How Not to Deep Fry Chinese Food?

I haven’t had a deep fryer in a long time… in fact, I try to avoid deep frying. One of my favorite dishes is Sweet and Pungent Shrimp, which I shallow fry in a cast iron skillet. It comes out great as shrimp cooks fast… and these aren’t even whole shrimp (they are cut in half lengthwise). As soon as they are crispy, they’re done.

But I wanna do some other fried dishes like orange chicken and sweet and sour pork and am concerned the proteins won’t cook through using a shallow pan fry.

Any of you do this? Any advice needed as to the method?

Air fry the proteins.

1 Like

Don’t have an air fryer.

Maybe it’s time to consider one?

You can get one for as little as $25

Do you have a wok? That’s what I use.

I don’t get it. Cook your proteins until they’re done? Use a thermometer?

I mean, shallow frying will cook food as thoroughly as you want it to.


I know you said “fried dishes”, but I make Orange (chicken, pork, beef) and Mango (chicken, pork, beef) in an old “jiggler” weight pressure cooker.

If you want the recipe and method, let me know and I’ll be glad to post it.

1 Like

Not anymore. Since I cook on a glasstop, I’d need a flat bottom one… and I don’t really see a diference between that and a small CI skillet.

I also cook on a glasstop. I have a small flat bottom wok, it is not as shallow as a skillet giving you a deeper pool of oil. I do however usually do all my frying in an electric skillet where I can control the temperature of the oil, but if you don’t have one of those that’s no help either.

1 Like

Fair enough… just ordered a small one from Lodge (it was even on sale).

1 Like

I had an early, analogue version of that 2.6 Dash. Loved it. Traded up to a 2.6 qt Vortex (by Instant Pot) because I’d worn all the markings off the Dash. The Vortex , which is programmable. was under $50. I use the little thing a lot. And, it’s red. :joy:

The smallish pieces in these dishes will cook through just fine if you shallow fry them. You’ll just have to turn them once or twice to make sure the breading gets fully crisped on all sides and make sure your oil doesn’t overheat. By the way, you don’t need a dedicated deep fryer to deep fry. A deep dutch oven on the stovetop works just as well (if not better).


Thanks… I have a couple of LC pots that I could use, but my aversion to deep frying is the amount of oil needed and not the vessel. In my 8" CI skillet I can get away with considerably less than a pint.

Understood. I shallow fry small items/quantities for this reason as well. Just keep a closer eye on oil temp and flipping and you should have no problems achieving deep fry-like results.

1 Like

I agree. I’ve got a “Fry Daddy” type deep fryer electric, but more often for falafel or battered shrimp or battered catfish, I use something like this.

This is a stock photo but is basically the same as my SuperMaid aluminum pot, except this one in the photo seems to have lost its bail.

Works great with a spider for deep frying, and only needs about half the oil that the Fry Daddy requires.

I use an enameled CI pot for deep frying, and leave it on the cooktop until my deepfrying jones is satisfied. I’ll typically crave something like kara age or tonkatsu, and after I make that I’ll use a wire skimmer to scoop out the chunky bits and just keep reusing the oil until I’ve had enough deep fried food. If the oil gets too dirty, I’ll clean it using Kenji’s method, which actually works pretty well. When I’m done with the oil I’m usually down to less than a quart, which I’ll clean and decant into a clean jar and use for stir-frying or eggs or any shallow fried foods that I don’t mind a little bit of whatever was fried earlier. I hate dumping out oil, so I try not to as much as possible.


Does that work with a variety of coatings and none at all? I’d like to try that.

The gelatin method? I have been meaning to try this - good to have a vote in favor!

I wondered the same thing and also how the oil worked. The $25 Dash unit from Target says (in the Q&A comments) that it’s basically the same as a $50 one on Amazon (the one at Target is exclusive to them and some settings are slightly different).

So, I pulled up the one on Amazon and was looking at its manual. If you flip toward the recipes section, see for example onion rings and fried chicken they seem to do the dip-in-wet-then-dry process, but lean into using panko or breadcrumbs for the dry. Surely flour and cornstarch, etc., would also work though? :

1 Like

It works with a basic flour/breadcrumb/panko coating that you would use with fried chicken, which is what you would use with a basic orange chicken or sweet/sour [insert meat of choice] dish.

And, yes, you could also air fry uncoated chicken as well.