Mystery House



Stir-Fried Sweet & Sour Potatoes

This is an unusual Chinese-American recipe that I found in Madhur Jaffrey’s book, World Vegetarian.  Yes, Cass, my vegan friend, this one’s for you!  But hey, that doesn’t mean the rest of you should stop reading.  It’s a good recipe.  The M.E., a meatatarian if I’ve ever seen one, loved it.

Now, this technique does require a contraption.  Very few people will be able to slice potatoes thinly enough by hand.  I’m not kidding.  These are the eentsy-weentsiest potato shreds I’ve ever seen.  If you’re into the snob appeal of your kitchen tools, you might want to shell out $150 for a stainless steel French mandoline.  If, on the other hand, you’ve got good sense, you’ll buy a Benriner.  It’s cheap, easy to come by, and works as well or better than the spendy version.  I love my Benriner.  I love even more that the M.E. knows how to set it up and use it, because he’s far less likely to slice off his own hand with it than I am.  Yes, those blades are sharp.  Sharp enough to make your Cuisinart blades look dull.  So be careful.  Here’s how this goes:

First, get someone who isn’t klutzy to operate the Benriner.  (That’s the important part, Cass!)  Here’s an action shot.  You can tell the M.E. is going very fast, because it’s blurry.

Potato Shreds 2

They look like regular old potato slices, don’t they?

Potato Shreds 1

Once they’re rinsed, you can see that they’re actually the thinnest julienne cuts imaginable, about the width of fingering weight yarn.  And no, you can’t grate the potatoes instead–they’d turn to mush, and for this recipe they have to retain some crunch.

Potato Shreds 4

While the non-klutzy person is Benrinering, cut up a few scallions and some ginger, and smash a clove or two of garlic.

Potato Shreds 3

Stir-fry that stuff, then add the potatoes plus some soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and salt.  It takes maybe two or three minutes.

Potato Shreds 5

Drizzle with a bit of sesame oil and serve.  The potatoes should still be crisp.  In fact, they’ll remind you of slightly crunchy noodles.

I served this with stir-fried asparagus and mushrooms sauced with soy, dry sherry, hoisin and red peppers, and topped with peanuts.

Potato Shreds 7

The verdict?  Yum.  And do check out World Vegetarian.  It’s a thick volume written from the perspective of a non-vegetarian who appreciates a good vegetarian menu.  It contains oodles of recipes which would be great side dishes even if you’re going to ook your vegan friends out by throwing a steak on the grill.  In fact, this potato recipe would be a perfect side–I’ll definitely make it again.

Oh, and if you want dessert, stop by After Lunch.  She posted a recipe this week for Swedish Apple Pie (scroll down) that’s not only easy, it’s fabulous.  Truly.  I was lucky enough to taste-test it during a wonderful afternoon of knitting and chatting, and I begged her for the recipe!

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Comments

  1. * Chris says:

    Mmm…

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago
  2. * bezzie says:

    What kind of taters are those? I’ve noticed that depending on the breed of tater and the starch content some are better for frying some not so much.

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago
  3. * Kitt says:

    Looks yummy! It’s funny, that’s the second time today I’ve seen mention of a benriner today, after never hearing of it before. First mention was on Habeas Brulee’s shredded burdock root post. Plate of shrimp!
    http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/03/07/shredded-burdock-root/

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago
  4. * cursingmama says:

    that does look yummy – I’d need to have someone else run the benriner too.

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago
  5. * cursingmama says:

    that does look yummy – I’d need to have someone else run the benriner too.

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago
  6. * del says:

    Wow, does that look good! I don’t have one of those kitchen contraptions, though…I’ll have to get one of those first. And apparently, practice practice practice, lol.

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago
  7. * del says:

    Wow, does that look good! I don’t have one of those kitchen contraptions, though…I’ll have to get one of those first. And apparently, practice practice practice, lol.

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago
  8. * cass says:

    ohmygod I think I cut my eye on your picture. 😉
    I THINK it looked like a good recipe, but all I could see and think was ER Visit, Stitches, Blood, Mayhem. 😉
    Seriously though, that looks yummy! You’re so sweet to think of me and post a meat free recipe!!! XOXOXO

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago


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