Yes, water is boiling at ~100°C (212 F), but boiling point also depends from the pressure. If we could achieve 180°C (350 F) for water, at very high pressure, could we fry something in that water? Or oil has any other characteristics, that are important for frying?
2What other liquid(s) would you suggest? Water is not an option nor are liquids that are mostly water (animal milks, nut and vegetable 'milks') What do you want to 'fry' in?– CynettaJun 1, 2018 at 18:17
Very strong syrups ...– rackandbonemanJun 4, 2018 at 13:06
We do cook over 100C in a pressure cooker, but not enough to brown food, as this would take very high pressures. It probably wouldn't be safe or economical at home, and doesn't have enough of an advantage over ovens (which may use steam) for it to be worth doing industrially.
Solubility is a big factor, for example salt dissolves in water but not oil, and capsaicin (chilli heat) dissolves in oil but not water. Hydration is important to the texture of many foods (starch, for example). Cooking in oil reduces hydration, while cooking in water increases it, so I doubt you could make chips (fries) in water even at 200C. New techniques would need to be developed unless this extreme pressure cooking was just a way of speeding up existing methods.
Olestra is used to fry 'light' potato chips. It's not a fat, and is indigestible. It can cause cramping and other unfortunate effects. Looks like it's hard to buy online too.
Using a high boiling silicone based liquid would likely have the same effects, if it didn't flat out poison you.