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.”