I have been thinking about these fried pickles non-stop since Saturday. I cannot get enough of them! I didn’t even know it was possible to deep-fry pickles – it never occurred to me to do such a thing. I guess it’s a very American thing to do – deep-frying pickles, Twinkies, Oreos, butter…
Maybe my Korean parents have influenced my taste buds, but I love all things pickled. I almost have to have kimchee every day. If our fridge does not have kimchee, sometimes I will desperately go to the local supermarket or specialty grocery store and buy the teeny tiny jar of the American cabbage kimchee with the picture of the Asian lady. And if worse comes to worse and I cannot find that, I will buy at least two different kinds of pickles. Fermented and pickled vegetables are so delicious! My mouth is watering just thinking of it now! I need to go get my kimchee fix before I continue…
I have never tried to deep-fry kimchee, of course, but maybe I should try that. It has to be delicious. I mean, the fried pickle is delicious – it’s crunchy, salty, juicy, warm, and a little bit greasy. Perfection in every bite.
The best part of having these fried pickles, though, is that it reminds me of my my childhood deep-fryer. Maybe it was just our family, but whenever we had guests over, my mom would pull out that little deep-fryer full of oil from who knows when and we would fry up breaded shrimp, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables. We would open up the windows, lay down the paper towels on the plates to soak up the oil, and fish our deep fried treasures out with these super long, smooth, wooden chopsticks.
I treasured these times in the kitchen with my mom because no matter how different we were, it was a way for us to spend time together and bond. It was a time that we could relate to each other, understand each other, and connect. We didn’t seem so different during that time. It also meant that we would be having people over and entertaining. Even at a young age, I loved entertaining and having a house full of people laughing and conversing. I think my mom enjoyed entertaining, too.
I don’t have a deep-fryer in my home now and we don’t eat a ton of deep-fried foods anymore. But, whenever I get those wafts of deep-fryer oil and eat something like those fried pickles, I can picture that childhood deep-fryer in our pantry. I can smell it and feel the weight of it from when I used to carry it over to the counter. All of the sudden, that fondness for those times with my mom come flooding back to me.
It’s been a difficult time with both my parents recently, and to be able to feel that connection with my mom again is a welcome and relieving emotion. Maybe that’s why I can’t stop thinking about those fried pickles.
(You, too, can get these fried pickles at Burger Dive in Somerville, MA. They are on the menu as Pretzel Coated Pickles.)