Deep-fried foods often get a bad rap when it comes to health. Whilst it’s true that overconsumption of your favourite crispy chips and succulent battered fish can lead to potential health problems, this is the case with almost any food types. When eaten in moderation, fried foods can certainly be part of a balanced diet. So, if you’re wondering ‘can fried food be healthy?’, the answer is a resounding yes. And here are some of our favourite healthy fried foods to prove it.
Deep fried root vegetables
A common snack in South Korea, deep fried root vegetables provide a hit of antioxidants, nutrients, and fibre. You can use any root vegetables but the most popular are potato, parsnip, pumpkin, and onion. When cut into matchsticks, sprinkled with batter mix, and deep fried in high-quality oil, they give a deliciously crunchy and healthy snack.
Deep fried chickpeas
Fried chickpeas are incredibly fast and simple to make. All you need to do is drain them from their cans (remember, water and hot oil don’t mix) and gently lower them into the fryer with a slotted spoon. As soon as they’ve turned a golden hue, remove them from the surface of the cooking oil and place on a piece of kitchen towel – this will help to remove excess oil. The final step is to place them in a bowl and season with smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, olive oil, and a grating of lime zest.
Deep-fried courgette fritters are an ideal accompaniment to a cold beer. Wash and slice the courgettes (around 0.5cm thickness) before sprinkling with salt to remove excess water. After an hour, cover the slices in batter mix (their moisture should be enough to bind to the flour) and lower into the fryer with a slotted spoon. After a couple of minutes, they’ll be golden and ready to remove. Place on a kitchen towel to absorb excess oil, and serve still hot with a slice of lemon.
Deep fried tofu
There are many ways to cook tofu, and deep frying is one of the most delicious. The key to deep frying tofu is to remove as much moisture from it as possible – buy the ‘firm’ type and remove any excess water by pressing down on it with a plate. You can use batter or deep fry the tofu ‘naked’ – either produce a crispy texture once fried. For an easy meal, simple mix cubes of fried tofu with finely diced lemon grass and crushed chilli flakes.
There are many healthy fried foods out there, and the above ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you’re eating courgette fritters or a portion of fish and chips, fried foods can be integrated into a healthy balanced diet when consumed in moderation. If you’re interested in what other delights can emerge from the fryer, why not take a read of our previous article on the 7 fried food delicacies from around the world?