In every episode of Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, learn cooking fundamentals following Martha’s signature step-by-step, how-to teaching process. Be sure to check your local listings to see when this episode will be airing in your area.
The very best fried foods are golden brown on the outside and deliciously tender within — never greasy or soggy. Yet frying on the stove top is a technique that can elude even the most ambitious home cook. In this episode, Martha offers lessons in how to deep-fry and pan-fry to perfection at home in your own kitchen. Recipes and step-by-step techniques include French fries, pan-fried chicken (a Southern favorite marinated in buttermilk before coating) and Japanese tempura vegetables with dipping sauces. She shares lots of tips for keeping foods crisp without allowing them to absorb excess oil.
Watch a Preview
Martha Stewart shares her tips on frying food and how to make the best fried chicken.
Watch This Week’s Cooking Lesson
Martha Stewart shares some tips on frying potatoes.
This Week’s Recipe
This vegetable tempura recipe uses a frying technique with various vegetables.
- For frying:
- Peanut or cold-pressed sunflower or safflower oil
- For batter:
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¾ cup very cold sparkling water, plus more if necessary
- 1 cup cake or pastry flour, plus more for dredging
- For vegetables:
- 1 medium sweet potato, sliced ¼-inch thick
- 1 small Japanese eggplant, thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
- Broccoli, trimmed and separated into florets
- Snow peas
- Wild mushrooms, such as oyster or maitake, separated into bite-size pieces
- Shishito or Padron peppers
- For serving ideas:
- Tempura Dipping Sauce, for serving
- Granulated sugar, for serving
- Heat 2 inches oil in a wok or heavy pot over medium heat to 350 degrees.
- Mix yolk with water using fat wooden chopsticks.
- Add the flour all at once and mix just slightly. There should be large lumps of flour and a rim of flour dust around the bowl. Over mixing will result in a heavy batter coating. It is best to mix the batter in this amount, and repeat as necessary.
- Prepare ingredients, dry them, and dredge lightly in flour before dipping in batter.
- When oil is hot, dip the vegetables one at a time into batter to coat completely, and then allow excess to drain into bowl.
- Working in batches, about 6 pieces at a time, and using a spider, carefully submerge vegetables in oil. Cook, turning once, until light golden, puffed and cooked through, about 3 minutes for most vegetables. They should be tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife.
- Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack to drain.
- Serve with dipping sauce. To serve sweet potato tempura for dessert, sprinkle with sugar and serve immediately.
Yield: 6-8 servings