Fried potatoes around the world
In this section we are going to collect together as many recipes as we can from different countries of dishes served with chips
If in your country you have a typical recipe then please send it to us if possible with a photo.
A big thank you to all lovers of chips for their collaboration.
Belgium France Portugal Scotland Holland Canada England USA Peru
The genuine Belgian fry
The secret of the genuine Belgian fry
It is a combination of different reasons:
- the appropriate variety of potato is cooked with the appropriate type of cooking fat
- the potatoes are often freshly peeled and sliced
- the fries are cooked in unrefined beef tallow, known as “blanc de bœuf”
- fries are cooked in two separate phases
Why are Belgian fries so delicious?
Peel the potatoes, cut them in slices, rinse them, leave them to drain and dry.
Precook the fries for 6 minutes at a temperature of 130°C-140°C.
Leave the fries to rest (sweat) for 10 minutes.
Cook them a second time for 1,5 to 3 minutes, according to the size of the fry, at a temperature of 165°C-170°C.
Lift out the fryer, shake them and serve with salt.
7 pieces of advice for making good fries
- dry the fries (after having sliced them up) before you put them in the fryer
- replace the fat or oil in your fryer after 8 to 10 uses at the most
- do not pour fresh oil on to the old oil
- if you do not cook fries very often, you will nevertheless need to replace the fat or oil after a certain time because of oxidation caused by contact with the oxygen in the air
- avoid frying other types of food, such as fish, in the same oil
- the higher the cooking temperature, the faster the oil or fat will deteriorate
- do not leave bits of old fries in the fryer
A vol-au-vent is a pastry case made with puff pastry, the centre of which is hollow and can be filled. It is said to have been invented by Marie-Antoine Carême (1784-1833), a chef and author of several cook books, who replaced the heavy pastry with a much lighter, layered one, hence the name.
On the other hand a “bouchée à la reine”, which is like a vol-au-vent only smaller, was invented by Marie Leszczynska, who was the wife of Louis XV. She is said to be the first to have the idea of serving an individual vol-au-vent.
Vol-au-vent can be filled with all sorts of preparations made with meat, sweetbreads, fish, snails or mushrooms mixed in a creamy sauce.
A mitraillette (in English submachine gun) is a very popular Belgian dish sold in chip shops and snack shops. It is made with half a French stick stuffed with cooked meat, potato fries and sauce. The mitraillette is also known as a “routier” in the region of Liege or spécial (special), pain spécial (special bread) or pain frites (bread and chips) in the centre of the country. In the many snack shops in Brussels, it is generally referred to simply as a sandwich.
• Half a French stick or similar such as half a thick baguette or a less crusty one
• Hot or cold meat: fricadelle, cervelas, saucisse de campagne, boudin, which are all types of sausage, or kebab meat.
• Fried potatoes
Mitraillettes can also be served with raw vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes, onions (both fried and raw), shredded cabbage and cheese such as mild or strong cheddar.
Steak and chips
Steak and chips is a popular meal frequently served in brasseries and restaurants.
It is composed of a piece of steak, fried potatoes, sometimes a mixed salad and a choice of sauces (mayonnaise, mustard, Bearnaise sauce, ketchup and so on).
Steak and chips is also served with other garnishes such as tomatoes.
Mussels with chips
Mussels with chips are a very popular meal in Belgium and the north of France. This is a simple dish consisting of cooked mussels served with fried potatoes. Nowadays it is widely eaten in Belgium, in Lille (northern France) but also in the rest of France too.
Belgian restaurants generally serve one and a half kilos of mussels per person. Each person at table is served with a large pan in which the mussels have been cooked.
Fried potatoes with skins on
Wash the potatoes but do not peel.
Slice the potatoes lengthwise (4 to 8 slices, roughly the width of an orange segment, according to the size of the potato).
Drop them into a cold chip pan!
Heat until the chips start to fry, lower the heat if necessary.
Pierce the chips with a skewer to check if they are cooked inside
Once the insides are cooked, remove from the pan and increase the heat.
Drop the chips back in the pan again and fry till golden
Bacalhau a braz (Portuguese cod)
Ingredients (for 6 people) :
- 3 slabs of salt cod (approximately 600 g)
- 6 eggs
- 4 dessert spoons of sunflower oil
- 4 dessert spoons of olive oil
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 12 potatoes
Leave the cod to soak in water (that you should renew on a regular basis) for around 24 hours before you start preparing the dish.
This part is essential for the success of the dish otherwise the fish will be so salty as to be inedible.
Cut up the cod into small pieces, taking care to remove any bones.
Slice the onions and chop the garlic and fry them in the sunflower oil and the olive oil.
Fry the pieces of cod for 5 minutes with the garlic and onions.
Cut the potatoes into thin slices and fry in a chip pan for a few minutes to pre-cook them (do not cook them!!!)
Mix the chips, the cod, the onions and garlic together in a pan and heat gently for 5 minutes.
Beat the eggs, add the salt and pepper. Pour this omelette mixture over the cod one minute before the end of cooking time. Let it heat for a moment (be careful not to overcook the eggs).
Sprinkle parsley over the dish and mix.
Decorate with black olives and cherry tomatoes.
The chip butty is a speciality of Anglo-Saxon cuisine and originates from the north of England. It is a sandwich made of two thick pieces of white bread, generously buttered and garnished with hot potato chips, seasoned with lots of sauce, preferably tomato sauce or ketchup, mayonnaise or brown sauce.
This type of sandwich is also known as a chip sandwich, chip barm ou chip cob in England, piece-n-chips in Scotland and French fry sandwich in North America. Originally it was mostly eaten by the working classes and served in pubs. It is more frequently found in the north of England than the south.
Kapsalon is a typical dish in Dutch cuisine and very popular in the fast-food restaurants in Rotterdam.
It is generally believed to be of Turkish origin and has its roots in the kebab. In Dutch the term “kapsalon” means hairdresser’s salon. It is generally served in fast food restaurants of Turkish origin and is a cheap dish that has been adapted to Dutch tastes.
There are several different theories on the possible origin of this fast-food meal that is so popular in the Dutch town of Rotterdam. The etymology of the word, meaning “hairdresser’s salon” in Dutch originates, according to popular legend, from the fact that a person living in Rotterdam and who owned a hairdresser’s salon used to like eating kebabs. Everyday the person ordered a different type of kebab garnished with lettuce. The repeated demand for this meal gave rise to the name kapsalon. According to a different version, the people who most often ordered the dish, served with fried potatoes, were precisely hairdressers, and that is how it got its name.
Kapsalon is different from a kebab because it is garnished on top with aioli sauce, typical of kebabs sold in the streets in Europe and a little melted cheese which gives it its characteristic flavour and sets it apart from the kebabs served as a general rule in the fast-food restaurants in Rotterdam. It is usually served in a foil container, lined with chips on the bottom and mince meat between the shredded lettuce and cheese on top.
Potatoes Plop (Ploppatatjes)
(Sent by Ivo Boon)
One day, when my children were still young, I prepared a variation of fried potatoes for them.
I cut the potatoes lengthwise into 1 cm slices and then into small cubes of 1 cm.
I fried them in two batches, as you should do.
I added some small meat balls in tomato sauce.
It was easy to eat this meal with a spoon.
My grand-children called the preparation “potato Plop”.
And this is what we call the dish today.
I am sending you this as an anecdote.
A poutine commonly designates a dish from Quebec traditionally consisting of fried potatoes, fresh Cheddar curd cheese and covered with a hot barbecue or brown sauce.
Poutine came into being in rural Quebec in the 1950s and since that time its popularity has spread throughout the whole of Quebec. Its exact origin is highly disputed. However, most people agree that it originated in the Bois-Francs region in the Centre-du-Quebec. It is easy to understand why given the fact that, at the time, there were a large number of dairies in this region that used to make Cheddar curd cheese.
Several towns claim to be the origin of poutine:
• The most widespread story recounts that it was served in a restaurant that used to be called “The laughing Leprechaun” in Warwick, near Victoriaville. According to legend, in 1957 a customer whose name was Eddy Lainesse asked the owner of the restaurant, Fernand Lachance, to put cheese and fried potatoes in the same bag. The owner is said to have replied “that’s going to make a hell of a poutine” and this is how the name came into being as “poutine” means an odd mixture.
• Jean-Paul Roy, owner of a restaurant called Le Roy Jucep at Drummondville in 1964, claimed to be the first person to serve a poutine as it is known today, that is with fried potatoes, cheese and sauce. Hence the claim to be the first person to have sold it. In this version, the name poutine comes from a mixture of the deformation of the English word pudding and the surname of the cook which was Ti-Pout. Mr Roy claims that he started to serve cheese with fried potatoes and sauce further to the regular demand of three people.
• Several other towns also claim that poutine originated there.
The best Poutine are considered to be those served with Cheddar curd cheese made freshly the same day. There are many dairies in the region of Bois-Francs who make this particular type of cheese. When extremely fresh, it is given the popular name “skouick-skouick cheese” which designates the characteristic sound it makes when chewed, highly sought after by lovers of poutine.
The word poutine exists in Acadia and Louisiana with similar meanings. It seems that it derives from the English word “pudding”. Moreover the word can be found in the French-Canadian dictionary compiled by Oscar Dunn and published at the end of the 19th century, with the meaning “pudding”. In French-speaking Louisiana “poutine” is the word they use to mean “pudding”. The word is of English origin and still used there to refer to any dessert after a meal.
The supposed derivation from the Provencal word “poutingo”, meaning “unsavoury stew”, is more than doubtful as there were very few immigrants from Provence that went to Quebec or North America.
Fish and chips
A meal of Fish and chips, or fish’n’ chips, is served in fast food restaurants or as a take-away dish. It originates in Britain and consists of a piece of fish fried in batter or breadcrumbs and served with chips. It is common to serve it wrapped in a piece of newspaper.
The dish is traditionally associated with English cuisine and for many years fish and chips was the most popular take-away meal in the United Kingdom.
Sometimes restaurants emphasize the fact that fish and chips is less fattening that other dishes served in the usual fast-food restaurants, because it is made with fish.
It is thought that the dish comes from a primitive version of pescado frito or fried fish, introduced in England during the 17th and 18th centuries by the Sephardic Jews who came from Portugal.
The British, Irish and inhabitants of the numerous countries of the Commonwealth call potato fries “chips”, whilst Americans and Canadians generally call them “French fries” (even though chips were invented in Belgium). On the other hand, South Africans call them slap chips. The British generally make their chips thicker than French fries which have been made popular by the American fast-food restaurant chains. Despite these differences, most restaurants in America serve the dish under the name of fish and chips. What the Americans call potato chips are called crisps in the United Kingdom and certain American restaurants serve chips and French fries to customers ordering fish and chips.
The recipe described below is very widespread, but variations do exist, such as replacing the batter, to which beer can be added, with bread crumbs and using fillets of fish instead of whole fish.
The fish is cleaned and the head removed then covered in batter made from eggs, flour, English beer and salt. Next it is fried in oil, generally vegetable oil. It is worth knowing that when you order fish and chips you get a whole fish, not just a fillet. The dish is generally seasoned with salt and malt vinegar, but also with ketchup or tartare sauce.
Some restaurants also serve “double fish and chips” where you get two pieces of fish instead of one.
Choice of fish
In England cod is the most commonly used fish for making fish and chips, but other types of white fish are also used such as haddock, pollock, plaice and skate. In northern England however haddock is more commonly used.
Where did the hamburger originate ?
A lot of stories go around about this.
Some people say that its origin goes back to the Mongols. They used to put fresh meat under their horse saddle, to make it more tender.
After the conquests of Genghis Khan the Russians came to know about this habit. They called it “tartar steak”, as the name they gave to the Mongols was Tartars.
The Russian cooks added onion and eggs to it, to improve the taste.
Due to the commercial contacts it had with Russian towns, the recipe ended up in the port of Hamburg.
From there the recipe crossed the Atlantic ocean thanks to German immigrants.
The recipe became the standard meal served to the poor on the transatlantic steamers.
During the 19th century small stalls made publicity in New York for “a steak baked in the way of Hamburg” to attract the immigrants.
So far the meat was served without the famous bun.
The hamburger like we know today was invented by accident.
It is said that Louis Lunch in New Haven would have been the first to have served to a customer who was in a hurry, the meat between two slices of grilled bread.
This is how the hamburger got born.
It was only years later that the slices of bread were replaced by the soft bun.
Source F & S – Nov. 2011
A chuño in Quechua or tunta in Aymara is a potato that has been freeze-dried. The same process also makes bitter-tasting potatoes edible.
The most frequently used variety of potato used for preparing chuños is called SIRI. It is a bitter-tasting potato but the preparation process of the chuño rids the potato of this bitter taste.
The SIRI variety of potato gives a high yield; using 4 kilos of potatoes you can obtain 1 kilo of chuño, whereas other varieties require 5 or 6 kilos for the same weight of chuño.
The raw potatoes are exposed to the frost of the night then left in the sun for one or several days according to the intensity of the heat and cold.
The end product obtained is known as brown chuño.
In order to turn brown chuño into white chuño, it is immersed for two weeks in a river.
It comes out almost white because the water gradually removes the brown skin.
At this point, the chuño is left to dry in the sun.
A different type of chuño known as GAYA is made not from potatoes but from a tuber called OCA ROSADA.
Yet another dried product called a CHULLUCHE is made from a tuber called OLLUCA.
Once the tubers are cooked they are then dried whole.
Tocosh is a form of lyophilized potato produced locally in a similar way to the chuño.
Tocosh is made in the regions of Ancash and Huánuco in Peru.
The variety of potato used is called HUALARHS.
The farmer makes a hole in the ground in which he lays down some straw covers it with potatoes and then stones on top to hold it all down.
Spring water is diverted and made to flow in a constant stream into the hole over a period of 3 months to a year.
The potatoes ferment, rot and produce penicillin.
The end result produced is known as Tocosh and used without further transformation in the preparation of different dishes.
However it has a very bad smell and is not really edible when you are not used to it!
Tocosh is used in the treatment of:
- gastritis and ulcers
- bronchitis, asthma and respiratory infections
- to strengthen the body’s immune system
Huatia is a method for preparing potatoes grown in the mountains.
The farmer makes a pile of soil and dried leaves from the potato plant and sets fire to it. The pile is left to burn all night long.
The next day the potatoes are cooked for 3 to 4 hours in the hot embers.
Once cooked, the potatoes are eaten spread with a creamy cheese.