The wok is not only great for frying, stewing and steaming. A popular preparation method in a wok pan is deep-frying. Whether it's fish & chips or sweet donuts - deep-frying is a popular cooking method for both hearty and sweet dishes and works particularly well in the wok. We show you how to deep-fry properly in a wok.
Advantages of deep-frying in a wok
What actually makes a wok a suitable pan for deep-frying food? There are a few things:
- The shape of the bottom is either completely round or somewhat flattened. The advantage of this is that less oil is needed to fry in a wok than in a large, flat pan.
- The high walls of the wok also mean that the oil splashes less and your kitchen stays clean.
- In addition, the large surface area of wok frying means you can cook more deep-fried food at the same time without putting the ingredients in the pan separately.
Basically, there are no limits while deep-frying in a wok. Nevertheless, there are ingredients that are more suitable than others.
Suitable ingredients for deep-frying in a wok
Starchy, somewhat harder vegetables such as potatoes are particularly suitable for deep-frying, even without breading. For other foods, it is advisable to coat them in a batter of flour, eggs and breadcrumbs beforehand. When preparing, make sure that the ingredients are not too moist and cut them into roughly equal pieces to guarantee an even result.
Suitable ingredients without batter: (sweet) potatoes, spring rolls, donuts, churros.
Suitable ingredients with batter: chicken, fish, onions, cauliflower, prawns.
You may be familiar with the Japanese method of preparing tempura - vegetables, seafood or whole sushi rolls are coated in a liquid tempura batter and deep-fried afterwards. The batter consists of egg, salt, flour, baking powder, starch and ice-cold water and forms a very crunchy during deep-frying.
The right oil for deep-frying
The best oil to use for deep-frying in a wok is one with a high smoke point. Some good options are:
- Coconut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Rapeseed oil
- Palm oil
It is also important that the oil has little flavour of its own. You can theoretically use peanut oil for deep-frying, but it will give your dishes a slight peanut flavour. Once you have chosen the right frying oil, you should change it regularly before cooking in the wok. The oil quickly runs the risk of becoming rancid or bitter and giving the dishes an unpleasant taste. If you want to use the wok oil more often, strain it after use so that any food residue is sorted out. Also, store the oil in a cool place and check that it still smells good before using it again. If the frying fat smells rancid, use fresh oil instead.
How to deep-fry in a wok
But how do you fry in a wok properly? There are a few points you should bear in mind: Never fill the wok oil higher than halfway up the pan, otherwise you could cause annoying splashes. When deep-frying, it is also important that the wok oil is hot enough to cook the food properly. This means that the temperature of the oil should be around 175 to 180 degrees Celsius. If it is not hot enough, the food will not cook properly. If the oil is too hot, the ingredients can burn in the frying fat. Moreover they get nice and crispy on the outside but still raw on the inside.
Before you start deep-frying, the oil should be well heated. Use a thermometer to make sure the oil has the right temperature. Then reduce the heat slightly so that the fat does not get hotter. Afterwards you can put the ingredients in the wok and fry them until they are crispy and golden on the outside. Fry in portions to keep the oil at a constant temperature. We recommend using a slotted spoon to remove chips, vegetables etc. out of the wok. Then drain the deep-fried food sufficiently on a kitchen paper.
Tip: If you don't have a thermometer, you can also hold a wooden stick in the warm fat. As soon as small bubbles appear, the oil in the wok is hot enough.
Deep-Frying Fish & Chips in a wok
To fry homemade chips in a wok, you will need the following:
- 500 g potatoes
- Oil for frying
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into long, thin sticks.
- Then soak the potato sticks in water for about 15 minutes.
- Then drain the water and pat the fries thoroughly.
- Put the oil in the wok and heat to about 175 to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Then fry the potato sticks in the wok for about 5 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
- Season with salt and then serve.
To fry homemade fish in a wok, you will need the following:
- 170 g flour, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 200 ml beer
- 700 g fish fillets (thick, white fish)
- Oil for frying
- Mix the flour with the baking powder.
- Add the beer until you have a smooth batter.
- Cut the fish and dip it in the barter until it‘s well coated.
- Fry the coated fish in the wok for about 8 minutes until it’s crispy.
- Remove the fish and drain on paper towels and serve.