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Beginner question about sauteeing...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
How much does sauteeing something in 1-2 tablespoons of oil alter its nutritional value? I often brown things or sautee things in oil.

For example, last night I sauteed some tilapia filets in 1 tablespoon of veg oil. If the oil has, say 100 calories, do I add 100 calories to the calories contained in raw tilapia? Same with fat and protien contents etc...

I have been counting calories and I am wondering how many are added when I brown my chicken or pork chops before I bake them, or when I sautee fish or steaks or tofu.

Obviously some calories are added, but is it the whole tablespoons worth?
post #2 of 13
Probably not, but it's hard to tell. I would say if you're really concerned you should drizzle some EVOO on the fish and saute it in a nonstick pan.
post #3 of 13
>>but is it the whole tablespoons worth?

nope, not even close. look in the pan when you're done. "oil" does not evaporate. you can get it hot enough to make it turn into black goop, but the oil ain't going nowhere - there's two places for it to go - on the meat, left in the pan. well, smoke if you get it that hot, but you may notice that bit....

if you've done your saute right - hot pan, cold oil, sizzling saute - you'll find most of the oil is still in the pan. given that most meats exude water and potentially some fat rendering out, you may find more stuff in the pan after the saute than before the saute.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
This seems to be true when I do steak or pork chop, but when I cook something softer like a fish or tofu, there seems to be less oil in the pan. Does a softer food absorb more oil?

Thanks for the tips so far. Good to know.
post #5 of 13
>>tofu - regrets, no can offer any ideas on tofu, I deal with first person experience and tofu is not one of mine...

>>fish
shouldn't be absorbing lots of oil.

here's the theory:
hot pan, cold oil, heated up oil, drop in 'schufft'
the 'schufft' has lots of water, heat makes water turn into steam, steam is exiting 'schufft', no ingress into 'schufft' available for oil.

now.... after 'some time' the 'available' water may become scarce and then the 'schufft' may absorb oil. prime examples: mushrooms and eggplant - water cooks out of mushrooms, eggplant slices 'skin over' - two different mechanisms but end result 'no surface moisture turning to steam' is the same.

another complication: breading. breading will absorb some oil while it's turning that nice brown color.

so if you are breading the fish, yes - it'll pick up some of the oil.

'softer fish' - oh dear. at a loss there - I routinely do flounder, hake, cod, tilapia, trout, salmon, perch, <gosh what else>, less frequently fresh swordfish, fresh tuna...
and aside from the breading issue, I don't observe a lot of oil absorption in the fish arena.

presuming use of a non-stick pan in the case of non-breaded fish, all you need is a brushing / surface coating / hand smeared on / .... of oil.
example: for whole fresh trout I just stuff the gut, rub some oil & sea salt on the outside, and plunk them in a dry non-stick pan, flip, chow time!

if the situation is "no non-schtick' for <insert reason of choice> then you will need to accept a higher consumption of oils in a saute.
post #6 of 13
In my brief experience regarding nutrition in school some blanking odd years ago......we were told to count the entire caloric number of any ingredient or addition regardless of what remained in the pan after cooking. The same thought-process was reinforced at the retirement community I was the Food Services Director at back in 2002.


This is especially true if you are cooking for someone that is on a Medically necessary and controlled diet.

Hope this helps.
post #7 of 13
Huh? Doesn't make sense to me. I mean what if you pan fry the stuff?
post #8 of 13
Simple, drain off the remaining oil AFTER you finish "sautèeing" or "frying" and subtract the caloric value, if it is "in the pan" it isn't "in the food", now is it?
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #9 of 13
>>In my brief experience regarding nutrition in school some blanking odd years ago......we were told to count the entire caloric number of any ingredient or addition regardless of what remained in the pan after cooking. The same thought-process was reinforced at the retirement community I was the Food Services Director at back in 2002.

holy cow! one single french fry would contain gallons and gallonsof caloric oil!
no wonder them people so chubby!
post #10 of 13
Kuan, I was speaking more from the sauteing point and Medically controlled diet where the person would not be eating pan fried food. :rolleyes:I apologize for not clarifying that. :blush:

From what I remember..... those residents that had to maintain a minimum daily caloric intake (the high side due to too much weight loss) and working with the Retirement Property Nurse/Dietitian, there is a guide for this. Unfortunately, I do not have that guide any longer yet what I have done when cooking for folks on more restricted diets at home (including myself) is.....when you pan fry, you have to take the remainder of the grease and measure it out. Subtract it from the amount you started with and divide by the servings or portions and that gives you the amount the food absorbed. Count the calories for that amount and add that to the total of the dish. There is another formula for deep frying but I can't remember a lick of that. If you held a gun to my head and I had to guess I'd say.....something about 1/2tsp per ounce of food??????

When compared to pan frying, deep frying is definitely more healthy (or the lesser of two evils) since the food stays floating or submersed. This doesn't allow the food, after it is turned, to cool and absorb grease on the exposed side. With that said I'm sure you as a former Chef know that sauteing is more healthy that the above mentioned. :look: Again I add that my comment was more directed at the much more healthy method of sauteing.:D In a perfect world grease and fried foods would be good for you and we wouldn't have to worry about this but........;)
post #11 of 13
It would be only about five gallons as that's about what the typical commercial fryer holds.:p:D;)
post #12 of 13
Heh heh... :)
post #13 of 13
Good one.

BDL
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