Chef Invents Deep Fried Water

June 27, 2016 | Joanne Kennell

Spoon holding gelatinous water for deep frying
Photo credit: Screenshot from video by Jonathan Marcus

Is there anything you can’t deep fry?

If you have partaken in any American State Fairs, then you are well aware that Americans love to deep fry any and everything they can think of — from butter to bubble gum. But did you know you can also deep fry water? Yes, a liquid. A chef just invented a way.

Water can be deep-fried through a process known as spherification. Calcium alginate, a gelatinous substance made of calcium chloride and sodium alginate, can surround liquids with a membrane, allowing water to hold its shape and be handled like a solid. The liquid will even hold together when coated in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.

Jonathan Marcus, a innovative culinary chef, invented a way to deep fry water for the Stupid Shit No One Needs and Terrible Ideas “Hackathon” hosted in San Francisco this past May. Marcus dipped the spheroid water in flour, an egg wash, and then panko bread crumbs. After dropping the ball in 375-degree heated peanut oil for a few minutes, he cracked open the shell to find the successfully deep-fried water inside.

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How did it taste? As Marcus states in the video, “That is the blandest deep-fried thing I’ve ever tasted.” I don’t see deep-fried water catching on.

And it is probably for the best that it doesn’t. Jonathan cautions in his YouTube video description that we should never attempt to deep-fry water. When hot oil hits water — say if a water ball leaked — the oil could violently explode, potentially starting a fire and leaving third degree burns. According to Gizmodo, you would be better off to use calcium alginate to make spherified cocktails, which are still pretty darn cool.

Interestingly, spherification doesn’t just end in the food industry. A start-up company, Ooho!, is trying to replace water bottles with waste-less water bottles using a similar method.

You watch watch chef Jonathan deep-fry water in the video below.


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