Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fried Pickles

Fried Pickles!!
Fried pickles or pickle chips are super delicious!! If you never had one, you need to try one. They are similar to Lay's Dill Pickle chips, but made with real pickles that has been dipped in batter and deep fried. I've been told that Hooter's fried pickles are also very good, but I've never been to Hooter's before so I don't know. Plan to go to Hooter's soon. So I was on a craving for fried pickles and decided to make some since I had a whole jar of pickles in the fridge. But what kind of batter do I want? Welll, I wanted a fried pickle that tasted light even though it's deep fried and I didn't want a thick coating of batter. Also, most importantly, it had to have the crispy crunch. So I started to experiment. I experimented with two types of batter; one with flour and water and the other one with rice flour and carbonated water (similar to a tempura batter). I then experimented with flouring the pickles first before dipping them into the batter. Here are the recipes for both types and conclusion for each: 
Flour Batter

½ cup flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup corn starch
¾ cup carbonated water
Pinch salt

Lay out pickles on paper towels and pat them dry. This will ensure that the batter sticks on. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Dip the dry pickles in the batter or you can leave them in the batter until ready to fry. Heat up oil to 350 degrees and fry the battered pickles until golden brown. Once golden brown, scoop out the pickles onto paper towels to catch all the excess oil and serve with ranch or any dipping sauce.

Fried pickles with a flour batter. Crunchy and pickley but also greasy.
Conclusion: The flour batter was the typical basic batter used for any deep frying. It gave it a nice crunch and you can definitely taste the pickle. However, I felt that the batter was a bit thick and it tasted greasy even though I blotted the pickles with paper towels. It wasn't the batter that I was looking for, but if you are okay with the basic flour batter then this recipe is for you.
Tempura Batter

½ cup rice flour
½ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt *optional
½ cup carbonated water

Lay out pickles on paper towels and pat them dry. Again, this is to ensure that the batter sticks on. Mix all the ingredients together and dip the pickles in the batter. You can also leave the pickles in the batter (they won't absorb the batter so don't worry). Heat up the oil to 350 degrees and fry the pickles until they're golden brown. Scoop out pickles onto paper towels. Serve and eat with ranch or other dipping sauce. 

Fried pickles with tempura batter. I was able to eat more of these than with the flour batter because it tasted lighter.

Conclusion: This batter was my favorite! It was very crispy and very light. I didn't taste the extra grease or had the thick coating of batter. It tasted light and airy. The texture is a lot more dense than the flour batter and had a crispier crunch to it than the flour batter. I loved this batter!

Fried pickles with tempura batter
As you can see, there's a thin coating of batter around the pickles. In fact, in some pickles, I was able to see the seeds inside the pickles which meant that this was a thin coat of batter. My favorite thing about this recipe is that you can taste all the pickle flavor without tasting the greasiness and it's made with rice flour so it's not a heavy batter. This was definitely a win-win for me, but if you prefer a flour batter then the first recipe is for you.

My last experiment, I decided to flour the pickles instead of laying them out on paper towels and patting them dry. I wanted to find an easier way to have the batter stick on nicely and one common way was to dip the pickles in flour first. You can use either recipe above, but lightly coat the pickles in flour first before dipping them in the batter.

Conclusion: Flouring the picles first instead of laying them on paper towels was a lot easier. However, it concluded in a thick batter no matter which batter recipe I used. This also meant that it was a lot greasier and tasted a lot heavier. Although the process was easier, I am going to skip this step for future reference.


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