Homemade fries remind me of my mom. When I was 7 my parents took my younger brother Thomas (then 5) and I to visit Viet Nam for the first time. When Thomas and I grew homesick for American food, my mom decided to make us fries and they were delicious but they would never crisp up. Well it turns out there are some must-dos to get that crispy golden potato.
There are two steps to making homemade fries. First, you have to soak your potatoes in cold water to rinse off the starch. The starch is what makes the potatoes burn quickly and go dark on the outside while leaving them raw inside. That is definitely not tasty. If you take at least 2 hours to soak the taters in cold water, this will rid most of the starch. Then you dry them and cook them on low heat at 200 degrees fahrenheit in canola or peanut oil for 5 minutes, just enough to cook them through but not browning them at all. Strain them and set aside on paper towels. Crank up the heat to 400 degrees and fry the potatoes until golden brown.
That, dear friends, is the secret to great fries.
This recipe makes 4-5 servings
- 4 large russet pototoes
- 4 cups of canola oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt & pepper
- Wash and scrub the potatoes thoroughly. If you do not like the skin, you can peel them. I don’t mind them so I leave ’em on.
- Slice the potatoes in 1/4 inch thick strips and soak in cold water for at least 2 hours. The longer the better. The longer the crispier!
- Rinse the potatoes and pat them dry.
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot to 325 degrees.
- When the oil is hot enough, add the dried potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Strain and place on paper towels.
- Increase the heat by 400 degrees and add the potatoes. Cook until golden brown and crispy. Strain and place on paper towels to drain excess oil. Add salt and pepper. Serve with ketchup!