I know I haven’t written here many potato recipes, but, trust me, there are a lot, a lot of Chinese dishes with potato — it is a very common ingredient in Northern Chinese cuisine .
Sometimes when I am cooking, I have to make an effort to avoide using potato in the dishes, otherwise there are going to be potato on the table everyday — I will receive complaints.
Potato in everyday Chinese is called tu dou , as the bean of soil . I really love potato, I used to be able to finish almost a whole plate of my auntie cooked stir fried shredded potato on my own with boiled rice. :)
But a few years ago, I read an article somewhere saying that potato is not good for aging, I started restricting myself from having a lot of potato. No, no, don’t get me wrong, I am still cooking and eating a lot, you will know from all of the forthcoming potato recipes. :))
Since I came to the West to study, I began to love all the Western recipes with potato, for example, jacket potato, chips, wedges, roasted potato, Spanish omelet. However, the best potato I ever tried was Canary island’s potato – papa local .
The locals told us that the the soil in the islands is of volcanic origin and as a result the taste of the potato is different. And ‘patata local’ was one of the few Spanish words I learned first and quickly. Je je…
Although there are many different types of potato in the supermarkets here in UK, and I have no idea how to distinguish them when cooking Chinese dishes, back home in China, in the market, there are normally only two types, (probably nowadays there are more) one is soft and mashy after cooking, and one can be more crunchy after cooking.
As I mentioned in my first potato recipe, I like to use Maris piper and new potato here, which are more controllable for whatever the result you want to achieve when cooking Chinese dishes.
Using ‘Maris piper’ is a result of many tries. After a lot of unsatisfactory results, I found Maris piper is the best for the Chinese dishes I cook. As for new potato, it is because my auntie and my parents used to say that the more fresher and newer potato is, the more tasty is in the dish. Sometimes, in the market we normally shop, we can get Majorca potato, always reminds of “papa local”. :)
And normally when choosing new potatos, I always look for those ones that look ugly, muddy, and the skin of which is almost peeled off. Don’t be turned away by their appearance’ When cleaning them, you don’t have to use knives or peeler, just soak them into water for a little while, then use a spoon to scrub the surface of the potato, the skin will come out very easily if they are very fresh
It is a very easy job, I started learning to do it when I was.. probably five, I remember that my mum would give a little basin with some potato soaked in the water and a spoon, and I would place it in the front yard of the house, peeling them (of course very clumsy), while waiting for my dad coming back from work. :))
Potato in Northern Chinese cuisine is normally stir-fried, steamed, made into soups or salad. No roasting, frying chips or omelet… very different to western cuisine. :) The most famously home cooking dishes are di san xian (stir-fry potato, aubergine and green pepper), ‘chao tu dou si’ (stir fry shredded potato), steamed potato with soybean paste dip (a summer dish), potato and beef soup, and shredded potato salad (another summer dish).
In addition, potato can be stir-fried with many different vegetables, for example, green pepper, tomato, celery, cabbage. In northeast, there is a famous soup based dish ‘luan dun’ (means mix everything together), which uses potato as one of the main ingredients. Also, with meat dishes, normally beef (or probably pork for other ethnic groups) with potato is the most popular combination, for example, ‘hong shao rou’.
All the recipes will be here soon. :)