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45 Fried Food Recipes That Bring Comfort To The Kitchen

Fried food selection on platter
Fried food selection on platter - sweet marshmallow/Shutterstock

Salad bowls are delicious, but they're not very comforting. Soup and stew are perfect for a rainy day. But none of this can compare to munching on succulent, crispy fried chicken, fighting over the halloumi fries on movie night, or serving a pile of struffoli to a dinner table full of impressed guests. It's inarguable that fried foods are among the most crave-worthy of all.

But let's address the elephant in the room. Fried food isn't usually the healthiest choice, even though the rise of trendy air fryers has changed the game, erasing the connotation of these dishes as necessarily being greasy or fatty. However, more importantly, we consider the heart of food to reside in connecting relationships, evoking nostalgia, exploring culinary delights, providing nourishment, and delivering deliciousness. Besides, "everything in moderation" — as the saying goes.

Whether you limit fried foods to fry day (get it?) or enjoy them every other day, we've got a selection of recipes sure to introduce you to unexplored culinary territory, offering boundless inspiration. There's something for everyone, whether you're a plant-based eater, have a sweet tooth, love exploring other cultures through food, or merely believe everything tastes better once fried (and you'd be right). If you're ready, let's dive in — but fair warning, these suggestions are guaranteed to get your mouth watering!

Read more: 8 Absolute Best Cuts Of Meat To Deep Fry

Vanilla-Glazed Mochi Donuts

Mochi donuts with glaze
Mochi donuts with glaze - Chanel Murphy/Tasting Table

They say you eat with your eyes first, and these irresistible mochi donuts, drizzled with a sweet, floral vanilla glaze, are as photogenic as they are delicious. This unique creation is a Japanese-American fusion dessert, combining the traditional chewy texture of mochi with the light and fluffy American donut — all packaged in a pretty flower shape. While home cooks may doubt they can recreate these trendy treats at home, our recipe developers are here to help with an easy, step-by-step method.

Recipe: Vanilla-Glazed Mochi Donuts

Cajun Andouille Hush Puppies

Hush puppies with dip
Hush puppies with dip - Jessica Morone/Tasting Table

It's no secret that you can find some of the best hearty comfort food in the South, especially fried foods. We particularly enjoy hush puppies — they're crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, made from a mixture of cornmeal, all-purpose flour, buttermilk, and eggs. Compared to normal hush puppies, this recipe is a little different (and a little better). It incorporates nontraditional ingredients like beer — which adds a depth of flavor and makes the batter airy — plus smoky and spicy andouille sausage, and finishes with savory and punchy notes from Cajun seasoning.

Recipe: Cajun Andouille Hush Puppies

Chicken Fried Chicken With Creamy Gravy

Chicken fried chicken and gravy
Chicken fried chicken and gravy - Leah Maroney/Tasting Table

Step aside, KFC — the real deal in chicken fried chicken happens right in your own kitchen. Mastering this dish at home outshines the restaurant-style version; the breading achieves a perfect balance of crispy, crunchy, and delicate, while the chicken itself turns out tender and bursting with flavor, thanks to a soak in a blend of hot sauce, honey, pickle brine, egg, and milk. After frying the chicken, we utilize the oil in our creamy gravy, adding the finishing touch to this comforting, homey plate.

Recipe: Chicken Fried Chicken With Creamy Gravy

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

Taiwanese popcorn chicken with basil
Taiwanese popcorn chicken with basil - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

In Taiwan, once the clock strikes midnight, the night comes alive with the sounds and smells of street food. Taiwanese popcorn chicken, a local delicacy that draws bustling crowds, is the main attraction. But you needn't wait until night sets in to savor this Asian delight. Gather ginger, garlic, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and spices for the marinade. Coat the chicken in sweet potato starch, fry until crunchy, then sprinkle with hot Sichuan peppercorns and crispy fried basil. In less than 30 minutes, you'll have all the flavors of Taiwan — without stepping outside the house.

Recipe: Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

Dill Tuna Patties And Cucumber Cream Sauce

Dill tuna patties and sauce
Dill tuna patties and sauce - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Most pantries or cupboards have a stack of untouched canned foods at the back. Time to change that — with minimal additions, canned tuna transforms into versatile, crispy patties. Enhance them with panko breadcrumbs for crunch, mayonnaise for moisture, eggs for binding, dill for that fresh and grassy undertone, shallots for delicate sweetness, Dijon mustard for peppery punch, and lemon zest for a hint of zing. Pair them with a refreshing cucumber cream sauce and serve between buns for a comforting meal, or alongside a salad for a more nourishing approach.

Recipe: Dill Tuna Patties And Cucumber Cream Sauce

Sweet And Spicy Corn Dogs

Corn dogs with ketchup
Corn dogs with ketchup - Jessica Morone/Tasting Table

A visit to the fairgrounds is incomplete without a bite of America's favorite deep-fried snack, corn dogs. However, if you're anything like us, the craving for corn dogs doesn't always coincide with the county fair. Well, we've got good news for you: These treats are effortless to make at home. For the ultimate homemade carnival food experience, gather inexpensive hot dogs, wooden skewers, and a basic corn dog batter. But this isn't any old recipe — we divulge two secret ingredients that will completely change the game.

Recipe: Sweet And Spicy Corn Dogs

Easy Tostones And Garlic Sauce

Tostones with garlic sauce
Tostones with garlic sauce - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Smashed potatoes are all the rage, but their tastier relative, tostones, remain a hidden culinary gem. If you're unfamiliar, tostones are a savory treat from Latin America and the Caribbean, made from plantains (a starchy tropical fruit related to the banana). Chunks of unripe fruits are cut, fried, smashed, and then fried again. Double frying caramelizes the edges and adds hints of sweetness to the otherwise savory tostones, contrasting nicely with a sprinkle of salt and the dipping sauce.

Recipe: Easy Tostones And Garlic Sauce

Levantine-Inspired Fried Eggplant

Fried eggplant with pomegranate
Fried eggplant with pomegranate - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Nuanced, tangy, earthy, sweet, citrusy — these eggplant rounds hold a lot of flavor. Modeled after the fresh-yet-complex flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean, this vegetarian recipe is a guaranteed hit among crowds. The dish's flexibility means it's equally enjoyable served hot or cold, making it perfect for gatherings or parties.

Moreover, preparing the coated eggplant takes less than 30 minutes — including the time it takes to make a tantalizingly aromatic and sticky honey-thyme glaze to drizzle on the pieces of golden eggplant.

Recipe: Levantine-Inspired Fried Eggplant

Pan-Fried Salmon Croquettes

Salmon croquettes with lemon
Salmon croquettes with lemon - Molly Pisula/Tasting Table

Even the most divinely tasty and comforting fried food recipes don't necessarily have to be unhealthy. Take these salmon croquettes; they're packed with vibrant bell peppers and freshly chopped dill, seasoned with the timeless flavor of Old Bay, and finished with zesty lemon — the perfect complement to the delicate fish. Check out our recipe featuring a classic sour cream sauce, plus serving tips; pair these crispy croquettes with rice or steamed veggies for a complete, fulfilling meal.

Recipe: Pan-Fried Salmon Croquettes

Pan-Fried Coconut Shrimp

Coconut shrimp in dipping sauce
Coconut shrimp in dipping sauce - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Would you ever guess that one of America's most beloved finger-food recipes, coconut shrimp, is remarkably easy to make at home? And even more shockingly, these little flavor bombs only require a handful of ingredients. Although you may be used to buying coconut shrimp frozen, this recipe will be a complete game changer; the fresh raw shrimp becomes juicy and plump once cooked, while the panko-coconut breading is golden, crispy, and offers the perfect amount of sweetness to counter the natural saltiness of the shrimp.

Recipe: Pan-Fried Coconut Shrimp

Chili-Garlic Pan-Fried Fish

Fried garlic sardines and lemon
Fried garlic sardines and lemon - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

We're huge fans of the Mediterranean diet, which frequently ranks as one of the healthiest worldwide, focusing heavily on vegetable and seafood-based dishes. At its core are simple, quick-to-cook, seasonal, and fresh dishes, just like this flavor-packed pan-fried dish seasoned with fiery chili flakes, liberal amounts of chopped garlic, and fresh herbs like basil and parsley. You can use whatever fish you prefer, although our recipe developer recommends the popular option of mild and meaty sardines, which are sure to be a hit with solo cooks, families, or a large crowd.

Recipe: Chili-Garlic Pan-Fried Fish

Air Fryer Fried Chicken

Fried chicken pieces on plates
Fried chicken pieces on plates - Joe Dillard/Tasting Table

Air fryers are becoming increasingly popular as the years pass by. If you doubt that air-fried meals could match the deliciousness of deep-fried ones, all it takes is one recipe to change your mind: this mouthwatering air-fried chicken. It's less messy, healthier, and surprisingly delicious, all thanks to the spice-infused buttermilk batter and the flour-based coating. You won't believe the difference, especially when served with creamy mashed potatoes and gravy, turning this air fryer fried chicken into an ideal comfort meal.

Recipe: Air Fryer Fried Chicken

New Orleans Beignets

Beignets on plate
Beignets on plate - Jessica Morone/Tasting Table

Beignets are a French delicacy, but there's one place in America where you can find little choux pastries to rival those in a Parisian cafe: New Orleans. The influence French cuisine has on the iconic Louisiana city is indisputable; founded as a French colony in the 18th century and named for a French Duke, it's no wonder that the Big Easy produces some of the best French food outside of France.

If you can't make it to New Orleans — or France — these fluffy donut-like treats are easy to make at home by following our recipe. Dust the beignets with powdered sugar, eat them warm, and serve with a cup of black coffee.

Recipe: New Orleans Beignets

Gooey Stringy Mozzarella Sticks

Mozzarella sticks on plate
Mozzarella sticks on plate - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Who doesn't love mozzarella sticks? In our experience, this beloved finger food is a family favorite, with everyone from children to grandparents munching on the cheesy snacks. Calling deep-fried cheese a crowd-pleaser is an understatement; plates will be empty every time you serve this recipe, guaranteed.

The best thing about this recipe is that it's easily freezable, meaning you can grab a batch and fry them anytime you get a craving. To make the mozzarella sticks, just dip the cheese in flour, egg, and then a breadcrumb mixture seasoned with dried oregano, paprika, and garlic powder. Fry until crispy, gooey, and oozing, then serve with your favorite condiment.

Recipe: Gooey Stringy Mozzarella Sticks

Deep Fried Oreos

Stack of deep fried Oreos
Stack of deep fried Oreos - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

We like to eat cookies straight from the packet as much as the next person, but sometimes we love to get creative. When it comes to Oreos, there are numerous ways to eat them: in milkshakes, truffles, or cheesecakes, to name a few. Yet, these variations pale in comparison to the most indulgent dessert of all: deep-fried Oreos. This decadent sweet involves dipping the chocolate-and-cream cookies into a homemade pancake batter, frying until puffy, then dusting them with powdered sugar. Trust us, this easy dessert is impossible to resist.

Recipe: Deep Fried Oreos

Warm Spiced Southern Fried Apples

Southern fried apples in bowl
Southern fried apples in bowl - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Dessert may not be your first choice when the cold winter chill hits, but this Southern classic is comforting, homey, and unbelievably simple to make at home. It only takes 15 minutes to fry your sliced apples — we recommend Pink Lady or Granny Smith — but the beautiful caramelized flavor from brown sugar makes you think this dessert takes much more effort than it really does. And the best bit? The heavenly aroma of sizzling butter flavored with sweet cinnamon, warming nutmeg, and floral vanilla wafting through the air.

Recipe: Warm Spiced Southern Fried Apples

Classic Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp fried rice with egg
Shrimp fried rice with egg - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

We firmly believe that sometimes, leftovers make the best meals. And we don't mean just reheating your plate in the microwave: We're talking about fried rice, the age-old solution to jazzing up your day-old rice.

This recipe for shrimp fried rice, an umami-packed dish that gives takeout a run for its money, is a critical addition to your weekly rotation. In only 15 minutes, you'll have a plate of steaming rice peppered with aromatic garlic, scallions, ginger, fluffy scrambled eggs, crunchy beansprouts, and soy-marinated shrimp.

Recipe: Classic Shrimp Fried Rice

Diner-Style Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken fried steak with eggs
Chicken fried steak with eggs - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Bringing that nostalgic diner-style taste home can be challenging — but with our help, you can recreate those beloved flavors without the concerns of diner drawbacks, like food-prep safety or inconsistent service. One of our favorites to cook at home is crispy chicken fried steak topped with creamy gravy, sunny-side-up eggs, and shredded hash browns. Buy the steak pre-tenderized, dip it in eggs, then press the meat into a spiced flour mix — just like fried chicken — before adding it to hot oil. That distinctive crunch is best when it's fresh from the fryer.

Recipe: Diner-Style Chicken Fried Steak

Classic British Fish And Chips

Fish and chips with peas
Fish and chips with peas - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

There's nothing quite like British fish and chips. Unlike American fries, British chips are thick, fluffy on the inside, buttery, crispy, and cut straight from potatoes. The fish (usually cod or haddock) is flaky, tender, and coated in a light, crunchy beer batter. It may sound simple, but it's beloved by a whole country for a good reason: it's delicious.

We recommend serving British-style fish and chips with mushy peas and tartar sauce. Furthermore, don't forget the essential touch of salt and a generous splash of malt vinegar.

Recipe: Classic British Fish and Chips

Old-Fashioned Hot Water Cornbread

Hot water cornbread on plate
Hot water cornbread on plate - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

Cornbread is a Thanksgiving staple, but in some areas of the Southern U.S., it's a comfort food enjoyed on a weekly basis. If you're a cornbread connoisseur, you'll know all about old-school hot water cornbread — if not, let us introduce you. This recipe is a more rustic variant of the traditional cornbread, containing the same pantry staples; cornmeal, salt, sugar, and oil. Instead of pouring the batter into a pan, we mix it up, shape it into patties, and fry it, producing an extra-soft bite perfect for soaking up piquant chili or melted butter.

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Hot Water Cornbread

Crispy Breaded Chicken Katsu

Chicken katsu on white plate
Chicken katsu on white plate - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Fried chicken is the ultimate comfort food, but with a few simple adaptations, you can swap traditional fried chicken with a flavor-packed Japanese-style chicken katsu. Unlike American-style fried chicken, there's no spicing involved in the frying stage — just tender, juicy chicken cuts coated in ultra-crispy panko breadcrumbs. However, the true star is the smoky, spicy, thick, and glossy tonkatsu sauce made from ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salty oyster sauce, brown sugar, and mustard. It brings the whole dish together, adding complexity that makes this dish the worldwide hit we know and love.

Recipe: Crispy Breaded Chicken Katsu

Pork Fried Rice

Pork fried rice with scallions
Pork fried rice with scallions - Catherine Brookes/Tasting Table

Compared to the exceedingly well-liked beef fried rice or chicken fried rice, this recipe may not have as many champions, but we're here to change your mind. Pork works well in fried rice because its mild, slightly sweet flavor complements the full-bodied soy sauce, while its fatty texture means the meat remains succulent and juicy. We love to finish the dish with plenty of finely chopped fresh vegetables and the obligatory aromatics: garlic, ginger, and onion. With a little effort, you'll create a restaurant-worthy dish quicker than ordering takeout.

Recipe: Pork Fried Rice

Classic Latkes

Latkes topped with sour cream
Latkes topped with sour cream - Alexandra Shytsman/Tasting Table

Latkes, the premier potato cakes, have long been a cherished festive dish, typically prepared to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Not too dissimilar from hash browns, this classic snack recipe is made by grating raw potatoes and onions, wringing out the liquid (this is key for latkes with the best crunch), seasoning with freshly crushed black pepper, mixing with eggs and flour, then frying until golden brown. Like many recipes, these latkes highlight the delights of simple food. However, we won't wait for Hanukkah — these potato snacks are welcome on our breakfast table any day.

Recipe: Classic Latkes

Classic Chicken Cordon Bleu

Cut chicken cordon bleu
Cut chicken cordon bleu - Jennine Bryant/Tasting Table

Crunchy, juicy, succulent, and tender chicken oozing with mild and fruity Emmental cheese. Doesn't that sound mouthwatering? Chicken cordon bleu, a French dish that likely first arrived in North America sometime during the 1960s, is an impressive dinner that's as indulgent as it is crowd-pleasing.

Unlike other breaded chicken recipes, this is unique: it has gooey cheese and smoked ham stuffing, elevating it to an upper echelon of culinary comfort food. Furthermore, our recipe developer has a secret ingredient that'll add an earthy refinement and perfectly match the classic European flavors.

Recipe: Classic Chicken Cordon Bleu

Traditional Fry Bread

Fry bread on paper towel
Fry bread on paper towel - Melissa Olivieri/Tasting Table

During challenging times, fry bread became a testament to people's culinary creativity. When traditional crops like corn weren't available, Native American tribes turned staple ingredients into a versatile bread. This foodstuff complements both savory and sweet dishes, and, despite being an instant bread (it doesn't require leavening), fry bread is light and pillowy. The only question is, what will you make with it — venison tacos, or honey- and jam-slathered sweets?

Recipe: Traditional Fry Bread

Homemade Crab Rangoon

Crab rangoon and sauce
Crab rangoon and sauce - Cecilia Ryu/Tasting Table

There's a definite correlation between comfort food and takeout food. Crab rangoon, an appetizer widespread in Chinese-American restaurants nationwide, are no different. It's no wonder this fusion dish is so famous — it's the perfect bite-size party food, with fragile little crispy fried wonton wrappers stuffed to the brim with creamy, salty crab. Like a typical takeout, our recipe uses imitation crab meat (which is mild and affordable) mixed with cream cheese, scallions, Worcestershire sauce, and pre-made wonton wrappers. Making these snacks at home is a fun exercise for the whole family, with a massively delicious reward.

Recipe: Homemade Crab Rangoon

Classic Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders with fries
Chicken tenders with fries - Eric Ngo/Tasting Table

Although this recipe demands some time, rest assured that every minute invested will pay off in the intensely complex flavor notes. Chicken tenders, the narrow, succulent meat from the underside of chicken breasts, are the perfect finger food. You can buy them pre-cut or separate the meat yourself.

Most of the time (and flavor) comes from marinating the chicken in buttermilk, which tenderizes the chicken and adds undertones of sweet tanginess. Then, the only thing left is to make that tempting golden crust with seasoned flour. Our recipe developer suggests double coating for twice the crunch.

Recipe: Classic Chicken Tenders

Upscale Chicken Piccata

Chicken piccata on white plate
Chicken piccata on white plate - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Like several Italian dishes, chicken piccata balances simplicity and elegance effortlessly. At its core, these chicken breasts aren't much different from the standard American fried chicken. But the salty, citrusy, fruity, buttery sauce makes all the difference, transforming this into a dish worthy of dinner parties and deluxe restaurants. The inspiration for our recipe comes from Michelin-starred cooking, ensuring its outstanding quality.

Lightly fried crispy chicken is topped with lemon zest, while the sauce is a jaw-dropping must-try: butter swirled with aromatic shallots, garlic, and tart capers, deglazed with white wine and enriched with stock.

Recipe: Upscale Chicken Piccata

Crispy And Crunchy Fried Calamari

Calamari with lemon and herbs
Calamari with lemon and herbs - Cecilia Ryu/TastingTable

Buttermilk isn't only good for tenderizing chicken; it works for seafood, too. Indeed, buttermilk is one of the primary keys to success in this crispy fried calamari recipe. The method involves soaking the pre-cleaned squid in a tangy milk mixture for at least 30 minutes, ensuring optimal flavor and tenderness before deep-frying it in a seasoned flour mixture.

Shake off the excess buttermilk and flour for the ultimate mouthfeel and texture, leaving behind a delicate and crispy coating. Serve this snack hot with zesty fresh lemon wedges and vibrant parsley for added savory depth.

Recipe: Crispy And Crunchy Fried Calamari

Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich

Po boy sandwich with chips
Po boy sandwich with chips - Molly Madigan Pisula/Tasting Table

The po boy (or "poor boy", derived from local dialect) is one of the most iconic sandwiches of the United States. Created in the bustling city of New Orleans, the sandwich base is a crusty, fluffy-in-the-center local variety of a French baguette, slathered with a tangy, creamy spread made from mayonnaise, mustard, chopped pickles, and hot sauce.

Of course, the main event here is shrimp, marinated in hot sauce-infused buttermilk, breaded with spicy and smoky cornmeal, then fried. The contrast between the bread, acidic pickles, creamy sauce, and crispy, juicy shrimp will have you reaching for more.

Recipe: Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich

Southern Fried Cabbage

Southern fried cabbage and bacon
Southern fried cabbage and bacon - Susan Olayinka/Tasting Table

Cabbage may be one of the most humble vegetables, but it's also one of the easiest to spruce up into something warm, homey, and comforting — but also worthy of center stage. And what's the best way you can improve that sad head of cabbage? Frying it, of course.

First, there's lots of butter (all the best recipes have plenty of butter), then bacon, garlic, celery, bell peppers, and onions. We're building a solid flavor base here. Next is the cabbage, then Creole seasoning — this is essential. The bacon renders out its fat, leading to crispy, heavenly, caramelized cabbage. It's a revelation.

Recipe: Southern Fried Cabbage

Panko Fried Shrimp

Panko fried shrimp and lemon
Panko fried shrimp and lemon - Christina Musgrave/Tasting Table

Despite its upscale appearance, this recipe is surprisingly straightforward to prepare. It's an ideal option for those seeking comfort and delicious flavors right in their own kitchen. Dig out a bag of frozen shrimp from your freezer, and mix ground black pepper, salt, and garlic powder with flour, before dipping the shrimp in the seasoned flour, then in beaten eggs, and finally into the panko. Your choice of breadcrumbs is vital: Panko gives a distinctively crispy, flaked texture that's too inviting to resist.

Recipe: Panko Fried Shrimp

Simple Funnel Cake

Homemade funnel cake with sugar
Homemade funnel cake with sugar - Jessica Morone/Tasting Table

Hands up if you've finished a long, fun day at the carnival by digging into a crisp, sweet funnel cake. Well, we certainly have. While the carnival is usually an annual treat, there's no need to limit yourself — funnel cakes are irresistible enough to enjoy more frequently. The good news? You can recreate them in your kitchen with a blend of buttermilk pancake mix, rich vanilla, and a generous amount of sugar. The distinctive pattern is also surprisingly easy to imitate; pour the batter into a piping bag and push it into hot oil.

Recipe: Simple Funnel Cake

Vegetarian Egg Rolls

Vegetable egg rolls on plates
Vegetable egg rolls on plates - Alexandra Shytsman/Tasting Table

Is it just us, or are the appetizers the best part of Chinese takeout? Crab rangoons, wontons, and, let's not forget, egg rolls. These finger-licking-good snacks are everyone's favorite, and it's no wonder. The crisp, brittle, rich wrappers bursting with lightly seasoned cabbage, carrots, and meaty shiitake mushrooms are so tasty it's dangerous. Thankfully, pre-made egg roll wrappers make recreating this vegetarian treat a breeze, and it'll take only 20 minutes. Don't forget the hoisin sauce for dipping — and cook enough to share.

Recipe: Vegetarian Egg Rolls

Easy Fried Green Tomatoes

Plate of fried green tomatoes
Plate of fried green tomatoes - Christina Musgrave/Tasting Table

We often lament unripe bananas or pears, but when it comes to unripe tomatoes, their firm texture, astringent taste, and green fruit can be a boon. Despite the widespread popularity of fried green tomatoes in the region, rumor has it that this dish didn't originate in the South. Nonetheless, the Southern tradition holds: dip flour-coated green tomato slices in a mixture of buttermilk and eggs, cover in peppery breadcrumbs, and fry. If it's perfect as is, why change it? Simply grab a creamy dip to complement these tangy, crunchy treats.

Recipe: Easy Fried Green Tomatoes

Pan Fried Okra

Pan fried okra in bowl
Pan fried okra in bowl - Jaime Shelbert/Tasting Table

Of all the ingredients with a bad reputation, okra may be the most maligned. Many chefs avoid the vegetable, citing its slimy, gooey nature as reason enough to restrict its usage to gumbo or stew. If you fall into this camp, you're missing out, and there's an easy solution to your fears: frying.

Fried okra covered in smoky cayenne and grainy cornmeal is anything but slimy. In fact, it's juicy and tender, but also sensationally crisp, crunchy, and tasty enough to eat alone (or maybe with some aioli).

Recipe: Pan Fried Okra

Homemade Struffoli

Italian struffoli wreath
Italian struffoli wreath - Stephanie Rapone/Tasting Table

Come Christmas, bakeries in New York — or any area with a significant Italian-American population — are teeming with eager customers waiting to get their hands on the ultimate Italian treat, struffoli. These honey-covered dough balls are a head-turning centerpiece, often arranged in a festive wreath or tall pile.

Instead of lining up in the cold, it's a breeze to make struffoli at home. The dough — which is equally light, rich, and buttery — carries the divine scents of lemon and orange zest. Moreover, the honey syrup features sophisticated hints of citrus-flavored liqueur and fragrant vanilla. Just one bite will conjure the essence of Italy in wintertime.

Recipe: Homemade Struffoli

Irish Potato Cakes

Irish potato cakes and chives
Irish potato cakes and chives - Jaime Shelbert/Tasting Table

It's well-known that Irish people love the starchy, adaptable potato — honestly, who doesn't? Still, Irish potato dishes are some of the most rustic, filling, and hearty, with potato cakes taking the prize as one of the most satisfying breakfast plates.

Perhaps the best thing about these potato cakes is that you can make them using leftover mashed potatoes. The only additional ingredients you'll require are eggs for binding, flour to achieve that characteristic light and fluffy texture, and salt and pepper for seasoning. For optimal savory flavors, we recommend frying these beauties in butter.

Recipe: Irish Potato Cakes

Halloumi Fries

Halloumi fries with ketchup
Halloumi fries with ketchup - Ting Dalton/Tasting Table

Chewy, squeaky, and salty: Halloumi is a polarizing cheese. Although some people adore this cheese, proclaiming the Cypriot food as their ultimate dairy preference, others are yet to be convinced by its texture and flavor. If you're on the fence, this recipe will convert you to a halloumi lover; if you're already on board, this is an ideal way to eat your favorite cheese.

While halloumi fries are commonly deep-fried, this recipe provides the option to bake them instead. Cut halloumi cheese into thick strips, then cover it in garlicky flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs. Halloumi doesn't melt under high temperatures — meaning that once they emerge from the oven or fryer, they're just slightly gooey inside.

Recipe: Halloumi Fries

Corn Fritters

Stacks of corn fritters
Stacks of corn fritters - Kate Shungu/Tasting Table

You can't help but feel hungry when you see that golden, crispy outer shell and glimpse the creamed sweet corn inside. Corn fritters have always been a go-to for quick, comforting bites, but this recipe surpasses what we're accustomed to. Our secret for superior corn fritters is found in a simple technique: whipping egg whites. Create unbelievably light and airy fritters by mixing canned creamed corn with baking powder, flour, salt, paprika (for just a hint of fruity spice), egg yolks for richness, and the fluffy whipped egg whites.

Recipe: Corn Fritters

Deep-Fried Bananas

Plate of deep-fried bananas
Plate of deep-fried bananas - Susan Olayinka/Tasting Table

Move over, banana pancakes — you've got competition. Okay, these deep-fried bananas may not be the healthiest way to eat fruit, but they're outrageously scrumptious; the banana's naturally soft texture and caramel-esque sweetness balance out the rich, buttery batter. You only need a few pantry staples, less than 10 minutes, and an appetite — then you're ready to go. Once you finish frying them, add a sprinkle of cinnamon or powdered sugar (or why not both?) to bring the whole treat together.

Recipe: Deep-Fried Bananas

Best Elephant Ears

Elephant ears with cinnamon sugar
Elephant ears with cinnamon sugar - Miriam Hahn/Tasting Table

A familiar scent or taste can work wonders to transport you back to joyful childhood memories. If you're yearning for the thrill of carnival rides, the joy of midway games, and the satisfaction of biting into a classic elephant ear after a fun day, why not recreate the experience at home? Elephant ears are such an iconic food, and despite having a yeasted dough, these sweet fried treats are surprisingly easy to make at home with our step-by-step recipe.

Recipe: Best Elephant Ears

Best Mustard Fried Chicken

Mustard fried chicken and biscuit
Mustard fried chicken and biscuit - Kate Shungu/Tasting Table

Beneath the familiar facade of a regular fried chicken recipe lies a surprise — an elusive secret ingredient that holds the key to unlocking a realm of intriguing flavors. We'd never thought of cooking fried chicken with mustard, but now we don't want to make it any other way. Coated in a golden-brown crust, the chicken sizzles with a blend of spices and the unique kick of mustard. The result? A dish that's both comforting and exciting, boasting a delightful crunch with every bite.

Recipe: Best Mustard Fried Chicken

Simple Churros

Churros with sugar on plate
Churros with sugar on plate - Laura Sampson/Tasting Table

Like any chef, we appreciate complex flavors, yet traditional classics carry undeniable charm. Churros — a beloved delicacy believed to originate in Spain, and made famous by theme parks nationwide — comprise a perfect example. Their unique flavor sets churros apart from other fried sweets, owing to the soft pastry core. Making churros begins with bringing water, salt, butter, sugar, and vanilla extract to a boil, then folding in flour before adding eggs. Use a star nozzle to pipe them into the characteristic stick shape, then fry. Make the most of piping hot churros with a dusting of cinnamon sugar or a liberal ladle of warm chocolate sauce.

Recipe: Simple Churros

Beer-Battered Onion Rings

Beer battered onion ring stack
Beer battered onion ring stack - Ting Dalton/Tasting Table

Oh, onion rings. Whether you enjoy them on top of burgers, mixed in with fries, accompanying tacos, alongside Buffalo wings, or just with a side of your go-to sauce, they never fail to satisfy.

Making onion rings at home is a different matter. It can be tricky to achieve a flawless onion ring. First, the batter — crisp, light, subtly flavored with beer, coating the onions just enough. Secondly, the onions themselves — soft with a touch of crunch and delicately sweet. However, with the right recipe, it's a walk in the park. Hint: This is the one you need.

Recipe: Beer-Battered Onion Rings

Read the original article on Tasting Table.