Posts tagged ‘frying’

super crispy panko tempura

I fried up zucchini, portobello mushrooms, onion, and shishito peppers (not pictured).

tempura + panko = best of both

I was making Japanese curry (a recipe I never gotten around to posting). It’s a thick curry sauce served over rice usually with fried foods, more specifically panko breaded fried foods (like potato croquettes and shrimp). I fried up some spare veggies I had in the fridge.

I was trying to think of a way to get a super crispy light but crunchy coating. Then it hit me, instead of coating the veggies in egg then breading it, I was going to dip them in a thin tempura batter then coat them in panko. What I got was a study coating that did not turn soggy. (It’s important that the tempura batter is thin like heavy cream consistency, and NOT pancake batter.) I also didn’t lose most of the breading when it hit the hot oil (as I often get with an egg dip). The onion rings turned out especially well, the crispy exterior didn’t fall off with the first bite nor were the onions limp/overcooked.

I used a store bought tempura mix, it’s a huge time saver and I’ve never made it as good from scratch. Do check the ingredients, go for ones with the least amount of addictives and look for panko made without hydrogenated fats.



October 9, 2010 at 12:01 am 1 comment

Falafels are awesome


Until recently, I’ve only had the dried flavorless golf balls that passed as falafels at salad bars. But I’ve seen (and tasted) the light at several falafel locations in the city, and now I crave them often. Here’s a great falafel recipe by Mark Bittman over at the New York Times.

Falafel: Time: 1 hour, plus 24 hours’ soaking

  • 1 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Scant teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 cup chopped parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • oil for frying
1. Put beans in a large bowl and cover with water by 3 or 4 inches; they will triple in volume. Soak for 24 hours, adding water if needed to keep beans submerged.
2. Drain beans well (reserve soaking water) and transfer to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients except oil; pulse until minced but not puréed, scraping sides of bowl down; add soaking water if necessary to allow machine to do its work, but no more than 1 or 2 tablespoons. Keep pulsing until mixture comes together. Taste, adding salt, pepper, cayenne or lemon juice to taste.
3. Put oil in a large, deep saucepan to a depth of at least 2 inches; more is better. The narrower the saucepan the less oil you need, but the more oil you use the more patties you can cook at a time. Turn heat to medium-high and heat oil to about 350 degrees (a pinch of batter will sizzle immediately).
4. Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter and shape into balls or small patties. Fry in batches, without crowding, until nicely browned, turning as necessary; total cooking time will be less than 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.


This makes a LOT of falafel, and I wanted to eat them all that night (but I stopped myself). They do taste good the next day reheated (either by frying briefly or baking in oven), but the texture did change a little. You really do need the dried beans to get the best effect. Fry up a few and adjust the seasonings for the batter. I didn’t think the one teaspoon of salt was enough and added an additional two. And you really do have to watch the oil temps (though I didn’t use a thermometer), make sure the oil isn’t too hot or you won’t be able to cook them all the way thru before you scorch the outside. The batter is easy to do if you have a large enough food processor (I had to do it in two batches), but the 24hour soaking doesn’t give me the instant falafel gratification (sigh). Maybe I can freeze some rehydrated chickpeas for falafels whenever? And don’t forget the yogurt sauce and pitas.

falafelsss.jpg(some were a little underdone, you need to get the outside browned all over)

lina-sm.gif Lina

February 17, 2008 at 9:55 am 3 comments

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