After interviewing Chicken Charlie last week for On the Line, we were invited to conduct an experiment: Select six food items for Charlie to deep fry. For a little twist, we agreed to make all our choices local to Orange County. From dim sum to pizza to a Milky Bun, we went all in. Here's how it went.
Name your all-time favorite fried fair food in the comments for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the OC Fair. The winner will be selected Friday!
Round one: Capital Seafood dim sum
The items: Steamed BBQ pork bun and egg custard tart
We couldn't settle on one bite, so we selected a savory and a sweet. Charlie used a slightly savory batter for the custard tarts, and a slightly sweet one for the buns. The flavor bombs were a hit, but the favorite was pork.
The item: Fish taco (duh)
Since everything was battered before fried, our test subjects received instant growth. By deconstructing the taco and garnishing after the deep fried dip, finishing our taco with flavors prevented foods from tasting completely heavy.
Round three: Bruxie
The item: Buttermilk fried chicken and waffle
The waffle gods were having a fit as Charlie lowered it into the hot oil. It came out pretty amazing. We believe frying actually enhanced the existing flavors.
Round four: Pizza D'Oro
The item: Pepperoni slice
We could not believe the size of that slice. One slice. One. It was damn tasty, too. As a fan of crust, every single bite was delightful (as you can see from our reaction).
Round five: TK Burger
The item: Cheeseburger
With all its layers of bun, meat and toppings, it took two tries (with two burgers) to perfect this one. A monstrous result, it was good. Was it great? Well . . .
Round six: Afters
The item: Milky Bun
What meal is complete without dessert? The thing to note here is that we are working with a highly perishable item. We packed our milky buns on dry ice, giving us a rock solid product to work with. Our final food possessed a sturdy exterior, with a quickly deteriorating center. Yet its melty goodness could not be ignored.
Everything tastes better when battered and deep fried. Some mo' better than others.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.