If you are willing to use a thick, hearty dill pickle in this recipe, you will be rewarded with a delicious fried pickle. Too often, fried pickles are made using delicate thin “bread and butter” pickles, resulting in too much breading and not enough pickle. By using thick dill pickle slices and coating them with a thin layer of breading, you end up with a crunchy and satisfying fried pickle experience.
Please use this recipe as a flexible guideline. If you want to replace the panko breadcrumbs with coarse cornmeal and omit the fresh herbs, go right ahead. There are countless ways to alter this recipe by including different combinations of fresh herbs and dry spices. Have fun and get creative. —Josh Cohen
4 to 6
32-ounce jar of dill pickles
1 1/2 cups
loosely packed fresh herbs (I use a mix of parsley, tarragon, and chives)
Optional spices (see step 2 for suggestions)
Salt, for seasoning
Lemon wedges and/or dipping sauce for serving, optional
Cut the pickles into 1/2-inch-thick slices and set them aside. Gather three wide shallow bowls. Add the flour to the first bowl. Crack the eggs into the second bowl. Add the milk to the eggs and whisk to combine. Place the panko and herbs in a food processor and pulse until the herbs have blended with the breadcrumbs. Placed the herb breadcrumb mixture into the third shallow bowl.
This step is optional. If you want to spice up your fried pickles, you can add 1 to 2 teaspoons of your favorite dry spices to the panko mixture. Some suggestions include cayenne, smoked paprika, crushed fennel seeds, or dried oregano. Use your imagination and feel free to experiment with less traditional flavors like cumin or curry powder.
Working in batches, take your pickle slices and dredge them in the flour. Next, dip the pickles in the egg wash, so that the outside of each pickle is completely covered in egg. Next, coat the pickles in the panko mixture. When the pickles are fully coated in panko, lay them out on a rimmed baking sheet.
Set a large pot over high heat, and add enough oil to fill the pot approximately 1 inch full. You want to heat the oil to between 350° and 375° F. When the oil approaches 350° F, turn the heat down to medium. Fry the pickles in batches. When they are golden brown on the outside, remove them to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels, and season them lightly with salt. Serve with lemon and/or your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, I’m perpetually inspired by the diversity of foods that exist in this city. I love shopping at the farmer’s market, making ingredients taste like the best versions of themselves, and rolling fresh pasta. I learned how to make fresh pasta in Italy, where I spent the first 6 months of my career as a chef. I've been cooking professionally in New York City since 2010.