You have to fry extra-thin meat like carne picarda fast to prevent it from toughening, and to fry fast, you need oil heated to a range of 400 to 425 degrees. Extra-thin carne picada is about as thick as a nickel coin or less, similar to shaved roast beef. In fact, carne picada is so thin, you don't so much fry it as you briefly baptize it in hot oil. When you're frying with high heat, or flash-frying, you should use cookware made for it, such as a Spanish sarten or wok, because it's easier to add and remove the carne quickly.
Things You'll Need
- Wok, sarten or frying pan
- Wok spoon or spider spoon
- Frying oil
- All-purpose flour
Take the carne picada out of the refrigerator about 10 minutes before you want to fry it. Pat the carne dry with a paper towel.
Fill a sarten or wok with about 1 inch of peanut oil or other high-temperature frying oil. If you don't have a wok, sarten or other rounded vessel, use a regular frying pan and tongs.
Heat the oil on the stove using medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer, about three or four minutes. Season the carne to taste and dredge it lightly in flour. The flour helps limit splattering by absorbing surface moisture.
Pile the carne on the wok spoon or spider skimmer and lower it in the oil. Fry the carne picada for about 20 to 30 seconds, stirring gently the whole time.
Scoop the carne from the oil and let it drain for a few seconds over the pan. Drain the carne on a plate lined with paper towels. Turn the heat off under the oil as soon as you finish frying.
Tips & Warnings
- Strain the oil after it reaches room temperature through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Store it in an airtight container up to one month in the refrigerator. You can usually use frying oil three or four times, or until it starts darkening.
- Set up a wok stand to support the wok and fry safely.
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