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Best Fried Thang Evar

Please share your experience of The Best Fried Thing you ever ate...

A recent contender bought earlier today (I ate it 5 hours later) from a Cambodian grocery store in Lynn, MA called:

Pailin Lynn Market
859 Western Ave
Lynn, MA 01905
(781) 593-0849

Hard to even describe: dense chewy donut-ish outer with a nice cracking/crumbling confectioners sugar frost. Inside an almost savory but sort of sweet. Thought it was white bean paste (but a bit more savory), very crumbly almost like cooked egg yoke. Not doing it justice, but it was sublime. Amongst the best deep fried things I have ever eaten.

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  1. I nominate "suppli di riso" (also known as "arancini"). Cooked arborio rice rolled in a ball, stuffed w/ dolcelatte gorgonzola & fontina cheeses, rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. Served w/ a simple tomato sauce. Mmmm.... fried rice balls.... adam

    7 Replies
    1. re: adamshoe

      I am a big fan of arancini.

      Other fried items I adore: clams, onion rings, donuts, zepolli di San Giuseppe, oysters, tostones, Brazilian salgadinhos, various Chines foods, fish sandwich... and more.

      1. re: adamshoe

        Ooh yes arancini. I made those for our holiday dinner this year. Loved it! :)

        1. re: adamshoe

          Well, they can be stuffed with various things—sometimes a little ragu, mozz—in fact I've never had them with gorgonzola. Best I ever had were in 1998 in a train station in Palermo on my birthday, which happens to be August 15, i.e. a holiday in Italy, ferie d'agosto, when everything else in the city was closed. I'd been feeling very sorry for myself all day—until that first bite. Then everything was golden and new.

          1. re: adamshoe

            I'm right there with you on the aranchini! I love them and will hunt them down when I travel.

            But, this past week in NOLA I ate more fried oysters than I've had in years, and I'm still craving them! I simply adore them.

            1. re: adamshoe

              Just to clear up a few misconceptions. Arancini are a speciality of Sicilian cuisine. They are fried rice balls,filled with ragù (meat sauce), mozzarella, peas, On the outside they are simply coated with bread crumbs and fried.
              In Northern Italian cuisine, supplì di riso are similar, but typically are larger, have fewer vegetables, use gravy, and the rice used is generally leftover risotto rather than specially made.
              Neither would authentically use dolcelatte gorgonzola & fontina cheeses. In fact docelatte is a separate type of cheese it is in fact a milder smelling and tasting alternative. Fontina is very similar to Gruyere.
              In short Arancini and Suppli di Riso are two different things. A variant that uses gorgonzola and or fontina is not at all authentic, although I am pleased that you enjoyed it all the same.

              GFL

              1. So no one in Italy would ever use gorgonzola or fontina in any arancini ever. Got it. Thanks for clearing that up.

                Good thing something not being authentic doesn't keep me from enjoying a really wonderful combination of flavours. :)

                1. re: Morganna

                  I agree with you. If it tastes good, it tastes good- period

              2. Cremator hot dog at Rut's Hut, Clifton, NJ
                Chicharon, New Mex and Bolivia
                Soppapillas, New Mexico treat, Rocky Mountain oysters too
                Cod tongues and cheeks, Norway
                Clams, fish, and scallops in Maine
                Liha Pirraka at the train station in Helsinki
                Fish or crab cakes
                Chorizo
                Pork and lamb chops

                15 Replies
                1. re: Passadumkeg

                  What is Liha Pirraka?

                  And to the poster below, though I live in Beantown I far prefer NY style zeppoli, unless we are referring to Zeppoli di san giuseppe at Modern Pastry in the North End which is an amazing confection that I have posted about several times.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    A lijha pirraka is kind of like a cruller dough filled w/ ground beef, rice & spice (allspice?) and deep fry it. Then cut open one end, it is the sze of an oblong Whopper, through in a couple of nakki (hot dogs) and your favorite condiments. Great after a night of Korskonkorva Vodka.
                    Hyvaa Ilta (good evening)

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      Now I REALLY want to go to Helsinki...

                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                        Passa, you're hurting me! ;-) Ah, the kioski in the rail station and the wonders of liha piiraka! Plus, the magnificent Finnish mustard to cut the grease. Suberb!

                        Terve!

                        Cay

                        1. re: cayjohan

                          When were you in Helsinke? For how long? We were there from '81-'86

                          Koff

                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                            1981 to 1982, a little over a year, then again for awhile in 1987.

                            The fried makkara and pineapple sandwiches were heaven as well. Two a.m. on the Esplanadi, scarfing down fried sausage sandwiches by the harbor? Such a delicious food memory.

                            And grueling, since I would love the taste again!

                            Cay

                            1. re: cayjohan

                              Gee, maybe we were standing in line together. I belonged to Suomen Sauna Seura (The Finnish Sauna Society) Loved grilli makkara after sauna and dip in the frozen Baltic. I lived in Munkeniemi. What area did you?

                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                I have share this link with you guys. It's the Helsinki Complaints Choir. Food-related part of this video: "Why is the 'Meter Pizza' only half a metre long?"
                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATXV3D...
                                Enjoy!

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  Yes, I've seen it, but thanks. The beginning and the end are the Helsinki Train Station, with I think, the Lija pirrakka kiosk in the background. A Metre Pizza is a a large pizza, theoretically a meter across, but in reality, only half a meter. The TV license lyric is about the yearly license, about a hundred bucks, that one paid to have ad-free TV. They knocked on the door in the evening to check if you had one, if not, took the TV.
                                  Kiitos,
                                  Marrku

                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                    Kattyeyes, loved it! Thanks for sharing! Straight to the facebook. And the music is just grand. That's why the downtrodden need lovely fried kiosk food!

                                    Grins,
                                    Cay

                                  2. re: Passadumkeg

                                    Passa, lived in Herttoniemi. And the market by the roundabout there had most spectacular tippaleivat (sort of like funnel cakes, but waaaay lighter and yeasty) for May Day. (Aaahh, with a glass of simaa!) Yet another great fried food from a country not especially tilted toward the vats of oil.

                                    I love your posts on Finnish foods. Keep them coming! Although it makes me feel oddly "home"sick.

                                    Moido,

                                    Cay

                                    1. re: cayjohan

                                      I used to go to a large cavernous pub near Herrtoniemi; it was just behind the East German (!?) information office. Were you studying?

                                      The fried dough were "birds nests" I've forgotten the Finnish name, but light and airy.
                                      nakkamien

                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                        The word we used was "tippaleipa" and is was served especially at May Day.

                                        Yep, I was studying. Pity that my greatest memories were of the food! Then again, maybe not.

                                        Terve,
                                        Cay

                                        Do you want the recipe I have?

                                        1. re: cayjohan

                                          got, it, have 3 Finnish cook books, but very rarely deep fry. What I do want to know is where a Finnish restaurant is w/in the US besides the UP. There used to be one in Thomaston, Me were a lot of Fins settled for quarrying.

                          2. re: StriperGuy

                            Those zeppoli di san giuseppe are cream-filled as opposed to "sfingi" which are ricotta based, right?.
                            Fried? hmmm ... I'll go with "atherina" (whitebait), squeeze of lemon, shake of salt on any hot summer day.

                        2. Lumpia. My sister in law is from the Phillipines and I was introduced to it at her house. Love it.

                          Also love hush puppies, zeppolis (New York style not that lump of dough you get in Boston), fried scallops, arancini as long as there are no peas in it and mozzarella sticks.

                          1. Churros filled with dulce de leche!
                            On the savoury front, calamari, potato croquettes, moquecas de camarao, Mexican tostadas

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Paula76

                              Paula, i'm with you on the churros...but i like mine plain, no filling.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                Yummmmm Churros, def w/ dulce de leche, like from the cart in san jose, costa rica.... just about the best thing ever

                            2. Whole sparrow in Burma

                              The frame from the steamed grouper that we just finished - Singapore, Hong Kong, elsewhere

                              Adult beetles from the white grubs in SE Asia that mature and swarm every or every two years

                              15 Replies
                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                Sam, the cat pictured in my avatar would like to know how to get to Colombia. You spoke directly to her heart with your fried whole sparrow suggestion. ;)

                                A few of my fave fried thangs:
                                arancine (me, too!)
                                calzone (local place that did this no longer does--what a shame!)
                                beer-battered Oreos
                                tempura-battered bananas
                                mozz
                                pizza fritte

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  eyes, I rarely eat deep fried so I remember the good ones. You, your cat (and what an honor), and I have to return to the remote parts of Burma. The kids were waving the goods on a stick (clamped, not skewered), my Burmese colleagues (best in the world) didn't want to stop or thought I wouldn't like them. Really delicious!!!

                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                    Me too, me too. And my cat too. Well, maybe she's too old but I'll eat her portion of sparrow. (Why do some people have problems with some birds but suck down turkey and chicken with abandon?) katty, please tell me that we're NOT going to have to eat beer-batter Oreos when we come see you this summer! I don't like sweets :)

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      <<(Why do some people have problems with some birds but suck down turkey and chicken with abandon?)>>
                                      Must be they don't all "taste like chicken!" ;)

                                      We don't make the Oreos at home--I had them at a brewing company in Amherst, MA about 10 years ago...but, as you can see, they are deeply ingrained in my memory.

                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                        Ho ho.

                                        Thank heavens you don't MAKE those Oreos. The thought of an Oreo in its original state sets my teeth on edge so fried? No.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          You can have a pass since you don't like sweets. But fried Oreos end up tasting like a warm brownie when done just right...the cookie melts within the crispy batter coating and tastes oh so good over ice cream. MOOOOOO!

                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                            Sounds awesomely repulsive to me, like the butter on doughnuts in that other thread. I'd try 'em!

                                              1. re: FoodChic

                                                DO NOT give kattyeyes ANY ideas! Please!

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  Thanks, tatamagouche. Where is bigfellow when I need him? He gets it, too:
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/590760

                                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                                    As on Kattyeyes post: Deep Fried Mars Bars!!!! Any chippy in Scotland and here at selects eateries in the New World!

                                                2. re: FoodChic

                                                  foodchic, would you try a fried twinkie? i've never tried one, as i'm really not crazy about twinkies. but it might be *better* fried. ;-).

                                                  i've never tried a fried mars bar, either.

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    Living in Texas we get exposed to all sorts of "treats." The Texas State Fair has fried Twinkies, Oreos, Chicken Fried Bacon, Fried Banana Split, Fried Grilled Cheese, and...well here see for yourself:
                                                    http://www.bigtex.com/foodlocator/

                                                    As you see the list goes on and on to neverending fried crap.

                                                    Anyway, there is a local arts festival in April that I love to attend downtown Fort Worth, but unfortunately the vendors bring in a lot of this stuff they pick up from the state fair. I've never been to the Texas State Fair, so long story short, yes, I've tried a fried twinkie. It was about 4 yrs ago at this arts festival and it was just plain gross.

                                                      1. re: FoodChic

                                                        The Rodeo is in Houston right now and they are deep frying everything that doesn't move! Every year it gets more outrageous than the year before. One place has even deep fried watermelon.