Cravings Side dish

Crispy Exploding Spinach – a/k/a don’t try this at home

By on October 5, 2012

By request, here’s a garnish riff.  This one can be quite dangerous.  If you live on the edge and venture to bang it out, you may well incinerate your kitchen to the very ground.  A blazing grease inferno indeed.    

In this little ditty we are getting our spinach nice and crispy by deep frying it.  Spinach is mostly water (92%), barely held together by some tasty green stuff.   Thus, when you sauté spinach it totally disappears.  Four bags turn into like four tablespoons. That’s water packing it up and leaving our spinach.  And hot oil + fresh spinach…  Do you see where this is heading?  


The Goods:

  • Spinach, washed and dried well
  • Peanut or canola oil, 350º in a DEEP pot, 2 inches up
  • Kosher salt, garlic powder

The Execution:

Drop a handful of spinach in the pot — and look out.  This is the exploding part.  When the searing grease spray subsides and the spinach is bright green, remove with a spider or slotted spoon onto paper towels.  Hit with spices immediately.  Repeat in batches.

To minimize flying grease, you could use a splatter screen.  But I don’t have a splatter screen.  So rather (and I do not recommend this at all) with an oven-gloved hand I hover a pot cover over the pot.  But don’t actually put a cover on when deep frying.  That would be bad.  In fact, maybe don’t even try this recipe at all.  

The Takeaway:

If you’ve never had crispy fried spinach…  Well…  It’s just not something for words.  

Try this method with fresh parsley, rosemary, or most definitely sage leaves – all somewhat less explosive.   Perfect with most any meat or fowl.  Thoughtful garnishes like these make a house meal into a restaurant entrée.  Sauces, seasoning, butter and garnish.  That’s all they’re doing differently.  

The P.S.A.:

A public service announcement on grease fires.  NO WATER.  That just makes it worse, if more exciting.  Instead: Burner off.  Quickly wet and wring out dishcloth.  Throw over pot to cover.  Call fire department.   





  1. Natalie

    October 5, 2012

    That sounds like EXACTLY what would happen in my kitchen. Once, I almost burned the house down attempting bananas foster.

  2. connie

    October 5, 2012

    That sounds like it was mega exciting. Did you have to call the NYFD?

    At what point did you get to “what was I thinking”?

    • GHT

      October 17, 2012

      Well, fortunately I haven’t experienced the actual giant grease fire (yet).

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