I was at work today when the idea dawned on me for trying a new way to make pickle chips. After recalling the last time that I made some beer-battered pickle chips back at school, I remembered how extensive the preparation for those were (and quite the messy cleanup afterwards as well). This time around, I sought an easier way to make the pickle chips and at the same time try to cut back on the grease from doing a deep-fry. However, I wanted to retain the same crunch that I would get from biting into a well-made pickle chip. So, I decided to reinterpret fried pickles by using panko breadcrumbs.
Panko Fried Pickles
(Can be varied depending on how many pickles you have)
~ 1 cup flour
~ 1 – 2 eggs, beaten
~ 1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
~ 1 jar pickles
Put the flour, egg(s), and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls, in that order. Take the pickles directly out of the jar (I used the hamburger dill chips), coat them in flour, and then the egg, and then shake it around in the breadcrumbs. Place all of them onto a separate dish when finished.
Heat up a shallow layer of oil in a skillet on high heat, and afterwards reduce the heat down to medium-high. Add some oil occasionally to keep on the bottom on the pan to ensure that the residual oil doesn’t start to smoke. The way I usually test to see if a pan is ready to start frying is to flick a bit of breadcrumbs onto it. If they start to sizzle, then the pan is good to go.
Lay the pickles down one at a time until your skillet is comfortably full. Since nothing is really being fully cooked, these chips will be finished in a really short amount of time. It took roughly 20 – 30 seconds for each pickle when I ran through it tonight. Going from that timetable, you would flip the pickle over around 10 – 15 seconds after putting them into the pan.
I’ll throw in a cheesy Olympics reference since we’re in that time of year right now: you’re going for the gold. Look out for that golden brown color that you’re trying to achieve with the frying. It does take a little bit of practice, but it makes for some great presentation on the plate.
Ideally, I would serve these up with some ranch dressing on the side. I have also seen some people serve it with a spicy mayo or something like that. I would certainly be interested in exploring some recipes for that.
I felt this recipe was a good alternative to the beer-battered rendition of the fried pickle, since those came out with too much batter on them last time. This is a good base to work with for getting the outer coating for the pickles. However, in the future I want to try to add more spices to the breadcrumbs in order to change the flavor profile or mix together regular and panko breadcrumbs together. One idea was maybe to add a touch of chili powder to give it that kick of heat. Another would be to add some ground black pepper and garlic powder just to give it a nice contrast to the flavor of the pickle. However, for the dire-hard fans of the beer-battered version, this might be a DIY method that takes a slight getting used to.