Cucumbers Fried in Batter

It seemed like it might work. I like cucumbers, and I like fried food—why not fried cucumbers? Sarah Tyson Rorer provides a recipe for “Cucumbers Fried in Batter” on page 279 of Mrs. Rorer’s Philadelphia Cookbook: A Manual of Home Economies.

Unusually, she did not list the ingredients separately, but here they are anyway for your convenience:

3 Cucumbers



1 egg

Half-pint milk

Half-teaspoonful salt

2 dashes black pepper

1 ½ cup sifted flour

Fat or oil for frying

Cucumbers are one vegetable that I’ve never considered consuming in any method other than just eating them raw. I have fried sliced zucchini, although those are breaded before frying as opposed to battered. Could this be important?

Pare three cucumbers,

cut them in slices about one-sixteenth of an inch thick,

If I had a mandoline slicer, now would have been an excellent time to break it out. This is as even as I can slice with just a knife.

dredge them in salt and pepper and let them lie fifteen minutes.

Although not included in the directions, I will be taking the liberty of blotting the excess moisture from the cucumbers with a paper towel.

Beat one egg (the white and the yolk together) until light ;

It seems that the majority of recipes I’ve made for What’s Cooking require beating an egg “until light.” I usually try to beat the egg until it starts to look foamy.

add to it a half-pint of milk, a half-teaspoonful of salt, two dashes of black pepper, and a cup and a half of sifted flour ; beat until smooth. Dip the pieces of cucumbers into this batter,

The batter doesn’t stick very well to the cucumbers, so I try dredging the cucumbers in flour before dipping them in batter which helps.

and fry in boiling fat or oil. The fat must be deep enough to float them.  When done, take them out with a skimmer (piercing them with a fork will make them fall), drain them on brown paper, and serve very hot.

I fry them in canola oil over medium(ish) heat. They brown so fast that I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the frying process. Unfortunately they lose their crispness within a second or two (even when dredged in flour before battering). What had been a perfectly decent snack has now been rendered bland and soggy. I’ve had worse culinary experiments. Never one to give up easily, I manage to crisp them up a bit in the toaster oven until they are a mediocre dip delivery vehicle.

Don’t bother trying this one at home.