Turn Jarred Artichokes into Crispy Fried Deliciousness

Dress up your next dish with a little something extra.

Published Jan. 26, 2022.

Fresh artichokes are ideal for frying. (These Jewish-Style Artichokes get crispy and tender in less than 5 minutes!) But what if you don’t have access to fresh artichokes, or simply don’t want to deal with prepping them? 

Good news: Processed artichokes—specifically frozen and  jarred—can give you the same delicious, crispy results as fresh. All you need is a little cornstarch.

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Fresh artichokes can be fried without a coating, but frozen and jarred artichokes are softer (and soggier) than fresh, so they need a little structural assistance. That’s where the cornstarch comes in. 

Dredging the artichoke in cornstarch gives the artichokes an airy crispiness, resulting in a delicate, fritto misto-like snack or salad ingredient. (For a more substantial appetizer fit for dipping, try our Fried Artichokes recipe, which incorporates flour and baking powder but also calls for frozen ‘chokes.)

If you want to crisp up some jarred or frozen artichokes, for, say this Crispy Artichoke Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Jarred artichoke hearts: Jarred artichoke hearts are packaged in brine, water, or marinade. For using straight out of the jar, we prefer those packed in brine. But for frying, we like to use artichoke hearts that are packed in water. Drain, rinse, and pat dry before coating with cornstarch.

Frozen artichoke hearts: Frozen artichokes should be thawed and patted dry with paper towels before frying. Even after being patted dry, they’re moist enough that the cornstarch will adhere to the artichokes’ nooks and crannies. Pair with a flavorful dish like our Poached Fish Fillets with Sherry-Tomato Vinaigrette.

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Whether you use jarred or frozen artichokes, whole artichoke hearts will need to be cut in half— more surface area for the cornstarch to adhere to means more crispiness. And steer clear of anything labeled “quartered” to avoid inconsistent pieces, a waterlogged flavor, and tough outer leaves.

How to Crisp Up Canned or Frozen Artichokes:

  1. Toss artichokes with cornstarch in a bowl to coat. 
  2. Heat 1 cup of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. 
  3. Shake excess cornstarch from artichokes and add artichokes to skillet. 
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. 
  5. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool slightly.

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