You Should Air Fry Some Capers

You Should Air Fry Some Capers
Photo: Claire Lower
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About two weeks ago, my air fryer stopped working. Luckily, Instant Pot was able to send me a new one (thanks, warranty!), but that half-month without my Vortex Mini made me realise just how much I have come to rely on it.

Reheating takeout, toasting bread, and cooking up perfect little “extras”: these were just a few of the things I was forced to do in my large, less efficient “Big Oven,” and I was greatly relieved when my new table-top convection oven arrived. Not only could I get back to enjoying my crispy tofu bowls garnished with air-fried spring onions, I could finally test out my plan to make some crunchy little salty bois — aka air-fried capers.

Much like air-fried chickpeas, capers need a little bit of oil, but not nearly as much as you would need if you were really, truly frying them. (This is maybe the second time I’ve used the air fryer in a way that “cut down on fat.” I don’t really care about counting calories, but I do like saving money, and using less of any ingredient accomplishes just that.)

Fried capers (whether really fried, or “fake” fried in a turbo convection oven), are a crunchy, salty, piquant joy. You can eat them as a snack — they’re very good with a martini — or you can sprinkle them over a salad, pasta, or a nice piece of fish. I usually end up eating them like tiny popcorn.

To make air-fried capers, you will need:

  • Some brined capers
  • Some sort of fat (olive oil, bacon fat, and duck fat all rock)

Remove the capers from their brine and let them drain on paper towels. Transfer them to a bowl and drizzle a bit of oil onto them, tossing to coat until they are shiny, but not swimming in fat. If you have a basket-type air fryer, remove the tray (the capers will just fall through the holes), setting the oiled capers directly in the bottom of the basket. Air fry at 200C for 5-7 minutes until they are blistered and crunchy. Let cool briefly and enjoy.

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