Stir-fried potatoes

Stir-fried potatoes

By
From
Best Kitchen Basics
Serves
4
Photographer
Petrina Tinslay

Quite a few years ago I enjoyed or, to be more accurate, survived a walk along the Great Wall of China. A combination of soft lifestyle, altitude and the grey haze of industrial China had me puffing like a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest. There was further ignominy and no relief to be had when an ancient crone tried to sell me a beer from the cart she had hauled out there herself.

Salvation was at hand with a delightful lunch on the return home. The dishes were simple and surprising and based on the most remarkably modest ingredients – carrot, cabbage, potato.

The potato dish was in itself a revelation in that it was slightly crunchy and delicate – attributes not usually associated with the common spud in Western cuisine. For the recipe I refer to Every Grain of Rice by the acknowledged expert on the subject, the delightful and erudite Fuchsia Dunlop.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 large waxy potatoes
60ml sesame oil
4 dried chillies
1 teaspoon sichuan peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Method

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into very thin slices. Lay the slices flat and cut them into very fine matchstick slivers. Soak them for a few minutes in plenty of cold, lightly salted water to remove the excess starch.
  2. Season a wok, then add 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil and swirl it around over medium–high heat until hot but not smoking.
  3. Add the dried chillies and Sichuan peppercorns and stir-fry briefly until the oil is fragrant and spicy. Add the potato, turn the heat up to high and stir-fry vigorously for 4–5 minutes. When the potatoes are hot and cooked but still al dente and not coloured, remove them from the heat. Stir in the remaining sesame oil and serve.

Note

  • The finer and more evenly you cut the potatoes the better the result. Use a Japanese mandoline if you wish, although this will not hone your knife skills.
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