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Jan 31, 2009 05:55 PM

Deep fried fennel

Last week I was in Portland OR and had a great dish of fried anchovies and fennel at Toro Bravo. I am gonna skip the anchovies, but I want to try to re-create the fried fennel tomorrow in my deep fryer.

From what I could tell, they made the fried fennel by shredding it super thin (like the size of a crispy fried onion shreds), then coating it in a light flour/salt/spice mixture, then deep frying just like that. So in other words, no wet batter. Just a flour dusting.

I bought fennel today at the farmer's market, so I'm gonna try it no matter what.

Anyone have any tips? How hot should the fryer be for this? How long? Has anyone else ever done this?

Dave MP

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  1. Sounds good. Find a good onion ring recipe and use it as a guideline for temp and cooking time.

    1. Scratch that - hadn't noticed the part about it being finely shredded, but I'm sure you can find a similar onion recipe and just sub the fennel.

      1. I have fried onion rings similar to this in a deep fry pan. I use them to top steaks. I use just milk to dip the rings in, no batter, just to moisten them and then a mix of flour salt and pepper and a dash of cayenne. Use canola or vegetable oil not olive oil obviously. I did them right in my cast iron skillet. Since so thin and not making that many I did not need too much oil. I enjoy my rings like that. Not sure on fennel, but sounds interesting. You could also dip in buttermilk too, would give great flavor, but the milk to me gives a very light if any texture. With out being moiste I found that the flour didn't stick to mine at all but that may of just been me. Since I always used milk. I may have to try again without the milk. I am sure it might work.

        Enjoy, sounds yummy

        2 Replies
        1. re: kchurchill5

          We'll be heating up the deep fryer anyway for other super-bowl goodies, but you're right, it'd work well in a cast iron too. I like the milk idea, and it's very possible the restaurant I went to did this too, so that's probably what I'll try.

        2. The deep fried fennel was a huge success.

          We kept it simple - we grated the fennel on the grater so it was in small shreds. They were wet enough naturally, so we put them into a mixture of flour, salt and pepper, shook them around, and then into the deep fryer they went!

          We cooked them for about 3 minutes in the fryer until they were crispy. I thought it tasted wonderful. For the second round, I added some turmeric and coriander to the flour mixture, and I liked this even better.

          The deep fryer made this easy (and we had it out anyway), but like kchruchill5 says, since the shreds of fennel are so small, this could easily be done in a cast iron skillet too. It would make a great steak topping.

          Thanks everyone for the advice.