Who can resist the temptation of an expertly fried dish? This technique to cook ingredients in hot oil originated in ancient Egypt, while tempura (first dipping in batter) was first introduced in Japan. And in the west, we’ve been blessed over the years with the French fry, fried chicken, corn dogs, doughnuts and even deep-fried chocolate. While there are devotees who will sniff out the deep-fried dish on the menu and engage in heated debates about whether chips should be slap or crispy; there are also those who like to gently stir-fry their veggies and pan-fry their chicken breasts. Frying is for everybody! But if you need some practice to back up your arguments, we’ve got you covered. Here are 30 recipes that will have you cranking up your frying pans in no time.
Durban fish cakes
Soft on the inside, crisp on the outside, these fishcakes go down a treat with a bit of spicy mayonnaise.
Fried fish with handcut chips
Frying fish in the old-school way, with popping hot oil, always tastes better. Here’s how to deep-fry fish and real potato chips at home.
Hake and potato fish cakes with tomato salsa
This is a light and healthy, kid-friendly dish. Use prawns or salmon and sweet potato as alternatives if you don’t like hake.
Pan-fried fish with cucumber yoghurt
A lovely, summery tzatziki adds zing and freshness to fried fish. Use a firm fish so that it doesn’t fall apart when frying.
Pan-fried hake with herb butter and mushy peas
This fragrant main is as easy as a flash in the pan, and the addition of herb-and-garlic butter takes things up a notch.
Sarah Graham’s spicy prawn cakes with watercress pesto
Prawn cakes are the perfect choice for a light lunch or dinner. The watercress pesto gives it a fancy twist.
24-hour breakfast bun
The ultimate gourmet pig-out! The bacon can be grilled or fried. It works wonders as a hangover cure too.
Alida Ryder’s pork and apple burgers
The apple is added for its subtle flavour and sweetness. Serve the fried pork patties on toasted buns with caramelised onions, thinly sliced apples, sliced camembert and fresh rocket. Delicious.
Apple stuffed pork chops
Apple and pork make a winning combination in this recipe, which calls for both frying and baking.
BBQ pork with curry noodles
Something different to try for a weeknight dinner. The tanginess of the pork will round off the spiciness of the noodles.
Gordan Ramsay’s stuffed squid with pork
This calamari recipe is served with nuoc cham, a delicious Vietnamese dipping sauce. The pork gives it a smoky twist.
Peri-peri calamari with chorizo sausage
Scatter the spicy calamari and chorizo with chopped parsley and serve hot, with lemon wedges and crusty bread.
Brad Ball’s chicken pad Thai
Saucy, spicy and nutty, this is a real crowd-pleaser – the beautiful flavours of this dish are soaked up by the noodles.
Chicken sandwiches with spinach and apple salad
This salad has harissa paste for kick, sliced apple for sweetness, and ginger and chilli for zing – and it’s the ideal match for fried chicken sarmies.
Jamie Oliver’s golden chicken with braised greens and potato gratin
Adapted from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals, this chicken recipe makes a super-speedy midweek dinner. Sage, parmesan, bacon and leeks mean it’s not short on flavour, either.
This peri-peri mix is more sweet than spicy, so it’s great for kids. The pan-fried tomatoes also add a beautiful pop of colour.
Gourmet cheeseburgers with coleslaw
Homemade burger patties beat the socks off the store-bought variety. Here’s how to make your very own meaty burger patties from scratch.
Parmesan-crumbed lamb chops
Lamb chops are arguably best cooked on the braai, but they can just as successfully be fried up in the kitchen. Try these cheesy crumbed beauties for a family dinner.
Sirloin with gorgonzola and bacon sauce and avocado salad
This tastes just as good as it sounds. All our favourite things in one dish.
Butterbean burgers with herb salad and turmeric dressing
These protein- and fibre-rich burgers are tasty and healthy. With butter beans, quinoa and tofu in the mix, the meat won’t be missed.
Oversized mushrooms with blue cheese and sage polenta
Ready in a jiffy, this tasty mushroom dish takes its inspiration from the Italians and is perfect for a midweek meal or as a winter warmer.
Spring vegetable stir-fry with tofu and a ginger-honey sauce
Spiced with chilli, ginger and honey, this tofu recipe is anything but bland.
Dutch croquettes with chips and two sauces
Crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside, with tangy mustard hollandaise and a roasted tomato sauce, this is one moreish recipe.
Prawn spring rolls with soya-jalapeno dressing
Dip these crispy rolls into the spicy dressing for a flavour explosion.
Pan-fried courgette flowers with goat’s cheese stuffing
Try these tender flowers oozing chevin, with sweet baby marrows and thyme, for an excellent starter.
Root vegetable chips with orange harissa mayonnaise
A gourmet take on chips, these root vegetable fries are easy and delicious.
Sweet potato and chorizo fritters
These crispy fritters, served with sour cream, make for a very satisfying starter. You could also use them instead of meat patties for a crunchy burger.
Tempura calamari with sweet-and-sour dipping sauce
Calamari pairs well with this homemade dipping sauce and a wedge of lemon.
Vegetable chips with tzatziki dip
Sweet potato, butternut, beetroot and carrot make excellent alternatives to spuds. Serve with tzatziki for an afternoon snack or a speedy starter.
These deep-fried, comforting dumplings can be served with curries, stews and rich sauces.