Glossary - Kitchen Tools

Frying Colander


Mesh strainer used for deep-frying foods

What is frying colander?  

Frying colanders are a kind of kitchen utensil that have mesh for the scooping portion. It is used for scooping out extra batter when deep-frying tempura or skimming the scum off when boiling meat or vegetables. Larger frying colanders are useful for scooping udon or soba (buckwheat noodles). They are normally made with stainless steel and the holes in the mesh come in various sizes—from fine mesh to sparse mesh.

How to use

When deep-frying tempura, the batter will sometimes separate from the food and form little fried balls. These fried balls, tenkasu, left in the oil will burn resulting in the tempura becoming distasteful. Therefore, scooping them out frequently with the frying colander is highly recommended. Also, make sure to scoop out any scum from broth when boiling meats or vegetables, as it can give the resulting dish an astringent flavor, and the broth will look cloudy and unpleasant.

Frying colander can be used to scoop out scum.

Substitute for frying colander: when you don’t have it 

Spoons or ladles without a hole can be used, but they are not as effective as frying colanders because the oil or the broth will get scooped out as well. The use of a frying colander with a long handle can protect your hands from hot oil and prevent burn injuries.


There are mesh and hole-punched varieties of frying colanders. The mesh type is ideal for scooping out smaller bits of extra batter, and can even scoop out some of the scum. The hole-punched type is great for straining oil from fried food, and is more durable and easier to wash than the mesh type.


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