How deep should the oil be and are there any good links to review before I start? Do I need to try to obtain a particular temperature like deep frying (and how would I even measure)?
So like deep frying, only less oil? Sounds like how I 'deep fry'. I don't know if this is the 'right' way to shallow fry, but it's what works for me. Keep in mind, if you want to maintain a constant temp, the volume of oil will influence this - more oil, less temperature fluctuation.
First I get a narrow pot, as small as I can get away with so that I use less oil (oil is expensive here). Besides, adding fewer items to the oil at a time helps to keep the temperature more constant than adding lots of items all at once.
I look at the thickness of the largest thing I want to fry, half it, then put that depth of oil in the pan... minus about 20 percent. Then I fry one side, flip it, fry the other, make certain it's cooked through.
I think it takes longer than deep frying, but it works well for me.
Does it need to obtain a particular temp? Yes, I think so. I know with things like tempura, if the oil isn't hot enough the food is heavy and greasy.
I can't be bothered with a thermometer as different oils and foods all need slightly different temps to get the best results. I look more for quality. If the oil smokes - TOO HOT! Either fry at a lower temp or add an oil with a higher smoke point (ie, olive oil smoking, add grapeseed oil). As the oil heats up, I add a tiny bit of what I'm planing to fry to it - a crumb of popadom or a scrap of chicken in batter, or whatever. If this sample bubbles and rises to the top in under 3 seconds, the oil is hot enough, if not, then remove the sample and try again (with a fresh sample) in another min.
The leftover oil I cool and put to one side for soap making. There's a way to clean the oil so you don't smell like popadoms and fried chicken after a shower... but who wouldn't want to smell delicious?
Thanks for this great advice! I made tomato keftedes last night and they were not greasy at all and quite delicious. I'm new to frying generally so this advice was much appreciated--and now that I feel more confident hope to be doing this more. Here they are! http://instagram.com/p...
mmmmm.... those look yummy! Glad to help.