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Deep fried vegetables are popping up in restaurants across the country. Happy diners are snapping up hot, crunchy appetizers, sides and even entrees. The combination of fresh produce and sizzling snap appeals to consumers on so many levels. It’s one more reason to enjoy the versatility of veggies in busy commercial kitchens.
Which vegetables can be deep fried? Do they offer cross-over appeal? Are there tricks to frying fresh produce? Let’s take a look at the details that make fried veggies a must-have on restaurant menus.
As a Trend, Deep Fried Vegetables Aren’t New
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Not every food belongs in a bubbling fryer, but vegetables boast a deep history in hot oil. Tender stir-fries have been staples in Asian cuisines for centuries. Flavorful falafel has always been a Middle Eastern tradition.
There isn’t a limit on what kind of veggies are best for deep frying. Southern cuisine serves up a bounty of sides that start in the field and finish in the fryer. Some of our favorite original deep fried vegetables include okra, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes.
Everyone Loves Fried Veggies
When consumers dine out, they’re usually on the lookout for healthy choices. These same customers drive fried food trends too. The crossover appeal makes sense because light and crisp work together so well with deep fried veggie dishes. There’s no limit to the crunchy possibilities.
Adding flavor to this recipe for success can be as easy as modifying a basic frying batter. A quick toss of parsley, dill or even spearmint blends herbaceous goodness with the healthy taste of all kinds of vegetables. Side deep fried produce with a special aioli or housemade ketchup, and you have an enticing new entry on the menu.
Is there an easy batter for deep fried veggies? Most batter recipes for frying vegetables start with a blend of basic ingredients like flour, baking powder, salt and egg.
Consider These 5 Deep Fried Veggie Ideas
Which vegetables can be deep fried depends on what you source according to season. With most premium produce available year-round, it’s easy to add extra crispness to the menu.
1. Deep Fried Brussels Sprouts
Present them as irresistible appetizers or sensational sides. Deep fried Brussels sprouts don’t need a batter to make a splash on the plate. The recipe calls for a maple aioli, but sprouts give your commercial kitchen plenty of room to dip into different serving sauces.
2. Eggplant Appetizer Sticks
Our favorite master of Louisiana cuisine, Chef Paul Prudhomme, blends savory and sweet with his Cajun eggplant appetizers. His K-Paul Restaurant secret is almost too easy. Prudhomme dusts the finished dish with a generous puff of powdered sugar just before serving.
3. Smashed Fried Okra
Take a Southern classic, give it a stunning new look, and dramatically cut down prep time. It only takes whole fresh okra, a solid counter-top and your best mallet. Smashed fried okra preserves the veggie’s traditional taste while putting a unique presentation on guest plates.
4. Beer Battered Broccoli
Beer batters are a great choice for deep frying. This one turns out a batch of savory broccoli bites that streamline shift work with simple prep. It’s ideal for busy restaurant kitchens, and it’s versatile too. Treat dining room guests to an array of good tastes by rotating the recipe around seasonal veggies.
5. Fried Cauliflower Steaks
Deep fried cauliflower holds its own as a hearty entree with a Southern accent. The dish comes bathed in a rich gravy just like an original chicken fried steak. The surprise comes from knowing the silky sauce is also made from cauliflower. It’s different, it’s delicious and it’s a healthy take on deep fried vegetables.
Fry Veggies With Care
They prep and cook in a matter of minutes, but battered vegetables aren’t as forgiving as frozen potato slices. These tips can help make sure fresh produce fries up to your high standards.
• Always source your produce from a reliable supplier.
• Invest in quality cooking oil with a high smoke point.
• Change out used oil before it shows signs of breaking down.
• Routinely check fryers and equipment for proper operation.
We Help You Serve Your Best
Deep fried vegetables work in all types of commercial kitchens. They’re simple to prep, quick to cook and easy on food costs. Give fried veggies a place on the menu, and give dining guests one more reason to come back to your tables.
We’re happy to help by growing and supplying fresh premium produce for all types of foodservice operations. We know you want to serve the very best. You can depend on Hitchcock Farms to deliver.