corner to help seal the egg roll.

Place egg rolls into heated oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or rack. Put on serving plate and top with sesame seeds if desired.

Basic Cake Doughnut Batter


3 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup white sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup butter, melted and cooled

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

oil for deep frying

For Cinnamon Sugar:

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup white sugar

In a stand mixer set with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, butter, and vanilla. Slowly add to the dry ingredients in the stand mixer and mix until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Heat oil in a deep heavy skillet or deep-fryer to 370°F. On a floured board, roll chilled dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Use a 3 inch round cutter to cut out doughnuts. Use a smaller cutter to cut holes from center. Fry doughnuts in hot oil until golden brown, turning once. Remove from oil and place on a baking rack set over a cookie tray.

If you are going to toss the doughnuts in cinnamon sugar, do it immediately after the doughnuts are removed from the oil.

If you are going to glaze the doughnuts, do it immediately after they have been set on the baking rack.

If you are going to ice the doughnuts, allow them to cool to room temperature before icing.