Culinary Technique – Deep-frying
When we say “frying” we immediately think of chips, so emblematic of Belgian cuisine. And of potatoes, the obvious choice for chips. But other vegetables can also be deep-fried. Jerusalem artichoke, beetroot, manioc, zucchini, turnips and rutabaga, parsnip, carrots, sweet potatoes and vitelotte potatoes are prime candidates. Basically, we can fry any starchy vegetable. Slice it into batonnets or rondelles. Soft vegetables must be blanched first, and then breaded or otherwise coated before frying (see Breading; Tempura below). For hard vegetables such as Jerusalem artichoke, celeriac, salsify, beetroot, carrots and zucchini, prepare them as you would when frying potatoes. Slice them into thin rondelles with a grater or mandoline slicer and fry them. You can serve them as hors d’oeuvres, put them in a salad or use them to garnish your meal.
- Clean and wash the vegetables. Slice them into batonnets, rondelles, strips or ribbons if you are using them as garnish.
- Fry them.
- Always be sure to drain them and place them on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.