Shredded Potato Stir Fry (炝炒土豆丝)

This recipe is a super fast way to cook and enjoy potatoes, with a new texture that will blow your mind.  {vegan, gluten-free}

A super fast way to cook and enjoy potatoes, with a new texture that will blow your mind. {vegan, gluten-free}

In the past few weeks I’ve shared a few Chinese stir fry sauce recipes and taught you how to make easy and great tasting Chinese food in your own kitchen.

The stir fry I’m going to introduce today is slightly different, because it does not require a stir fry sauce.

Shredded potato (炝炒土豆丝, qiang chao tu dou si) is one of the most popular Chinese home-style dishes. If you’ve been accustomed to eating French fries and roasted potato, you’ll be surprised at the texture of this dish.

The Chinese-style potato uses a super high temperature to cook thinly shredded potatoes in a few minutes, to generate a crunchy crispy texture that is similar to cucumber. The cooking oil is usually infused with chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorn to add a smoky, savory umami flavor to the dish. It is then finished up with salt and a splash of Chinkiang vinegar for a refreshing tart flavor.

A super fast way to cook and enjoy potatoes, with a new texture that will blow your mind. {vegan, gluten-free}

Unlike the saucy Cantonese-style (or Chinese-American) stir fry that you’re familiar with, this is the type of stir fries dish I ate growing up. It is super fast to cook and makes vegetables irresistible.

The recipe below is quoted from the cookbook Smashed, Mashed, Boiled & Baked by Raghavan Iyer. In this cookbook, the famous author and James Beard Award winner, Raghavan introduces 75 irresistible potato recipes. Not only can you find your ultimate comfort dishes, such as mashed potato and hasselback potatoes, but the book also introduces many new approaches to cooking potatoes, such as water chestnut potato potstickers and potato-stuffed chiles rellenos.

A super fast way to cook and enjoy potatoes, with a new texture that will blow your mind. {vegan, gluten-free}

I was thrilled to see the top Chinese potato dish being featured in the book the authentic way! Check out this book if you’re a potato fan.

The recipe has been quoted from the book directly, but I added tons of notes on the bottom of the recipe. Since the recipe is super popular in China, there are many ways to approach the cooking, depending on the region. I added these notes so you could adjust the ingredients according to your taste.

The one important thing to note is that you have to rinse the shredded potato before cooking. If you have enough time, let the shredded potato soak in water as long as possible. Not only does it remove extra starch, but the soaked potato will harden up so the potatoes won’t stick together or break apart during the stir fry process, and this method generates a extra crispy texture once cooked.

Shredded Potato Stir Fry Cooking Process

The picture on the left shows the potato before soaking and the picture on the right shows 30 minutes after soaking in the fridge. You can see the potato slices turn from being soft to being almost like pricks.

Happy cooking and hope you enjoy the dish as much as I do!

This post is brought to you by the Idaho Potato Commission. All the opinions are my own.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Shredded Potato Stir Fry (炝炒土豆丝)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The recipe is quoted from Smashed, Mashed, Boiled & Baked by Raghavan Iyer with permission from Workman Publishing. I added footnotes at the bottom of the recipe based on my own cooking experience.
The prep time below including the time to soak potatoes. If you're in a hurry, you can shorten the time to 10 minutes if you only rinse potatoes in cold water instead of soaking them.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 2 to 4
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fill a medium-size bowl with cold water. Peel the potatoes and give them a quick rinse under running water. Shred them with a mandoline or a julienne peeler along the length of the potato. You want the shreds to be like long, thin matchsticks. Submerge them immediately in the bowl of water to rinse off excess surface starch. Usually 30 minutes is a good amount of time to soak them, but I have been known to soak them overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Cut the bell pepper in half lengthwise and discard the stem, seeds, and ribs. Thinly cut the pepper halves lengthwise into matchstick-like shreds. Ideally they should be the same thickness as the potato shreds.
  3. Lay out a clean cotton kitchen towel or several layers of paper towels on the counter, for drying the potatoes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and give them a quick rinse under cold running water. Give the colander a few shakes to rid the shreds of excess water. Spread the shreds out on the towel and pat them completely dry.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil appears to shimmer, drop in 2 of the chiles and stir them around until they blacken and smell smoky, 5 to 10 seconds. Add half of the potatoes and half of the bell pepper to the smoky oil. Stir-fry them vigorously, without stopping, to briefly cook the shreds but still make sure they maintain their toothsome quality (*Footnote 7), 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape everything into a serving bowl. Wipe out the pan with paper towels before you repeat with the remaining oil, chiles, potatoes, and bell pepper. (*Footnote 8)
  5. Add them to the batch in the bowl, stir in the vinegar, sesame oil, and salt, and serve immediately. (*Footnote 9)
Notes
Footnote
1. It is about 1 large russet potato.

2. You can leave out this ingredient or you can replace it with other peppers such as Jalapeno, for a spicier dish.

3. You can cook this dish by using homemade scallion oil or adding a bit of chopped garlic or green onion at the beginning of the stir fry. This will make the dish extra fragrant.

4. When you use whole dried peppers to infuse the oil, it only adds smokiness but not spiciness. Tear the dried peppers into 3 to 4 small pieces to add spiciness to the dish.
Also, it will make the dish extra fragrant if you add 1 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns before adding the dried peppers. When their color turns dark, fish them out by using a fine mesh. You can leave them in the dish as well, but you need to pick them out while eating.

5. I highly recommend using Chinkiang vinegar if you have any.

6. You can skip the sesame oil if you added herbs or used scallion oil in the stir fry.

7. This is very important. If the potato starts to turn tender, it’s overcooked.

8. If you have a wok or a large pan and heat it up properly, you can make the dish in one big batch. I cooked it in one batch and did not have any problems.

9. I prefer to season the dish during the stir fry, which give the potatoes a bit more flavor. Sprinkle with salt when you stir fry the potato for a minute. Once the stir fry is finished, turn off the heat and add vinegar. Stir to mix well before transferring everything into a serving dish.

 

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3 thoughts on “Shredded Potato Stir Fry (炝炒土豆丝)

  1. Jen

    Love this dish! I always add more vinegar (I stayed in Shanxi for 3 years and came to appreciate their famous vinegar and it’s great in this dish!)

    Reply
    1. Maggie

      I’m surprised (and happy) to hear about “more vinegar”! That is truly the Shanxi style. My friend who used to live in China adds vinegar on almost everything 😉

      Reply