There's something utterly comforting about stuffing your face into a bag of salty potato fries and they're best eaten hot and fresh out of the fryer. The feeling of being stuck with saggy, limp fries, though is inversely proportional and that's why we did the research to ensure you never find yourself in that pickle.
Besides, it's French Fries Day and we reckon the Internet will explode with all kinds of tributes to what is ostensibly the most popular food. I mean, it has an entire segment of the population preferring it over guys. So, on this special day, we're bringing a few quick hacks, tips and recipes (of course) to ensure you celebrate in style.
Making the cut
Cooking is an art—and everything from the technique to how you handle each ingredient can have a huge impact on the overall taste of your dish. As such, the way you cut your potatoes are of great essence when making fries. Our research suggests that it's best to julienne them, which would mean cutting them into thin, uniform strips which would ensure that you have crispier fries.
To soak or not to soak
There is a lot of debate around whether potatoes should be soaked, rinsed, or both, before being fried. Since potatoes are high on carbohydrates, when not soaked or rinsed, they tend to stick together upon being fried, because of gelatinisation of the starch. The best way? Soak them for eight hours in refrigerated water, drain completely and then fry. For a quick yet effective method, before frying, rinse them in cold water to remove starch and if you like them extra crispy, like us, soak the potatoes in salted ice-water for several minutes before cooking. The wait is definitely worth it.
Fry it right
The most important step towards achieving those perfect French fries is to double fry them. In doing this, you cook the potatoes in two steps—the first round of frying allows them to cook all the way through to the center, while the second one is the secret step towards getting that perfect golden-brown texture.
There's a reason most of us stick to our mom's kitchen hacks: they work. Another age-old, useful hack is to check the temperature of your oil before frying by dipping the end of a wooden spoon. If soft bubbles form around the surface, it means your oil is ready. But if it is bubbling hard, the oil has become too hot. Or you could invest in a cooking thermometer. Make sure the oil is at 170 degrees celsius for the first round of frying and 200 degrees celsius for the second one.
Put a coat on it
Since we are spilling the beans, allow us to share with you another trick we have up our sleeves. Once you've cooked and drained your fries of the excess oil, after frying it for the first time, transfer them into a medium-sized bowl and coat them with cornstarch before frying them the second time around. This will not only give your fries an extra crispy texture but also ensure that they're perfectly golden.
Here are some of our trusted recipes for your fries fix:
Vegan Sweet Potato Fries
If you want to further explore the world of French fries, try this delicious sweet potato fries recipe. As an added bonus, they're baked, so you can enjoy them guilt free.
Crispy French Fries
If you like your fries with a kick of spice, this is the recipe for you. Breaded with corn flakes and oats, you can make these with ingredients already available in your pantry. Bookmark it now!
Cheesy French Fries Poutine
Craving gourmet fries but disappointed about them being delivered soggy? These cheesy fries with a classic poutine sauce on top is a saviour. Try it and tell us what you think.
A culinary student, Kaavya Sridharan is an aspiring food writer and chef, a babka enthusiast and vociferous re-reader of the Harry Potter books. She fosters a keen love for her plant babies that she tends to while listening to Indie music, typically with a steaming cup of adrak chai.