Annie Quan, an event planner (she organizes Salt Lake magazine’s annual Dining Awards) and Skye Emerson, a film student from Texas, come by their love of frying naturally. They combine their Chinese and Southern heritage in deep fat.
“My dad, a Chinese chef, taught me how to fry, and how—if you have the oil at the right temperature and cook it correctly—it’s not a high-fat way of cooking,” Quan says. Emerson, Quan’s fry-buddy, shares her taste for fat. “I love fried food,” she says unabashedly, and cites the State Fair of Texas’ frying fame as influential on her taste for fried sweets. Quan and Emerson are so committed to deep fat that they bought a new fryer, a T-fal Filtra Pro-fryer, this past spring, just in time for Super Bowl entertaining. “I liked it because it has a basket. I prefer the rectangular shape, and it’s easy to clean,” Quan explains. “It was also very affordable. My dad has the Waring Pro fryer, but it’s too pricy for me.”
Quan gained a lot of her frying finesse from her father. “In Chinese cooking, they wok fry their meats at really high temperature to tenderize before they stir fry. At my dad’s restaurant, they flash fried to keep meats moist. All the Asian cuisines fry a lot,” she says. “And these aren’t fat people.”
“I don’t do a lot of batters—I prefer a light, crisp crust,” says Quan. She marinates meats, then gives them a dusting of flour or a coating of Panko crumbs.
1 dozen chicken wings, rinsed and patted dry. Cut into 3 pieces and discard the final joint.
*Mix these together and marinate the wings overnight:
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 Tbsp. Maggi soy sauce
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 Tbsp. sea salt
1/2 squeezed orange
*Drain the wings and dip into this dredge:
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
*Bring the oil to the appropriate temperature, 350 to 375 degrees, and fry wings in small batches until golden brown.
It’s critical that the fat remain hot enough, so never overcrowd the fry basket. That means you have to fry in batches.
*Drain on paper towels and serve with sauce.
2 Tbsp. hoisin
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. chili pepper
Juice and zest of one orange
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey (Add sugar if you want it sweeter.)