On Tuesday, I wrote a blog entry about a friend, Suzanne, who is trying to find the perfect method for making fried pickles. She has been foiled twice by the breading, which either turned out soggy or fell off the pickles. I turned to blog readers to ask for tips on how to make breading stick to fried foods, and you all offered some great advice.
I also thought it might be nice to take this conversation to the next level and bring in some chef advice. I emailed some chefs and asked them to read through that blog entry and comments, and Jeff Bland with US Foods responded with some guidelines. As you’ll see, we were generally on the right track.
1. Dredge the item in flour.
2. Dip the item in your wet ingredient, whether this is egg wash, buttermilk, or batter.
3. Dredge the item in another dry coating, whether this is bread crumbs, corn meal, cracker meal, or what have you.
4. Fry in hot oil. It can be peanut oil, vegetable oil, or Canola. They all have high smoke points.
5. If you are using a wet batter, you should still dip it in flour first because that will help the batter to adhere to the food. Put battered foods immediately into the hot oil and make sure you have enough oil to cover the entire object.
Another chef I talked to was a little shy about letting me use his name, but he said that once you have breaded the item, if you refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes, that will help to make the breading adhere when you fry it. That obviously does not apply when using a wet batter.
So, there you have it. Suzanne, we’ll be interested to hear how your next experiment goes. Good luck!