ALIF KITCHEN SERIES: How to fry and use oil efficiently.

by Lisa K. Photography FriedChillies on Thu, July 19, 2018

Deep-frying is not just putting food in hot oil and waiting for it to cook. It takes skills and the right oil. Temperature and cooking times also play a big role in the end result. Get it wrong, you’ll end up with something disastrous.

The glorious nature of fried food

The technique of deep frying is cooking food in hot fat, which results in a crunchy, golden brown exterior that makes people crave for it. Fried chicken, karipap and cucur udang are a few examples of local delicacies which are deep fried and sought after every day.

Choosing the right oil is essential in deep frying.

We’ve all been there so here are some tips to get good at frying:

1. Heat up oil to the correct temperature. It makes a difference.If the recipe requires for you to pre-heat oil beforehand, make sure you get it right. Invest in a thermometer if you have to. Deep frying in the correct temperature usually results in crispy, crunchy and golden brown food.

2. Don’t over crowd the pot. When there are lots to deep fry, do it in batches if you have to. If you overload hot oil with raw food, oil’s temperature will drop and the food will take longer time to cook and crisp up. Sometimes it even won’t turn golden brown because the oil can’t get up to the correct frying temperature.

3. Carry on overcooking counts. Carry on over cooking means the food will continue cooking even though it has been removed from the pan. Doesn’t matter if it is boiled, sautéed, roasted or deep fried. Say for example if you are frying peanuts, take it out from the oil when it is just turning golden brown and you can see the colour gets darker as the carry on cooking continues for a few minutes. So, timing and oil temperature is important.

ALIF Cooking oil gives longer shelf life to fried food.

Once you’ve figured out all the technical frying difficulties, the next part is how to care for used oil so you can reuse it for another few more times. This step saves plenty of excess oil and eliminates wastages. Here are 3 points you can use to salvage used oil:

1. Filter used oil. Once you are done with frying, let the oil cool down first and strain it into a clean container with a lid. Preferably a metal container because it can take a lot of heat. Filtering oil removes impurities that will burn when the oil is reheated again, making it rancid.

2. Use it for about 3 times. If you filter oil after every use, the oil can be used for at least 3 times or perhaps even more. But this also depends on what you fry. If it is battered food like Fish & Chips, batter doesn’t dirty the oil as much as frying ikan masin or flour coated food. The oil has reached maximum limit when it turns dark brown/black. It will alter the taste and aroma of your food and there is a slight acidic smell to the oil. That is time to throw it away responsibly.

3. Separate ‘dirty oil’ and ‘clean oil’. ‘Dirty oil’ are the oils used to fry something with strong smell like ikan masin and fried fish. Filter those out when you are done and reuse it for the same purpose in the future. ‘Clean oil’ are the oils used to fry tempura and chips. They don’t leave huge amounts of gunk and residue when you are done. Seems a bit fiddly to keep 2 types of used oil in the kitchen but in the end, it saves you so much.

Food like cucur, pisang goreng and cekodok doesn’t dirty up the oil that much, therefore the oil can be re-used a few times.

Lastly, picking out the best oil is important if you want to deep fry. We’ve been frying with ALIF cooking oil lately and here’s what we found out:

ALIF Cooking Oil is one of the best oils for deep frying because of 3 key factors:
1. It is a healthy option – Alif Cooking oil is a blend of sunflower oil and palm oil. Sunflower oil is high in Vitamin E which reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and reduces bad cholesterol. There are high levels of beta-carotene in palm oil which is a great cancer prevention and promotes strong and healthy immune system.

2. It has a higher smoke point – Smoke point is the highest temperature oil can rise to before it becomes acidic and starts producing a lot of smoke and increasing the risk of fire. Sunflower oil and palm oil has the smoke point of 227˚c and 232˚c respectively. Deep frying temperature is usually between 160˚c and 190˚c. So this makes ALIF cooking oil safe, stable and suitable for deep frying.

3. Suitable for all types of cooking – The blend of neutral oils with high smoke point makes ALIF cooking oil suitable for all types of cooking - baking, deep frying, sautéing and stir frying. It will not alter the taste of your food but enhance it. Cakes will be tender and moist, fried food will be crispy and crunchy, sauté and stir fried food will have a wonderful aroma and taste.