Foods You Didn't Know You Could Fry

Rachel Tepper Paley
February 21, 2014

Source: Tumblr/prettygirlfood

Here’s a harsh truth: Ain’t no amount of expertly-massaged kale gonna be tastier than a French fry. Fries are sinfully scrumptious because they’re just that—sinful. Also, deep-fried in oil. What’s better than that?

Well, don’t tell your nutritionist, but you can fry kale—and a host of other “healthy” foods, too. Here are some of our faves:

1. Kale

You can go the Guy Fieri route and deep-fry shreds of the stuff—Pete Wells be damned, it sounds amazing—or pan-fry a mound of it with a heck of a lot of garlic. Only sticking a pinkie toe into the deep-fried waters? Dig into a kale stir fry loaded with garlic, tofu, and julienned red peppers.

2. Avocados

Photo credit: Tumblr/thepumpernickel

Expertly done, a fried slice of avocado is creamy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Dunked in some lime-sriracha mayo, it is positively divine.

3. Broccoli

Say goodbye to sad stalks of steamed broccoli and hello to the golden, tempura-crusted broccoli at No. 7 in Brooklyn. “Once fried, the top portion of each floret becomes soft and doughy on the inside, like a moist, savory doughnut,” cooed Slate’s L.V. Anderson. “While the florets become meltingly tender, the stalks just steam through, retaining some of their crunch.” We can get down with that.

4. Chickpeas

Photo credit: Food52

Chickpeas get wonderfully crunchy after about five minutes in 355 degree oil. This version is zinged up with smoked paprika and a burst of lemon zest.

Smoky Fried Chickpeas

from Food52

2 large cans chickpeas

1 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon zest, strips

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 coarse salt to taste

4 pieces garlic, sliced

Drain chickpeas and set on paper towels over a colander to dry throughly (can be done 1 day in advance).

Heat oil in large pan (preferably cast iron) to 355 or until oil makes bubbles around 1 chickpea.

Add lemon zest, thyme sprig, chickpeas in batches so pan doesn’t crowd fry about 5 minutes until crunchy color & changes.

Remove from oil, drain well over colander/sieve, add garlic, fry till golden.

Toss with smoked paprika & salt, add more if necessary..serve warm.

5. Ramen

Photo credit: Facebook/Ramen Burger

Ah, the ramen burger. Testament to the notion that if there is a will to fry something, there is a way. Chef Keizo Shimamoto ignited a certifiable craze last year when he debuted the above burger, sandwiched between two fried ramen patties. Here’s how to make your own.

OK, you caught us; ramen isn’t exactly health food. But nearly everything is healthy… in moderation. You don’t want to turn healthy things into unhealthy things every day. 

But once in a while, it’s fine—nay, vital—to treat yo’ self.