Wonderfully crispy, golden-brown fried meals which steam appetizingly in the bowl are not something that people with celiac disease have to miss out on. BUT there are a few basic rules to bear in mind when you’re frying.
Here are the ABC’s of gluten free frying:
- The most important requirement to make sure that the meal does not bring any unpleasant surprises, is to make sure that the fat you are using for frying has not previously been used to cook food that contains gluten.
- You do not necessarily need a deep fryer; you can also use a large, deep pan. Use a flat slotted spoon to lift the food out once it has been fried.
- The best types of fat for frying are oils with a high smoke point (the temperature at which the oil starts to smoke when it is heated up) and a high proportion of simple, unsaturated fatty acids such as palm kernel oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil or clarified butter. You should only ever use one type of oil or fat and do not mix them together. Oils and butters are gluten free and can be used without hesitation.
- Both fresh and frozen foods are suitable for frying. Wet foods should be patted dry before frying. Frozen foods should be defrosted briefly and then dried as well.
- It is best to preheat the frying oil at roughly 140 – 175 °F for a few minutes and then bring it to the ideal frying temperature, which is roughly 350 °C. If you do not have a thermometer to check the temperature, put a chunk of white bread into the hot oil: if it is golden-brown after exactly one minute then the oil has reached the right temperature.
- The ratio of fried food to frying oil should be 1:10, and definitely no more than 1:15. If too much food is added to the oil then the temperature will drop too quickly.
- Fry all food for as little time as possible; the food should be browned to a golden yellow color.
- Drain the food well once it has been fried. If you keep the food warm until you serve it, less oil can get into the center of the food, meaning that it is less fatty.
The following foods are especially good for frying:
- Fish and seafood;
- Various ways of preparingvegetables and potatoes, as long as they do not contain gluten (fries, chips, fried potatoes);
- Fruit (with gluten free breadcrumbs);
- Gluten free baking and desserts.