Crunchy Potato Sticks
- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 1 hour
- Serves 4
If you're currently trying to wean off highly addictive snacks, I'm sorry, but these super crispy potato sticks aren't going to make your life any easier. A copycat of a Japanese snack, this recipe is a must-have for anyone who is obsessed with crunchy, salty, spicy things. By cutting potatoes into very thin sticks and sweating them with salt in advance, they fry into these incredibly crispy, brittle twigs. Tossed with garlic and spices, it is impossible to stop eating them pinch after pinch. Any type of potato will bring a different flavor and crunch to the party. Yam has sweetness, taro is aromatic. A combination of varieties would be great. And you can season these however you like. Besides the dry seasoning below, some suggested combos: Finely chopped thyme and rosemary, smashed garlic, ground black pepper, and grated Parmesan. Or vinegar powder and salt. Or curry powder and salt. —Mandy @ Lady and pups
medium potatoes (preferably oval-shaped; starchy or waxy doesn't matter)
finely ground cumin
finely ground white pepper
Canola oil, for frying
garlic clove, brutally smashed and peeled
- Fill a bowl with water. Peel the potatoes and halve them lengthwise. Place the cut-side down, then very thinly cut into slices that are about 2 millimeters thick (and no more than 3 millimeters thick). Now cut the slices into sticks that are about 2 millimeters thick (and no more than 3 millimeters thick), transferring them to the water as you go.
- Gently swirl the potato sticks in the water to get rid of excess starch, then drain off all the water. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of salt and toss until evenly coated. Let the potato sweat for 10 minutes. (This removes excess water from the potato and is crucial for crisping.)
- Meanwhile, mix together chili powder, cumin, white pepper, and chicken powder.
- After 10 minutes, the potato sticks should be limp and softened. In 2 or 3 batches, wrap the sticks in a dry kitchen towel and swing it forcefully a few times to dry them. Transfer all of them to a large pot.
- Add enough canola oil to completely submerge the potatoes (yes, we are starting with cold oil) and swirl the pot so none of the potatoes are sticking together (don’t touch the potatoes, they’re fragile). Set over medium-high heat, gently swirling the pot every 2 minutes or so, until the oil is bubbling enthusiastically all across, about 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat down to medium—the oil should hover around 215°F—and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, still gently swirling the pot every couple minutes. During this time, nothing remarkable is going to happen besides water evaporation. Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with paper towels.
- After 15 to 20 minutes, the potatoes will start to crisp up and the temp of the oil will slowly creep up to 265°F. Keep the heat at medium and, once the potatoes have stiffened, you can gently move the potatoes with tongs and scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure nothing is sticking. Once the potatoes are golden brown, use a spider to transfer and drain them onto the lined sheet pan. Let cool for 5 minutes to crisp more. (You can strain and reuse the oil.)
- To a large bowl, add the crushed garlic, potato sticks, and the seasoning mix. Toss well to combine. Taste and adjust with more salt as needed. Snack away or you can keep them in a zip-lock bag at room-temperature for a few days.
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