Fried and True

Smoky taste and crunchy texture, these golden strings are a great garnish for many dishes.

When I encountered fried shallots on Indonesia's Banda Islands—where cook Liza Ba'adilah uses them to garnish many dishes, including her Long Beans with Sweet Soy Sauce and Fish Curry with Potatoes--it was love at first bite. I was amazed by their ability to add both a crunchy texture and a deliciously smoky undertone to foods. But how did she get them to come out so perfectly golden? "Remove them from the oil a few seconds before they actually appear done," Ba'adilah explained. "They continue to darken for a few minutes afterward."