Rustic 5-Spice Potato Chips
It’s easier than you might think to make potato chips at home. These particular chips are skin-on, thicker than usual, asian-spiced crunchy bliss. And? They take about 10 minutes to make.
The short version of this recipe goes like this: Slice. Fry. Sprinkle. Inhale. Read on for detailed instructions.
You only need a one or two potatoes to serve four people as a side. I like to dust my chips with hand-mixed Asian 5-Spice salt. They make a totally great accompaniment to burgers—or a pan-roasted sirloin.
How thick should you cut your potato chips?
I like them a little bit thicker than a standard potato chip. I also like to leave the skin on the potato. If you prefer, though, peel the potatoes before slicing.
I’m really good with a knife, and some of mine still came out uneven. You want them to be the same thickness so they all cook evenly.
Generally speaking, I like to cut the potatoes so that they’re a little on the thicker side, but they’re still thin enough to see through. Too thick = floppy chips.
All that said, I’d recommend using a mandoline to cut these. Or a food processor fitted with a thin slicing disk. Trust me. It will save you time and hassle.
How to buy a mandoline
If you haven’t seen one before, a mandoline is a hand-operated machine that you use to uniformly and precisely slice firm foods (fruits, veggies, etc.).
The blade is housed in the body of the mandoline, and you slide the food over it to make your cuts. You can adjust the height of the blade to change the thickness of the slices.
Mandolines usually fold up, and come with a nifty little guard to hold the food so you don’t slice your fingertips off. (I’ve done that before. Use the guard. It’s not worth the risk.) For more info on how they work, check out this in-depth description of the different parts.
Now, a high-quality French mandoline is a beautiful—but pricey—thing. I’m talking about one of these babies, the Bron Original Stainless Steel Mandoline, which will run you just under $200.
There are a bunch of in-between models, too.
If you don’t want to spend a ton of money, you can pick up a Japanese beniriner for about $20.
It’s missing some of the bells and whistles of the French model above (folding legs, etc.), but it delivers where it counts—i.e. it’s compact and sharp. It accomplishes most of the basic cuts for a lot less money.
I’ve had one of these for years. I picked it up in Boston’s Chinatown, and it’s been indespensible to me. I highly recommend it.
Alrighty. To the hot oil!
Rustic 5-Spice Potato Chips
1-2 large russet potatoes
canola oil for frying
1 tsp. five-spice powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
Serves 2-4 as a snack
Slice and rinse the potatoes
Grab your potato(es). Scrub them. Peel them if you like.
Slice them into thin rounds.
If you have the time, soak them in ice cold water for about an hour to leach out some of the starch. (Less starch = crispier chip.)
If you don’t, put them in a colander or strainer and give them a good, long rinse under cold, running water.
Shake them around under the water to get them good and wet.
Pat them dry with paper towels. You want to get as much water off them as possible. (Water splatters when it hits hot oil, and nobody likes a grease burn.)
Make the Five-Spice Salt
Do this before you make the chips. You’ll want to season the chips when they’re hot out of the oil—which is when the seasoning will stick best.
Put the salt and five spice powder in a small bowl. Whisk together to combine until relatively uniform. Set aside.
Fry the potato chips
Line a baking sheet with a few paper towels. Set a rack on top. Set it aside.
Put about 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Set it on the stove over high heat. Heat the oil to about 380 degrees, if you have a candy thermometer handy.
If you don’t, heat the oil until the surface shimmers, then start testing it. Dip (carefully!) the edge of a potato slice into the hot oil. If bubbles start to form furiously and immediately, the oil is hot enough to fry. If not, wait a minute or two, then test again.
When your oil is hot enough, add a handful of potato slices to the pot.
Stir them around with a skimmer or slotted spoon, so they fry on both sides.
Pull them out of the oil with your skimmer or slotted spoon when they’re light brown and crisp. This should take about 2 minutes, depending on how thick your chips are.
Season the potato chips
Transfer the hot chips to your prepared rack. Sprinkle with five-spice salt to taste.
Repeat with the rest of the potato slices until you’ve fried them all.
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