A lesson in deep frying
I have yet to meet someone who really hates deep fried food. Most of the time people just avoid eating them, for obvious health reasons. Hubby and I love deep fried foods, but we hate the cleanup. So that's restricted to eating outside only. But a few days ago, when I was surveying the rows of Japanese foodstuff during my grocery, I saw a packet of Karaage pre-mix. Grabbed a packet for making batter for deep fried chicken pieces. It's so pricy to eat that outside, not to mention how small the portions are. So armed with our newly acquired tempura frying pan and the pre-mix, we were ready to fry.
The pre-mix worked well; the golden crispy chicken pieces were really wonderful. The seasoning in the pre-mix was just nice (no doubt with loads of MSG). We fried about 4 chicken thighs and took us about 25 mins with little damage to our kitchen stove, hence minimal cleanup.
Then, clever me suggested to hubby that since we were deep frying, might as well fry the packet of ikan billis (anchovies) sitting in my pantry. Just use the same oil. That decision proved to be a diseaster! Frying ikan billis is a different ball game than frying batter coated chicken pieces. As I washed the ikan billis prior to frying, the water in the ikan billis created a big havoc! We nearly burnt down our kitchen when the hot oil bubbled over the pot and onto the stove! After calming down somewhat, we came to the conclusion that we had too much oil in the pan for the deep frying. So we decided to pour out most of the oil and try again. This time we did slightly better, but still with splatters everywhere! We spent an hour cleaning up the kitchen and finally sat down to dinner at 12am! @_@
A few thoughts I came away with:
(1) Never deep fry ikan billis! Pan fry instead.
(2) It helps to pat really dry anything that's going into a pot of hot oil.
(3) Leave smart ideas to days when you have time to cook.
Try Showa Karaage pre-mix. S$2.95. A packet can make about 400-500gm chicken pieces.