The Super Bowl is here. For football fans, it’s the greatest sporting event in the world. For everyone else, it’s a great excuse to have a party, and that means food. Lots of it, and preferably fried. We tested a few of our favorite fried appetizers to get ready for the big day.
1. Fried Avocado Egg Rolls
Wonton skins get rolled up with creamy avocado seasoned simply with salt and pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and cilantro. It’s super easy to do, and these things give you a real bang for your buck—perfect for entertaining on a budget.
We used a T-FAL EZ Clean deep fryer, which eliminates most of the hassles of deep frying food. Let’s be real: besides the fact that deep frying isn’t the most health conscious cooking method (but it’s the Super Bowl, so we’re only thinking about flavor), the real reason most of us avoid it is because it makes such a big mess, and it can be dangerous if you don’t have a solid frying set up. While it is a bit bulky and can’t fit a lot of food in it at once, for sheer convenience we would recommend getting one.
Now, for the real star of the show, the Creamy Cilantro Ranch Dip.
Philosophically speaking, the ranch dressing embodies spirit of the Super Bowl—you have to have it. And we recommend making a double batch, because you and your friends will end up dipping rest of the food in it anyway.
Although the egg rolls will probably be eaten before you have time to put a pretty plate together, we thought we’d add a touch of class to our fried food bacchanalia by serving the ranch in a martini glass. Because we’re adults.
2. Takeout Fried Chicken Wings
Can’t have a Super Bowl party without some wingies! We prefer our chicken wings whole, but you can easily buy the drumettes and wings separated. These guys need to be marinated for at least two hours, so make sure to plan ahead. There is a subtle Chinese-influenced flavor in the marinade from soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and sesame oil. If you can’t find Shaoxing wine, not to worry. You can substitute Mirin or dry sherry.
After the wings are done marinating, it’s time to load them into the fryer. You’ll want to cook them until they’re done, but they’re going to get a second round of frying to crisp up the skins, so don’t worry about trying to get too much color.
After their second round of frying, they’re perfectly delicious as-is, but we couldn’t help ourselves. We made an easy wing sauce by whisking together melted butter and Frank’s RedHot.
We dipped them in the Creamy Cilantro Ranch Dressing from the fried avocado egg roll recipe. Heavenly.
3. Tempura Vegetables
This is where fried food gets, uh, healthy-ish. We picked a couple of our favorite munchable veggies and made a simple tempura batter.
Tempura batter pro tip: if it gets too warm, or if it gets over mixed, this will promote the formation of gluten, and your tempura will be doughy instead of crispy. Use ice water in the batter and mix it with a chopstick just until it comes together.
Serve with soy sauce, ponzu sauce, or, heck, ranch.