Years ago on an episode of Good Eats, Alton Brown talked about how fried food isn’t necessarily bad for you. He weighed food before and after frying to prove that, when done correctly, fried food absorbs very little oil during the cooking process. That visual really stuck with me over the years and has helped alleviate some of the guilt I feel when eating fried foods. As Mark Bittman (one of my food idols!) recently pointed out, fat is good for you and, when cooked properly and with the right oils, we can enjoy a little fried food now and again without adversely affecting our health. As long as we keep plants in our diet, a little fat is okay! Also, did you know you can deep fry with olive oil? The smoking point is above the temperature you need for deep frying, so olive oil is good to go! By deep frying at home, we open ourselves up to using different kinds of oils as well as different coatings for the food to be fried in, all of which can increase the health factor of the food being fried.
Also, recent studies show that fried foods may not be as bad for our health as we think. Eating fried foods on a regular basis may still be linked to obesity, but it may not impact heart health or cause early death.
Bottom line: If we use good fats and deep fry at home, we can occasionally eat delicious fried food without the guilt!
These 20 fantastic fried food recipes will get your creative frying juices (or oils!) flowing. Dig in!
Healthier Fried Foods at Home 1 of 21
You may not ever be able to call fried food healthy, but you can make it healthier by doing it right. Fried food at home is an indulgence that you can have once in a while without the guilt.
The Best Fried Green Tomatoes 2 of 21
These fried green tomatoes are so delicious they'll be gone in a flash!
Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken) 3 of 21
Karaage, Japanese fried chicken, is cooked with potato starch, giving it a great, crispy texture. This particular recipe also has delicious garlic flavor.
Fried Plantain Chips 4 of 21
These plantain chips are super crunchy and coated in zesty flavor.
Beer-Battered Coconut Shrimp 5 of 21
Fried coconut-crusted shrimp is one of my achilles heels scrumptious!
Vegetable Tempura 6 of 21
Tempura is always a welcome way to eat your veggies and with this recipe you can make it at home!
Village Fries 7 of 21
These french fries are made with Red Bliss potatoes and are double-fried in peanut oil, making them potato perfection!
Deep-Fried Pickles in Batter 8 of 21
These deep-fried pickles have a yummy batter coating and are served with beloved ranch dressing.
Fried Zucchini Chips 9 of 21
These fried zucchini chips may even stop zucchini-haters in their tracks.
Pancake Chicken Salad 10 of 21
The chicken in this salad recipe is coated in a delicious and flavorful batter and fried to perfection.
Beer-Battered Yogurt Fried Chicken 11 of 21
This fried chicken results in unbelievably crispy and juicy chicken. Bring it on!
Deep Fried Strawberries 12 of 21
Fruit wants in on some of the frying action, too! These deep fried strawberries look divine!
Crispy Potato Strips 13 of 21
I am certain that I could eat the entire batch of these crispy potato strips.
Deep Fried Pickles, Version 2! 14 of 21
These deep fried pickles have more of a coarse breading texture, which looks equally delicious as the battered version!
Fried Leek Rings 15 of 21
I love the more subtle flavor of leeks over onions and think frying them up sounds like a splendid idea!
Gluten-Free Onion Rings 16 of 21
These wholesome onion rings are gluten free and easy to make!
Gluten-Free Deep Fried Mushrooms 17 of 21
Another deep-fried, gluten-free treat, these mushrooms will have everyone begging for more!
Beer-Battered Zucchini Fries 18 of 21
These zucchini fries are light and, as Brooke puts it, "totally incredible." I'm sold!
Chicken-Fried Steak Bites 19 of 21
I love the twist on an old classic with this recipe for bite-sized chicken-fried steak!
All-American Buttermilk Fried Chicken 20 of 21
When it comes to homemade fried food, buttermilk fried chicken is classic.
Beet Fries 21 of 21
Yes, you can totally fry beets. When you fry at home, anything is possible!