If frying without oil seems impossible to you, you just need to try the glucose powder: you will get light, crunchy, and low-fat fried foods. This is an alternative frying method, also known as the "no-fry fried" method, used in molecular cooking, but which you can also try for your home preparations. Glucose powder or anhydrous glucose is a natural sugar extracted from grapes, perfect for frying desserts, but also savory foods: in the latter case, a simple tip should be used to eliminate the sweet taste of cooking fat. But let's find out more about no-fry fried with glucose powder: what it is and how to use it.
Molecular cuisine, glucose, and Maillard reaction
As we anticipated, frying with glucose powder is widely used in molecular cooking. But what is it? Molecular cuisine is real science, which does not use traditional cooking methods, but uses foams, additives, chemical reactions, and jellies for the preparation of dishes. Molecular gastronomy allows us to discover new flavors and combinations, respecting the organoleptic characteristics of foods. The father of molecular cuisine is Ferran Adrià, an award-winning Spanish chef, while in Italy the symbol of this innovative cuisine is the chef Massimo Bottura from Modena. But let's see specifically what glucose is.
Glucose is a simple sugar that is obtained from grapes and which melts between 160° and 190°: it is precisely in this range of interval that the "Maillard reaction" is activated, the one that gives foods the typical golden or brown appearance, such as the browning of fried food, bread crust or steak crust, which make food more attractive to the eye and the palate. Glucose powder can be purchased in stores specializing in pastry products, in pharmacies, and in online shops. But here's how to use it.
How to use glucose powder for frying
Now let's see how to use glucose powder for frying: put it in a saucepan and heat it, stirring gently and continuously until it is melted. Once the temperature of 160° is reached, the glucose will be completely melted, becoming transparent. At this time it is possible to immerse the foods to be fried: keep stirring, until they are golden brown. With a kitchen thermometer check that the temperature does not exceed 190°, otherwise the glucosecaramelises and begins to smoke. Foods fried in glucose will be more swollen: in fact, food increases in volume due to the evaporation of internal water. Once ready, raise the fried foods with a skimmer and place them on kitchen paper for a few minutes to remove excess glucose.
Is it possible to use glucose syrup or sugar?
For frying foods, it is not possible to use glucose syrup, but only glucose powder, which has been deprived of water. Not even other sugars are suitable: in fact, only glucose powder allows you to have a wide temperature range, you can use it to fry from 160° to 190°, without running too many risks of spoiling the food.
What to be careful to
When frying with glucose powder, pay attention to caramelization: the temperature of glucose powder must not exceed 190°, a temperature at which it begins to caramelize and smoke. Therefore always use a kitchen thermometer to check that the frying remains in the temperature range between 160° and 190°.
Glucose powder creates a slight patina around fried foods that makes them more crispy, leaving a sweetish taste. The effect will be pleasant on sweet foods, such as donuts, cream puffs, etc., but not entirely pleasant on savory ones. How can you solve this problem, then? In order not to sweeten savory foods, wrap them in lettuce, leek, or cabbage leaves and fry: the covering will not affect the taste of fried food.
Benefits of glucose powder for frying
Glucose powder has a much higher ability than oil to conduct heat, thus allowing faster frying. Moreover, thanks to its viscosity, glucose powder helps to retain liquids and perfumes present in foods, thus giving a perfect consistency: crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Finally, cooking in glucose powder allows frying without fats, a great benefit for those who want to enjoy fried food without too many remorses.
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