How to cook delicious fried potatoes! Important nuances and tips
Potatoes are one of the main and favorite side dishes for many people. A pan of fried potatoes can sometimes be as satisfying as a gourmet meal at an expensive restaurant. But here’s the problem – sometimes instead of rosy and crispy potatoes we get something similar to mashed potatoes or wooden blocks. And such a lunch or dinner is a complete disappointment. To prevent this from happening to you, we have prepared some practical tips that will help you always fry potatoes perfectly in a frying pan.
You may not have known this until now, but potatoes that look the same on the outside are not at all the same on the inside. The thing is that each variety has its own characteristics. The most important characteristic in this case is starchiness. The result you get on your plate depends on the amount of starch.
But if you are not going to grow potatoes yourself, it is hardly worth studying the varieties existing on the market. In addition, in many stores the potato variety is simply not indicated, and sellers cannot always answer this question. It is quite difficult to determine starchiness externally. A rough peel may indicate a fairly high starch content, and a smooth peel may indicate a low starch content, but this system does not work with all varieties.
So, let’s first decide which potatoes are best to choose for frying. Conventionally, all varieties can be divided into three large groups according to their purpose:
- for puree;
- for cooking for salad;
- for frying.
In the first case, we need starchy potatoes that boil well. In the second, on the contrary, it is waxy with a minimal starch content, which will retain its shape after cooking. For frying, you need potatoes with a low starch content, approximately 13-15%.
There is a simple life hack that will help you determine the approximate level of starch in potatoes. Cut the tuber in half and rub the halves together for 5-7 seconds. Fold them and separate them again, and then examine the cut.
So, if the halves separate easily and are moist when cut, with drops of water, you have potatoes with a minimum of starch. If the halves are almost stuck to each other, and a white foam has formed on the cut, this is a starchy potato. For frying, the ideal one is one that does not stick, but produces a few white areas on the cut.
Choose the right variety – half the success. The second part of the process is up to you. To prevent the potatoes from falling apart in the pan, you can remove some of the starch first. This is very simple to do – peel the potatoes, cut them and soak them in cold water for at least 15-20 minutes. Then rinse the potatoes and dry thoroughly.
Important: young potatoes are not suitable for frying, as they contain a lot of moisture!
A small starch content is necessary so that the fried potatoes are not too dense, and in the process a crispy crust is formed. Excess starch will mash the potatoes in the pan, and excess moisture will prevent them from browning.
The next important point is temperature. It is necessary to thoroughly heat the pan and oil. If you add the potatoes too early, they will begin to absorb the oil instead of crusting. Maintaining a constant temperature is also important in the further process. Stir the potatoes only after a golden crust has formed on one side. Frequent stirring may cause the pieces to lose their shape.
To ensure that the crust is golden brown and crispy on all sides, it is important not to overcrowd the pan. The ideal option is to place the potatoes in a single layer to help them brown faster and more evenly.
One of the most frequently asked questions is When is the best time to salt fried potatoes?. You need to add salt at the very end, about 2-4 minutes before cooking. An alternative is to salt the butter at the beginning of the process. Once hot, add the potatoes and fry without further adding salt. Some people use this technique to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the pan.
Another important point – When to add onion or garlic to fried potatoes. It’s best to do this at the end, a few minutes before adding salt. If you add onions and garlic too early, they may burn and give off an unpleasant bitterness. An exception may be when you fry potatoes with additives – brisket or mushrooms, for example. Then first fry the mushrooms and onions, and then add the potatoes.
But here is a clear answer to the question: Do I need to cover potatoes when frying?, does not exist. It all depends on what you want to get on the plate. A closed lid creates steam, which can cause even a well-cooked crust to soften. But this is purely a matter of taste.
We offer you three simple but very cool recipes. These are great options for the daily menu.
Crispy fried potatoes with garlic
Let’s move on from theory to practice. Here is a basic potato recipe that makes a great side dish.
- Potatoes – 3 pcs.;
- Garlic – 1-2 cloves;
- Salt and ground black pepper – to taste;
- Vegetable oil – 3 tbsp. l.
1. First, wash and peel the potatoes. Cut into equal sized cubes and place in cold water. Leave for 15 minutes, then rinse and dry on a paper towel.
2. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan and add potatoes.
3. Fry over medium heat until golden brown. Then carefully turn over and continue to fry until the potatoes turn golden. A few minutes before cooking, add peeled and chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve potatoes with meat, fish, vegetables or your favorite sauce.
Fried potatoes with apple
A simple dish for every day with a little twist. The apple adds a slight piquancy, but does not overshadow the original taste of the dish.
- Potatoes – 3 pcs.;
- Apple (dense, sour) – 1 pc.;
- Onion – 1 pc.;
- Garlic – 1-2 cloves;
- Vegetable oil – 3 tbsp. l.;
- Salt and pepper – to taste.
1. Wash, peel and cut the potatoes. Fill with cold water and leave for 15 minutes. Then dry with a paper towel. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan. Add the potatoes and fry without stirring until golden brown. Then stir gently.
2. At the same time, peel the apple and cut into thin slices. Add the apple to the pan.
3. Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Add to the pan and cook for a couple more minutes. Salt and season to taste.
4. Before serving, add fresh herbs to the potatoes if desired.
Fried potatoes with pickled mushrooms
This is a delicious complete dish for lunch or dinner.
- Potatoes – 4 pcs.;
- Marinated mushrooms – 200 grams;
- Onion – 1 pc.;
- Salt and spices – to taste;
- Vegetable oil – 2-3 tbsp. l.
1. Peel, cut and soak potatoes in cold water. At the same time, you can soak the mushrooms to remove excess acid from the vinegar (you can even boil them for a few minutes).
2. Dry the potatoes on a paper towel and place in a frying pan with well-heated oil. Fry on one side until golden brown, then stir and brown on the other side. Cut the onion into thin half rings and place in a frying pan.
3. Dry the mushrooms, chop if necessary and add to the potatoes. Fry for 2-4 minutes.
4. Finally, season with salt and your favorite spices. Remove from heat and serve.
There are many more roast potato ideas on our site, so be sure to check it out!