As I said yesterday, tomorrow will be Spring Day in Chinese calendar — it means that spring is coming eventually, and hope that this coldness is so over! — How good! :))
As a celebration for the upcoming spring, in China, we normally have special food —- spring pancake. It is just a very very thin ‘bing’/pancake, and rolling up with fillings. Tomorrow I will talk a bit more about this day and its food. For this post, I like to share this stir-fried shredded potato recipe, which, by itself, is a very traditional simple dish, and it is also a very common filling for the spring pancake.
Stir-fried shredded potato sounds very simple, but don’t underestimate its taste, and how tricky it is to get it right. Years ago, when we were still in Manchester, I went to a Chinese restaurant with a few friends. The restaurant claimed to serve authentic Sichuan and Beijing food. A friend decided to try their ‘shredded potato’ dish. I was hesitating to stop him, because firstly, normally, you wouldn’t order simple stir-fried shredded potato in this kind of restaurant, second, I doubted if they were going to make a very ‘authentic’ one, as it is a tricky dish to cook. Also as we all know that potato is not very easy to be preserved well after peeling and chopping, it goes a bit ‘rusty’ look, and the restaurants normally prepare things in advance, so you can imagine… Sorry, cut the story short, the result was not very satisfactory. My friend was a bit disappointed. Well, I hope he did not give up the desire for stir-fried shredded potato, because it can be really tasty after all.
I guess different regions in China have their own ways of cooking shredded potato. For example, my auntie used to cook two different types, one in which the potato is super soft, and almost tastes ‘mashy’ in your mouth, and the shredded strips are not necessary to be thin; the other one is a more ‘tricky’ one, the potato still taste crunchy and ‘juicy’, and the shredded strips needs to very thin. Unfortunately, the one we had in the restaurant was in between.:(
This recipe I share here today is the latter one, a bit crunchy one. It is actually the second dish I ever learned to cook in my life after scrambled eggs — I was 11 years old, of course, again, my dad taught me how to cook it. So I guess I can say that I am ‘kind’ of experienced stir-fried shredded potato ‘cook’ and ‘taster’. :))
As I said, it is a very nice dish on its own, but also an ideal filling for spring pancake, as there is no ‘sauce’ , easy for rolling up in the pancake (it can avoid the dripping from the folded pancake).
The trick of this dish is firstly to chop the potato as thin as possible, second, — and this is really tricky, to add couple of drops of rice vinegar in the potato during cooking. You won’t really taste the sourness, but the taste of the dish is enhanced. Oh, last thing, to choose the right potato, and DO NOT cook too long, cooking time is essential for this dish — I think. :))
Here you go.
Potato (I used Maris Piper potato), carrots (I only used it for giving it a little bit more colour, you don’t have to put it in)
Oil, salt, garlic, ground sichuan peppercorn, rice vinegar, cooking wine and sesame oil(both are optional)
1) Peel, wash, and chop the potato into thin strips, as thin as possible. It is better to rinse it again after chopping. I used 3 medium size potato.
2) Same to do with carrots. I used 2 small carrots.
3) Chop around 4 gloves of garlic.
1) In a heated wok, add in around 3 tablespoons of oil.
2) When the oil is hot, add in around 1/2 teaspoon of ground sichuan peppercorn, chopped garlic, and 1 tablespoon of cooking wine (optional).
3) When you can smell the garlic being cooked in the wok, add in prepared shredded potato and carrots together. Keep on stirring, and keep the fire strong.
|Adding the shredded potato in|
4) When the potato and carrots get softening a little bit, add in a bit more than half of teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar.
5) Still need to stir often, if it gets too dry, or look like going to be burnt, add a bit water, but only a few drops each time. There should be no sauce left in the wok at the end of cooking.
6) It takes around 5 minutes to get it done, but you can taste a little bit, as long as the ‘rawness’ is gone it is done. Actually, if it is cooked a little bit longer than it should, you can see that it looks like the shredded potato is getting ‘sticky’ — that is the latest minute that you should finish cooking.
|Chinese shredded potato|
7) Add couple of drops of sesame oil if you like before serving it in the plate.
Sorry if some parts are a bit ‘strict’, where normally I am a very ‘careless’ person. But they are crucial for the best result of this shredded potato dish.
Having it with rice, or even mix it into the rice is all very good option. Or accompany with beer if you like. :))