Tech School: Flash Frying

Flash frying isn't difficult, but it carries with it a certain amount of risk and shouldn't be done without first learning the proper technique. Chef Cassandra Vires shows you how here with a delicious recipe of flash-fried shishito peppers with saffron aïoli.

Flash Fried Shishito Peppers with Saffron Aïoli

These delicately flavored peppers are perfect for flash frying because of their thin skins and mild heat. Their beautiful green color is amplified when they are cooked correctly. As with most Japanese peppers, the mild heat contributes to balanced flavor instead of mouth-blistering spice.

Serves | 6 |

Saffron Aïoli

  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 2 tsp hot water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1 cup olive oil

Flash Fried Peppers

  • 1 lb shishito peppers
  • 6 cups grape seed oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

| Preparation - Saffron Aïoli | Gently crush saffron threads with a mortar and pestle or between your fingers. Pour hot water over the crushed threads and let steep for 1 minute. In a medium glass bowl, combine egg yolk, lemon juice, minced garlic, cayenne and saffron water. Whisk together. While whisking, slowly pour oil into the egg mixture. Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth and combined. Set aside until ready to serve.

| Preparation - Flash Fried Peppers | Place peppers in a colander and rinse under cold water. Set on paper towels to thoroughly dry. Make sure there is no water left on the peppers before frying to prevent the oil from splashing.

In a large pot, heat oil over high heat. Using a deep-fry thermometer, continue to heat and adjust the temperature until it holds at 400°F. Using a long-handled mesh spoon, gently place a small number of peppers in the oil and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until slightly blistered. Remove and place on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and season with sea salt. Continue to fry the peppers in batches, allowing the oil to return to temperature each time. The peppers can be kept warm in the oven if necessary.

Serve with lemon wedges, additional sea salt and saffron aïoli.