Great Tips For Shallow Frying Your Food

Shallow-frying includes sauting, sweating and stir-frying. A frying pan is usually chosen for shallow-frying, but for large quantities some kitchens use a shallow tilting pan or brat pan. Good shallow-frying requires complete attention and skilled heat control. Because a small amount of frying medium is used in relation to the quantity of food being fried, the food may be easily burnt or poorly cooked.


1.Single portions of tender cuts of fish, meat and poultry are suitable for shallow-frying.

2.Food should be seasoned and sometimes coated with flour, crumbs or egg coating before shallow-frying.

3.Warm the frying pan and add the frying medium (fat or oil). A mixture of butter and oil is recommended. Butter gives flavour and aids browning, while the oil can take the heat and reduces the risk of burning.

4.It is essential to heat the frying medium before adding the food. The medium must be very hot in order to seal meat pieces before the juices run; otherwise the meat will be boiled. If the food is crumbed, the medium must be hot enough to seal the outside to prevent absorption by the crumbs. The heat must then be lowered to finish cooking at the point when the crumbs become golden brown.

5.When the top of the food is seen to be slightly moist, it is apparent that the heat has penetrated and it is time to turn the food over.

6.Eggs and fish require a moderate heat to cook evenly without burning at the edges.

7.Always place fish or crumbed foods best side down, so that after turning them halfway through cooking the best side is uppermost and ready to be presented when cooking is completed.

8.Drain off all of the frying medium before dressing the food on serving dishes. (Clean absorbent paper can be used for this process.)


Saute comes from the French word meaning jump and refers to food tossed over and over in a frying pan to seal or brown it evenly on all sides. Very little oil or butter is used. The pan must be preheated and the frying medium sizzling before the food is put in. The saute must then proceed quickly until it is finished. A good heat and speed is the essence of sauting.

The saute is usually only part of the preparation of the dish. It may be done to seal or brown meat, to heat cooked meat or fish, or to mix or coat vegetables. The pan residue from sauting meat or fish is often used in the sauce for the dish. By contrast, shallow-frying usually involves complete cooking of the food.


Vegetables are said to be sweated when they are shallow-fried without taking colour. The process is often applied to onions and some other vegetables, which are literally made to sweat in butter and oil. The object of sweating vegetables is to drive off some of the moisture and to partly cook them.

Some of the subtle flavours are also given up to the frying medium that is then used in the preparation of the dish. It must be noted that fat absorbs flavours well. Sweating requires a moderate amount of fat and gentle heat. The food must be stirred frequently to prevent browning and ensure even cooking.

Users Reading this article are also interested in:
Top Searches on Food Guide:
Frying Pan Best Frying Oil
About The Author, Mick_reade
Mick Reade has been working as a chef in Australia for over 10 years, in a variety of different types of kitchens all across the country, and now helps teach others how easy it can be to cook healthy delicious food. For a free cookbook, check out