I gotta admit, when I first heard of air fryers, I wasn’t convinced they were worth anything. And the prices were just exorbitant! I remember taking a look and being absolutely shocked. Php 16,000 for a Philips air fryer! Why??
Then our friend Jovan had to go to the hospital and undergo surgery, and afterwards she needed to be on a strict no-oil diet to manage her GERD. One of the first things she did after getting out of the hospital was buy an air fryer, and she kept telling everyone about all the things she could cook in it!
Still, I wasn’t convinced. Then a few years ago, we found out Oneal had diabetes. I decided we needed to eat healthier at home: less oil and fat, less frying, more vegetables. I knew my best friend Dante had an air fryer, and I asked if we could borrow it for a while, so we could try it out before buying our own. Turns out they barely used it, so they just gave it to us!
It’s been such a lifesaver. I’ve never been fond of fried food, but there’s an undeniable satisfaction to biting something and hearing a loud crunch. There’s an indescribable joy to such crisp texture in your mouth. Unfortunately, these are things you often only achieve with deep-frying, which I hate! With the air fryer, we’ve been able to cook food with all that satisfying crunch–and much less oil.
By now there are a bajillion videos, blog posts and listicles about the best things to cook in an air fryer. Here are a few of our favorites:
Fried eggplant: Slice eggplant into coins. Put in a plastic container. Add a small amount of oil, salt and pepper. Cover plastic container and shake well, making sure the oil coats the eggplant pieces. Pour into air fryer and cook on high (ours goes up to 200 degrees C, I think) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until desired doneness. Serve hot!
Potato crisps or fries: For crisps, slice thinly into coins. (Thoroughly scrubbed, skin-on marble potatoes are great for this.) For fries, chop into thin strips. Like the eggplant, put the pieces in a plastic container. Add a small amount of oil, salt and pepper. Cover plastic container and shake well. Pour into air fryer and cook on high for about 15 minutes. Open air fryer and mix pieces around so everything gets cooked evenly. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Doneness and crispiness depend on thickness of pieces and quantity.
Lumpiang anything: I like lumpia. I like fish lumpia, and lumpiang shanghai, and lumpiang gulay. I hate making it, because I’m terribly lazy about wrapping, but I do love buying frozen lumpia and tossing it in the air fryer until it’s crunchy. Instead of drizzling the lumpia with oil, we have a spray bottle filled with oil. I just spray the lumpia and then cook for about 10 minutes.
Chicken nuggets, longganisa, tocino: Even breakfast gets cooked in the air fryer! Cooking time varies, but in general using the air fryer to make breakfast is just so convenient.
CDO Premium Tonkatsu and Purefoods Karaage: We love CDO Premium Tonkatsu and Purefoods Karaage because they’re just so easy. No need to add oil. Just pop in the air fryer for 10 minutes, flip, and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Done!
One of these days I will probably make kakiage again.
What are your favorite air fryer dishes?