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Top tips for making the perfect fries

Shoestring fries, crispy chips and good old 'slap tjips'. Here are top tips on how to make them all.

01 Mar 2016

What is better than grabbing a paper cone filled with French fries swimming in dipping sauce at a music festival or market?

How about crispy shoestring fries at a trendy burger joint? Better yet, some ‘Steers’ chips to cure a hangover and replenish your salt levels.

Of all these glorious chips available, I have to sing praise to good old fish and chip shop, 'slap tjips', soaked in the cheapest spirit vinegar one can find, there is just nothing like it!

Best spuds for fries?

South Africa’s potatoes are classified into three categories:

WAXY – the 'slap chip spud'
These babies have a high moisture content and a low starch content. They stay firm and don’t disintegrate during boiling which makes them suitable for potato bakes and potato salads.

They are not ideal for mashing or for crispy fried chips. They are however perfect for 'slap tjips'.

FLOURY - 'The ultimate fries spud'
These potatoes have a low moisture content but a high starch content. They will not retain their shape when boiled but make superb roast potatoes, wedges and chips that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside - oh yum. Great for creamy mashed potatoes too.

WAXY/FLOURY – 'the versatile spud'
This multi-purpose potato is commonly available at supermarkets.

They have a fair starch and moisture content which enables them to retain their shape during cooking and can be used for all cooking methods to make a variety of dishes.

Most packaging at supermarkets will specify which cooking methods are suitable for the potatoes, if it is not specified; it is usually the all-purpose waxy/floury variety.

Make your own:

Crispy double fried chips

- Use a floury potato ( potato for chips, roasting and mashing)
- Make sure your chips are cut evenly (are the same thickness).
- Use clean fresh sunflower oil.
- Fry in moderately hot oil until al dente but still pale in colour, remove and set aside while increasing the oil temperature.
- Fry again in hot oil until golden and crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
- Drain on absorbent paper. Season with salt.

Matchstick or shoestring potatoes

- Cut combination or floury potatoes into very thin slices, then cut into matchsticks.
- Make sure they are dry before frying. Use a clean dish towel.
- Fry in batches in a large pot of hot oil until golden and crispy. Season with salt immediately.

'Slap tjips'

- Use waxy potatoes.
- Blanch chips for 5 minutes, dry and cool.
- Then fry in moderately hot oil until al dente but still pale in colour.
- Remove from oil, turn heat up and fry in hot oil until tender and golden.
- Drain and sprinkle with salt and vinegar.

Pimp your chips!

Serve your chips with a soft fried egg and crispy bacon bits or chorizo.

Make a homemade tomato sauce, mayonnaise or aioli to enjoy with it.

Try an infused salt by bashing Maldon salt with herbs, lemon or spices (like smoked paprika).

Try out my delicious recipe for aioli and rosemary salt. Serve them up with the chips of your choice!

How do you like your fries?



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