Salty, sour, crunchy, juicy – fried pickles boast a unique combination of flavors and textures. If you’ve never experienced fried pickles, consider yourself warned – you may find yourself craving them on a daily basis!
Some joke that frying makes everything better. Well, in my eyes, beer makes everything better. If you don’t currently use beer in your frying batters, well, what are you waiting for? Beer adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the batter -- just trust me on this.
As for what kind of beer to use, the rule of thumb is to choose a beer that you’d enjoy drinking the remainder of once you’re done making the batter. I like to use pale ales, brown ales, and pilsners or lagers. For this batch, I used Peroni, a premium Italian lager.
Many frying batters use eggs, and most use bleached white flour. My beer batter requires neither, making it both vegan and slightly less processed. Using whole-wheat flour adds a nice body to these fried pickles. While the batter will be a little denser than usual, it still fries up just fine!
My favorite pickles to eat and fry are stored cold. They tend to have fewer ingredients and no artificial coloring. I find they taste fresher and crisper. For this recipe, I cut the pickles into chips, but you can also use wedges or long slices. Only difference is that the frying time is longer on the larger pieces!
Vegan Beer-Battered Pickles
6 large pickles
Vegetable, canola or safflower oil
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 cup Peroni Lager
Slice the pickles into chips, about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick (I like using thicker chips because they stand up well to the denser batter). Place chips on a paper towel and pat dry.
Pour about 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottom skillet or deep frying pan. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour with the spices.
Pour the beer in a separate bowl, then whisk in the dry ingredients until just combined. The batter should be syrupy-thick, but not a paste.
Heat the oil on medium-high until the oil begins to shimmer, just before the smoking point.
Using tongs or a fork (or chopsticks!), dip the pickle chips into the batter, covering the pickles on all sides. Carefully add the battered chips to the hot oil, using your utensil.
Cook chips for roughly 30-45 seconds, until slightly brown. Remove chips with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel or drying rack to drain excess oil.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (I like beer mustard!) and wash down with a glass of beer! Cheers!
So, now that you’ve got the perfect Peroni-fried pickle chips, what are you going to beer batter next? Tell me about your adventures in the comments below!