I tried out deep frying for the first time on friday. It was… a learning experience.
I wanted to make sweet & sour tofu for a potluck. I didn’t have equipment appropriate for deep frying (all my slotted spoons were plastic, for one), but the birthday boy said he could borrow a deep fryer, so I got oil and all the other ingredients and went over to the party to cook it. It turned out that the deep fryer was some sort of fancy gadget that would spin the food to get oil off after cooking… luckily the internet had instructions for using it. Once I got the hang of all the buttons and dials, I tried deep frying my tofu. It.. .didn’t go quite perfectly. I did get food out of it, though.
Lesson 1: batter and those deep-frying mesh baskets do not mix. The batter will go through the mesh and fuse on the other side, even if you lower the basket first and drop the food into the oil. This was not fun to clean up, I nearly burned myself many times cutting the tofu off, and ended up with some really messy-looking food.
Lesson 2: tofu actually fries pretty well with just seasoning salt. For the second batch, I’d given up on batter and just tossed the tofu in alone, with a sprinkling of whatever seasoning they had available. they came out nice and golden brown, and not stuck to each other or the basket (much). :)
There must be a way to properly deep fry things with batter, but none of the recipes I read mentioned it. Now that I know what to google for… it suggests lowering things slowly with tongs (way too slow for ~20 pieces of tofu), shaking the basket (that basket… may or may not have been shakable. probably not.) and checking the oil temperature (I had only the machine’s green light to go on; but I’ll buy a candy thermometer someday). Well, it gives me things to try for next time, I guess.
Oh, and my favourite item at the potluck? rum & eggnog jello shots. :D