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What vegetables do you like to deep fry?

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One of my favorite fried vegetables is mushrooms. I buy a package of mushroom coating from the produce section of the grocery store and use beer as the liquid instead of water and deep fry till done. I also use the same coating for jalapeno slices. This dip is a tempura style coating similar to me to the coating used at Long John Silver restaurants. I simply use a good quality Ranch dressing for the dip. What are some other vegetable and dip ideas?

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  1. back in the days when i ate fried food my favorites were zucchini, mushrooms and okra...and all three pair really well with a good marinara sauce.

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I know what you mean about frying. It's not something I do often but you know how delicious fried food is. Growing up my mother cooked up some mean fried squash and okra and we just ate them with beans, coleslaw and cornbread - no need for a dip. I have in recent years developed a liking for zucchini, and marinara seems like the perfect pairing. Thanks for the idea!

      1. re: kcfields

        a tip for you on the zucchini - if you're planning to serve it with marinara, add a little Parm or Romano to the breading before you fry...oh, and please enjoy a little extra for me ;)

        oh, and a yogurt-based Dijon mustard sauce is another terrific dip for all the veggies i mentioned earlier.

    2. I don't often do deep frying, but when I do, I love to do a tempura batter and enjoy some vegetables. Perennial favorites are onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and green beans. I don't generally dip them into anything. Just sprinkle some sea salt on them as they come out of the fryer. One of my local tempura shops also does sweet potatoes which are delicious, but I have never tried to make them at home.

      1. Tempura batter is fantastic with a multitude of veggies. Mushrooms, asparagus, green and red pepper chunks, zucchini, summer squash, onion, beans, etc. Experiment and enjoy what you love. I don't usually deep fry veggies much without tempura, but have fun!

        2 Replies
        1. re: boyzoma

          Have to mention tempura battered cauliflower, broccoli and Japanese eggplant, along with the other delicious veggies already suggested. I love the Indian version of deep fried cauliflower as well, dipped in a spicy (with chili powder, cumin, tumeric or garam masala) chick pea flour batter.

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            Thank you BWG, your additives are perfect. (of course in my book, any cauliflower or broccoli is a welcome treat. Would love to get some recipes of different sauces. There must be some links here somewhere, but I am just too tired tonight to search. Maybe tomorrow :-)

        2. It's the season for fried zucchini strips and nothing's better than a little nice, fresh Marinara with that.

          The mushrooms... wow; they were so popular years ago and these days when I make them the younger eaters say "whoa, what a great idea..." Little do they know. I used to cover mushrooms with an egg mixture that contained Worcestershire sauce and a little Dijon mustard; then coat them with Kellogg's Corn Flake Crumbs and then plate them up with a little insanely rich Bearnaise sauce. But one could get all sorts of very not-so-heart-smart stuff back in the '70s...

          4 Replies
          1. re: shaogo

            Do you have a recipe for homemade marinara? I also love fried mozzarella but the commercial marinara sauces seems so bland.

            1. re: kcfields

              Marinara Sauce

              A big fat onion, peeled and cut Brunoise (1/4" dice) or pop in the Cuisinart for a moment to chop relatively finely.

              A bay leaf or two

              Olive oil for saute -- I don't like "extra virgin" for this; I like a clearer, cleaner-tasting oil.

              Eight cloves of garlic, either minced or just smooshed with your knife.

              1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, or 1 Tbs. dried basil

              2 cans of Pastene brand "ground" tomatoes (don't use the lower-salt; it's just not as good as the old-fashioned yellow-and-red cans) If you don't have this brand use a good tomato product (Redpack's available nationally, I think, and they're a good second to Pastene). We don't like lumps so if we buy crushed tomatoes I whiz 'em in the Cuisinart in their out-of-the-can state.

              Method: cook the onions in the olive oil with the bay leaf just until clear -- do not brown them! Add the garlic just so it's heated through and no longer discharges any white juice. Again, don't brown it, 'cause it'll be bitter. Add the basil and stir it in.

              Add the tomatoes and then season with salt and black pepper. That's it. IMHO, "less is more" when it comes to Marinara sauce. Here's the trick; the length of cooking of the sauce is what determine's a given person's favorite flavor from this sauce. We, on one hand, like to cook the sauce very briefly (then we add it to mussels and it's sweet and delicious). But some families like the sweet, mellow flavor of a long-cooked (2 hours) sauce. It's up to you.

              A hint to kcfields if you like fried mozzarella... If your complaint is that commercial sauces taste bland, by all means get a good recipe for Spiedini -- it's basically toasted bread swabbed with Anchovy paste (there's the answer to "bland") and then topped with mozzarella and grilled or deep-fried, then topped with Marinara (that, authentically, has a little bone marrow whisked into it). You'll never go back to those frozen mozarella sticks again...

              1. re: shaogo

                I have just in the last 10 years become a foodie. As I watch the different TV chef's who proclaim the wonder of canned "roasted tomatoes" in their recipes I have not been able to find them in my local grocery store. And I can assure you that there are no Pastene brand tomatoes. Basically there are Hunts and Progresso and store brand varieties. Is there a speciality store I need to find for such ingredients? I don't live in the backhills but who sells these products? I generally know how to prepare them but am more of a "if you can find a prepared product, why commit the time and effort" type of person. Also, is Spiedini a commercial product? I can't say that I don't like anchovies because I have never eaten one and I am not one to discard that which I know nothing about but I have to say I have reservations about it. But I also felt that way about oysters once!

                1. re: kcfields

                  Off topic, but no Pastene or Cento in your supermakets? What about Redpack? Oh, that's sad. They're pretty mainsteam tomato packers and labels, and not sold in specialty stores. Try Hunts if that's what you have available. Check the Pastene website for store locater:

                  http://www.pastene.com/

                  Anchovies are one of life's little pleasures, and you owe it to yourself to try them, or at least one, before you die. My opinion.

                  Spiedini is a recipe, and to me means seasoned and sometimes breaded chicken, beef or even well seasoned ground pork as meatballs on a small skewer, and either broiled or grilled. I haven't heard of shaogo's grilled or deep fried mozzarella bread spiedini recipe before, but it sounds better than any breaded and fried mozzarella sticks I've ever had.

          2. eggplant... breaded or not

            1. Onion rings. Use Vidalias or similar and slice 'em, separate the rings and then put in a colander and leave on the counter for half a day... they won't go bad nor be bad to eat but the juice dries out and they become a whole different animal...

              Then, dip them in milk and then a seasoned flour (don't go overboard with the seasonings; I just use salt and pepper). Deep-fry carefully and drain on paper towels. Want more excitement? serve the onion rings with a nice dressing made of blue cheese, mustard and mayonnaise.

              Nobody mentioned fried green tomatoes, either... need I say more? Can someone chime in with a breading recipe and technique for this dish (I, personally, am not as good at it as I'd like to be).

              I recently had fried dill pickles and they were, in a word, heaven!

              3 Replies
              1. re: shaogo

                I recently planned a 50th BD party to which I pre-fried mushrooms and jalapenos. They were a big hit. I had also intended on trying fried pickles but due to time and stress constraints I didn't make the pickles. I am so curious about them. Who knew fried jalapenos could be so delicious? So now my mind is open to the numerous possiblities of fried veggies. What type of dip, if any, would you use for fried pickles?

                1. re: kcfields

                  Personally, I like a creamy ranch style dip for the pickles. However I am assuming your talking about dills. I never tried sweets.

                2. re: shaogo

                  Fried pickles . . . one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Our local hotdog stand makes them, and I've been wanting to try my hand at it.

                3. Not carrots, unless they are truly young (not the fake whittled-down cores sold as baby carrots, to be sure) and very tender, which are rarely seen outside of home gardens and farmer's markets in the early summer.

                  1. I haven't yet found a vegetable that isn't good when cooked tempura-style. But onion rings - preferably with fresh Kula sweet onions - are truly a religious experience. I love a ponzu sauce for dipping.

                    1. Just two vegetables spring to mind: okra and taters.

                      I sincerely love onion rings (thinly sliced and lightly battered), but have never made my own. I'm also mad about spinach pakoras from my favorite Indian joint, but again, have never prepared them on the homestead.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        Just used parsnips today, and they were delicious.

                      2. The only time I ever eat deep fried veggies is a side of tempura when we go out for sushi. The carrots and sweet potatoes are, by far, my favorites.

                        1. Canned artichoke hearts. Halve them and lay the flat end on a paper towel to dry a bit, then use a simple flour coating.

                          1. Artichoke hearts, zucchini, zucchini blossoms, asparagus, string beans, onion rings, potatoes, green tomatoes, thinly-sliced pumpkin or acorn squash.

                            1. A local chain here in CT, Frankies, does a serving of fried breaded veggies...zucchini strips, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli. Dipping sauces include jalapeno cheese, sour cream, horseradish mayo...believe me, they know me by my first name there.

                              1. 50/50 mix of fresh green beans and fresh wax beans. No batter. Flash fry then toss with a light light soy sauce vinaigrette. I haven't done it in a while because I always end up with oil splattering all over my kitchen.

                                1. i have a friend that fries cauliflower dipped in egg and rolled in cornstarch and S&P; good stuff.

                                  tempura lightly steamed first sweet potato

                                  jerusalem artichokes
                                  artichoke hearts
                                  vidalia or maui onions

                                  oh how i miss the days when...