How to Cook French-Fried Turnips

by A.J. Andrews

All the Crispiness of French Fries Without the All the Carbs

You can take deep-fried turnips in a lot of tasteful directions, just like potatoes. But unlike potatoes, you get a little more base flavor to play with, while consuming about a third of the carbs. Fried turnips have a pleasant bitterness and peppery bite redolent of kohlrabi and radishes, making them perfect with piquant spice mixes like Cajun and creole seasoning. If you want to go with fresh herbs, soft-leaf herbs like basil, thyme and oregano make a great addition.

You don't need a deep-fryer or Dutch oven for french-fried turnips unless you're making a very large batch; two to four servings require just 1 cup of vegetable oil.

Total Time: 20 minutes | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch-wide sticks
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs (optional)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons mixed spices (optional)

Directions

  1. Add enough canola oil to fill 1/4 inch of the bottom of a 10- or 12-inch skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan. Heat the oil on the stove over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the turnips to the pan without overcrowding it; the turnip slices can touch but not overlap each other. Cook the turnips in batches if necessary.
  3. Fry the turnips until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the fried turnips to a large mixing bowl lined with a paper towel.
  4. Let the turnips drain a few seconds and add salt, pepper, herbs and spices to taste. Toss the fries, and serve immediately.

Tips

  • For oven-fried turnip fries, coat the sliced turnips in canola oil and roast them in a 425F oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

    Try seasoned and breaded turnip fries for an unbelievably crisp crust and explosive flavor: Dredge the sliced turnips in a mixture of 2 cups of cornmeal, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, a pinch of black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Toss with fresh herbs just after frying.

    Make your own spicy ketchup by mixing 1/2 cup ketchup with 2 tablespoons of Sriracha sauce, 1 tablespoon of honey, a squeeze of lime juice and freshly chopped cilantro to taste.

    To make a piquant spice mix, combine 1 part each onion powder, ground black pepper and dried oregano, 2 parts each cayenne pepper and garlic powder, and 4 parts kosher salt.

About the Author

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.