It’s right out a sci-fi novel; something Douglas Adams would have loved to incorporate in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. If the list of weird food combinations—Nutella Biryani, Chai Latte and Maggi Pani Puri haven’t made you cringe, deep-fried water surely will. Why do you want to deep fry water? More importantly, how do you even go about accomplishing it?
It all began in 2016 when Jonathon Marcus, a chef and YouTube content creator, at The San Francisco Stupid Shit Nobody Needs And Terrible Ideas Hackathon used calcium alginate to bind water into solid shape and then deep-fried it with a panko-flour-egg crust. The feat was just an experiment that had its moment under the sun and quickly fizzled out—as viral trends often do. But it was a James Orgill of YouTube channel, The Action Labs, who brought this bizarre science experiment back to life. Very soon it went viral with every TikTok chef sharing their versions of deep-fried water on the social media platform.
Digital publication Vice further revived interest in fried water when it ran a piece on Orgill’s experiment and ever since it’s mayhem, everyone wants to try to make it, taste and know all about it. But as explained by Orgill and other food afficionados, deep-frying water is as dangerous as Mentos-Coca Cola experiment—water and oil do not mix well.
Do not try this at home!
If Indian food culture is proof of anything it is that deep frying foods makes it delicious; case in point are out favourite snacks—bhajiyas and pakodas. But deep-fried water, an experiment more appropriate for the chemistry lab rather than a kitchen, does not have many fans for its taste. Both Marcus and Orgill accept the fact that fried water is bland, slimy and “gross”.
While we can agree, there is a lot of science involved in the kitchen, we’re sure even the most ardent molecular gastronomy fan will barely find merit in deep-frying water. We are only hoping fried water does not surface on restaurant menus any time soon.