The answer depends on the quality of the oil we use, and its smoking temperature, not just the amount of oil absorbed into the food.
Deep frying creates a crust around the fried food and thus prevents much oil absorption, but the price is prolonged boiling of the oil, usually to temperatures where the oil can burn and turn into toxic trans fat. The use of recycled oil in deep frying is more common because of the high amount required. Pan frying is not necessarily less healthy; the main question is the duration of frying and the quality of the oils we use. The idea that oils and fats are unhealthy is fundamentally wrong. Natural oils and fats are essential for proper body function and contribute to optimal body weight.