Panko Fried Pickles with Spicy Mayo

Panko Fried Pickles with Spicy Mayo | Kailley's Kitchen

And now, for some deep fried depravity.

Ever since I moved a block away from Burger Bar Chicago, I’ve had an unhealthy, full-throttle obsession with fried pickles. But not just any fried pickles… BURGER BAR’S fried pickles. You might say I have discerning tastes where fried pickles are concerned. I’ve even written about them for work… more than once. I guess I’m just that passionate, and the world deserves to get in on the panko-encrusted magic, right?

If you’re ever in the Chicago area, make a point of stopping in and trying them (okay, and a burger and a shake) for yourself; you can thank me later.

Unlike a lot of fried pickles, Burger Bar’s are sliced length-wise (instead of cross-sectioned)– it may seem like an unsubstantiated claim, but I swear to you, they’re just better that way. They’re coated in a fine, crunchy panko breading, fried to perfection, and served piping hot with an equal-parts-tangy-and-spicy dipping sauce called “Urban Sauce.”

So, after years of trotting on over to Burger Bar to get my fix, I decided it might be worthwhile to figure out how to recreate the legendary pickles and sauce at home. This recipe from Tasting Table seemed like a good place to start. I immediately nixed the spears idea; the pickle-to-coating ratio would be way too off-kilter for my liking, and I had a hunch the panko would stick better to a skinless surface.

I was right.

It took some tweaks and alterations to get the recipe where I wanted it, but the outcome was well worth it.

This one’s for you, Burger Bar.

*I’m hardly alone in thinking Burger Bar is something special; the owners saw so much success at the Lincoln Park location that they’ve opened up a second location in South Loop!

Panko Fried Pickles with Spicy Mayo

Panko Fried Pickles with Spicy Mayo | Kailley's Kitchen

Panko Fried Pickles with Spicy Aioli | Kailley's Kitchen

Panko Fried Pickles with Spicy Mayo

Panko Fried Pickles with Spicy Mayo

Yield: 15-20 fried pickles (amount will vary depending on size of pickle)

Panko Fried Pickles with Spicy Mayo


    For the mayo:
  • See ingredients here
  • For the pickles:
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 4 large dill pickles
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt plus an extra pinch
  • Pinch paprika


  1. Prepare mayo according to this recipe, cover and refrigerate
  2. Pour canola oil into a large (3-quart) pot until oil depth reaches about 2-inches and place on stove
  3. Heat oil until a fry thermometer reads 350 degrees F
  4. Slice pickles about 1/8 of an inch thick (a mandoline slicer will yield the best results) and dry each slice thoroughly between two paper towels; set sliced pickles aside on a plate
  5. Discard (or eat!) end slices, as the coating won't stick to them as well
  6. Pulverize panko in a food processor until finely ground (about 10 quick pulses)
  7. Place flour, eggs, and ground panko into three separate bowls and line up in a row (I like to work left to right, so the flour is on the far left, the eggs are in the middle, and the panko is on the right)
  8. Add baking powder to flour and stir until blended
  9. Add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and paprika to panko bowl and mix until evenly distributed
  10. Working with one pickle slice at a time, dredge through flour until coated and shake off excess; dip coated pickle in egg and let excess drip off; finish by coating pickle in panko and placing on a large plate
  11. Repeat the dredging and coating process until all pickle slices are prepared
  12. Working in small batches, fry the pickles, turning halfway through, until crisp and light golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes
  13. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove pickles, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate, and season with a a tiny bit of salt immediately
  14. Serve hot with spicy mayo

*Recipe adapted from Tasting Table


  1. says

    long time insta follower finally commenting! this recipe looks SO amazing, and honestly I think your version looks even better that the restaurant recipe that inspired this lol.

    but my key question is this: HOW did you get such a perfectly lit shot with an all black background? I can never manage to have my black background super dark and black like yours came out while still having proper light on my subject – Would love to know your secret 🙂

    • Kailley @ Kailley's Kitchen says

      Hey, Christine! Thank you so much!! I’d like to say I have a trick for shooting against a black background, but unfortunately, I’m still looking for the secret, too! I used two black foam core boards (one for the base, one for the back) and shot the photo near a window. I used a diffuser so that the natural light didn’t hit the fried pickles so harshly, but black background was still way too over-exposed. I exclusively shoot RAW, so I just fiddled around in Lightroom to darken up the background! I used the brush tool on the exposure setting and worked my way around the subject; it’s a tedious and imperfect process, but it ended up turning out a bit better than I had expected. I eventually need to buck up and teach myself how to properly use Photoshop, though– I know the brush tools are far more precise =) I hope this helps!!

  2. says

    We love fried pickles at my house. I don’t know what it is about them but the combination of flavors and textures is addictive. I will be trying these for sure!

  3. Mila Brochku says

    This is the first recipe of yours that I’ve made and it turned out fantastic. Up until now I’ve just enjoyed looking at the pretty pictures. Your design work is lovely. I’m going to make the Cranberry Soda Bread next.


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