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A fritter is a portion of meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables or other ingredients which have been battered or breaded, or just a portion of dough without further ingredients, that is deep-fried. Fritters are prepared in both sweet and savory varieties.
|Main ingredients||batter or dough|
|Ingredients generally used||small pieces of meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables or other ingredient|
The 1854 edition of An American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster defines fritter as a transitive verb meaning "to cut meat into small pieces to be fried". Another definition from 1861 is given as "a pancake cont. chopped fruit, poultry, fish; also a small piece of meat fried".
West African countries have many variations similar to fritters. The most common process includes the blending of peeled black-eyed peas with peppers and spices to leave a thick texture. A Yoruba version, akara, is a popular street snack and side dish in Nigerian culture.
Pumpkin fritters, served with cinnamon sugar at any time of day, are popular in South Africa.
Fritters are extremely popular roadside snacks all over South Asia and are commonly referred to as pakora (pakoda) or bhajji (bhajia) in local parlance—the onion bhaji also enjoys a high popularity abroad and at home.
In India, a pakora is a fritter of assorted vegetables and spices.
In the South Indian state of Kerala, banana fritters are extremely popular.
Piyaji is a Bengali dish of fritters with onions.
A woman making bajjis in Mylapore
Uggani bajji, rice and fritters, a typical breakfast in Rayalaseema
In Brunei, fritters are known as cucur and they are eaten as snacks. Cucur is also part of local street food and usually sold in street market-style food booth (locally known as gerai). They are usually made with fillings which are commonly made with banana, shrimp, yam, sweet potatoes and vegetables (usually sliced cabbages or carrots). Some local fruits, when they are in season, are also made into cucur, most commonly durian, breadfruit (sukun), tibadak (Artocarpus integer) and tarap (Artocarpus odoratissimus).
In Indonesia fritters come under the category of gorengan (Indonesian: fritters, from goreng "to fry"), and many varieties are sold on travelling carts or by street vendors throughout Indonesia. Various kinds of ingredients are battered and deep-fried, such as bananas (pisang goreng), tempe mendoan, tahu goreng (fried tofu), oncom, sweet potato, cassava chunk, cassava tapai, cireng (tapioca fritters), bakwan (flour with chopped vegetables), Tahu isi (filled tofu), and breadfruit. These are often eaten accompanied by fresh bird's eye chili. The variety known as bakwan commonly contains flour with chopped vegetables such as carrot and cabbage, whereas the fried patties called perkedel typically consist of mashed potatoes or ground corn (perkedel jagung or bakwan jagung).
Bakwan jagung, Indonesian corn fritter
Fritter peddler offering pisang goreng, Indonesian banana fritter
In Malaysia, it is common for a type of fritter called "cucur" (such as yam, sweet potato and banana) to be fried by the roadside in a large wok and sold as snacks.
In Burmese cuisine, fritters are called a-kyaw (Burmese: အကြော်), while assorted fritters are called a-kyaw-sone (Burmese: အကြော်စုံ). The most popular a-kyaw is the gourd fritter (ဘူးသီးကြော်). Diced onions, chickpea, potatoes, a variety of leafy vegetables, brown bean paste, Burmese tofu, chayote, banana and crackling are other popular fritter ingredients. Black beans are made into a paste with curry leaves to make bayagyaw—small fritters similar to falafel. Unlike pisang goreng, Burmese banana fritters are made only with overripe bananas with no sugar or honey added.
The savory fritters are eaten mainly at breakfast or as a snack at tea. Gourd, chickpea and onion fritters are cut into small parts and eaten with Mohinga, Myanmar's national dish. These fritters are also eaten with Kao hnyin baung rice and with Burmese green sauce—called chin-saw-kar or a-chin-yay. Depending on the fritter hawker, the sauce is made from chili sauce diluted with vinegar, water, cilantro, finely diced tomatoes, garlic and onions.
In the Philippines, egg fritters are called tokneneng (duck) or kwek-kwek (quail), and squid fritters are called kalamares. These, along with shrimp fritters called okoy, and banana fritters called maruya are also sold in travelling cart or street side vendors.
Maruya or kumbo, banana fritters
Okoy, shrimp and glutinous rice flour fritters
Kwek-kwek, quail egg fritters
Pinakufu, glutinous rice flour fritters coated in sugar and coconut
Nam phrik kapi served with vegetable fritters; a common dish in Thai cuisine
Throughout China, fritters are sold at roadsides. They may contain pork, but are commonly vegetarian.
A couple making fritters in Hainan, China. Each contains some fermented beans, chopped spring onion, and a small cube of pork meat. These sell for 5 mao (jiao), equivalent to around 8 US cents.
In Japanese cuisine, tempura is vegetable or seafood dipped and fried in a light crispy batter and served as a common accompaniment to meals.
In Korean cuisine, deep-fries are known as twigim (튀김). Twigim are often battered and breaded, but there are varieties without breading, as well as varieties without breading and batter. Popular twigim dishes include dak-twigim (fried chicken), gim-mari-twigim (fried seaweed roll), goguma-twigim (fried sweet potato), gul-twigim (fried oyster), ojingeo-twigim (fried squid), and saeu-twigim (fried shrimp).
Traditional vegetarian deep-fries associated with Korean temple cuisine include twigak and bugak. Twigak are made from vegetables such as dasima (kelp) and bamboo shoot, without breading or batter. Bugak are made from vegetables such as dasima, perilla leaves, and chili peppers, which are coated with glutinous rice paste and dried thoroughly.
The Iranian variety is called Kuku which come in different versions like the ones with potatoes or the ones with herbs. This type of fritter resembles a crustless quiche.
Whitebait fritters are popular in New Zealand.
New Zealand whitebait fritters
In British fish and chip shops, the fish and chips can be accompanied by "fritters", which means a food item, such as a slice of potato, a pineapple ring, an apple ring or chunks, or mushy peas fried in batter. Hence: "potato fritter", "pineapple fritter", "apple fritter", "pea fritter", etc. At home and at school, fritters are also sometimes made with meat, especially Spam and corned beef. A fritter roll or roll and fritter is a potato fritter inside a bread roll, served with salt and vinegar.
Canada/ United States of AmericaEdit
The apple fritter is a common fritter in Canada and the United States. Commonly found in doughnut shops, it is typically made from a yeast dough made of flour, sugar, eggs, milk, butter or shortening, and baker's yeast. The dough is basically the same as a traditional Canadian/American doughnut dough. It is flattened out and rolled with chopped apples and cinnamon. It is then chopped up into small pieces then reformed. It then is cut into portions and left to rise before being deep-fried or fried immediately. After done frying, they are dipped in a vanilla flavored glaze. It is believed to have been created by Tim Hortons in 1964 as one of their two original pastry items along with the dutchie doughnut. There is also a quick bread version that can be found from recipes online. It is mainly in the United States of America and is typically made from flour, sugar, baking powder, chopped apples, cinnamon, milk and eggs. It is also deep-fried and dipped in vanilla glaze as the yeasted version. In 2020, McDonald's announced that they will be serving apple fritters along with two other pastry items all day.
- Acarajé – Deep fried bean cake
- Arancini – Italian snack food
- Beignet – Deep fried pastry
- Boortsog – Traditional fried dough food found in Central Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines
- Buñuelo – Fried dough ball
- Carimañola – South American meat-pie in a burrito-shaped yuca fritter
- Crab cake – American crab dish
- Croquette – Small breaded, deep-fried food
- Cuchifritos – Various fried foods prepared principally of pork
- Fishcake – Minced or ground fish or other seafood mixed with a starchy ingredient, and fried
- Fried dough foods
- List of doughnut varieties
- List of bread dishes
- List of deep fried foods
- Mandazi – a form of fried bread that originated on the Swahili Coast.
- Mücver – Turkish fritter or pancake, made from grated zucchini
- Pholourie – Fried, spiced dough balls
- Potato pancake – Shallow-fried pancakes of grated or ground potato
- Vada – Category of savoury fried snacks from India
- Pakora – Spiced fritter from the Indian subcontinent
- Zalabiyeh – Deep-fried pastry common to West Asia and Indian subcontinent
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- Media related to fritters at Wikimedia Commons