November 30, 2022

shinjusushibrooklyn

Than a Food Fitter

Perfect French Fries (Finger Chips)

9 min read

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Discover the secret to making perfect French fries or finger chips at home. Beautifully crispy with a soft and fluffy interior, this French fry recipe is totally worth the slightly lengthy process. Serve it as a snack for when the 5 pm hunger strikes or as a side with burgers, this one’s sure to be an instant hit! 

Plate of french fries served with a mayonnaise dip and ketchup

Have you ever wondered why your French fries never turn out like the ones you get at your favourite fast-food restaurant? I know I have. For the longest time, every time I tried to make a batch at home, my fries would always end up sad and soggy. And while I still ate them (because never say no to fried potatoes), they wouldn’t feel fun at all. 

Love Finger Foods? Check out Punjabi Samosa, Paneer Pakoras, Gobi Manchurian, Cheese Balls, Crispy Falafel and Veg Cutlets!

After years of trying to make the perfect French fries, I think I may have just nailed them! While this way of making fries is slightly more time consuming than simply cutting and frying, I promise you it is totally worth it! 

  • Delivers perfectly crispy fries and delicious fries every time 
  • Requires just four ingredients 
  • Even though it has multiple steps, they’re all pretty easy to follow 
  • You can pack in a few extra nutrients by leaving the skin of the potatoes on. 
  • Can be half-fried and refrigerated in advance to save time. Simply fry them on medium-high heat the second time before serving. 
  • These freeze really well. So you can prep a big batch and freeze them and you’ll have homemade fries anytime you need!
  • While salted French fries are a classic, you can totally season these with some peri peri mix, garlic powder or BBQ seasoning

What you’ll need to make this recipe: 

This French fries recipe requires just four basic ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Potatoes: While it is possible to make French fries with most varieties of potatoes, I would highly recommend choosing Russet potatoes. This is because their high starch content and low water content helps give your fries that perfect taste and texture. 
  • Salt: For seasoning
  • Vinegar: Mixed with water while boiling the potatoes. The acidity from the vinegar helps the potatoes retain their structure and not break apart while boiling. This is also the reason why fries turn out perfectly crispy. 
  • Oil: While any oil works, it is best to use something with a neutral flavour and a high smoke point. This will make sure that your fries do not have a strong flavour and the taste of potatoes shines through. Sunflower, canola or vegetable oil all work really well for this finger chips recipe. 

How to make French Fries

Here’s a quick step by step collage to show you how to make the perfect French Fries:

Step by step picture collage showing how to make french fries

1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Ensure to rinse multiple times to get rid of any dirt and starch present. Keep them submerged in water to prevent oxidizing. 

2. Cut both the top & bottom tips of the potato & place it vertically on your chopping board and then cut thick slices of it, they should be ¼ inch thick, make sure you cut all the slices evenly. Lay down the slices and cut them into ¼ inch thick fingers. Transfer to a bowl and keep them submerged under ice cold water for 10-15 minutes. 

3. Boil water in a pot along with vinegar & salt. Add the fries and blanch for 8 minutes. Ensure they cook evenly, stirring at regular intervals. Once cooked, remove from flame and drain the water.

4. Arrange the fries on a wire rack and let them cool. Let the potatoes rest for 10-15 minutes or until they come back to room temperature. 

Step by step picture collage showing how to make french fries

5. Heat oil for frying. Bring the oil to 200C, keep in mind this is a little hotter than normal frying temperature. Drop in the blanched potatoes and fry for 90 seconds. 

6. Remove from the hot oil using a spider strainer. You should be able to see a thin coating on the fries.

7. Transfer the fries onto the wire rack and allow to rest for 15 minutes. At this stage you can place them in a ziplock bag & freeze. These can then be treated like a packed of frozen fries and can directly be deep fried from the freezer in hot oil or in the air fryer.  

8. Heat the oil back to 200°C and add the fries, the temperature will drop to 170-175°C, maintain the same temperature while frying them. If you don’t have a thermometer to maintain the temperature, just fry them on a medium flame for 5-7 minutes till crisp and golden.

Step by step picture collage showing how to make french fries

9. Remove the fries from the oil and transfer to a tissue lined plate. 

10. Toss with salt, pepper or your choice of seasoning and serve hot!

Richa’s top tips for the best French Fries ever: 

  • How to cut fries: To get the perfect, restaurant-style French fry texture, it is best to cut the potatoes by hand to a thickness of about one fourth inch. Even though the process of cutting them by hand takes time and effort, it helps in maintaining uniformity and ensuring that the fries fry more evenly. 
  • You can also use a mandoline for cutting fries if it’s sharp. We thought it was a little bit of a struggle
  • Any potato variety works but new potatoes are better for french fries because of their high water content. Using them results in the crispiest fries
  • After cutting the potatoes, immediately soak them in ice-cold water and cover the container. This will remove some of the excess starch (important to get crispy fries) and also prevent the potatoes from turning grey. Dry them thoroughly with a kitchen towel before frying them to prevent splatters. 
  • In between frying, make sure to rest the fries on a wire rack only and not on a plate to prevent the fries from getting soggy and limp. 
  • These finger chips freeze well so you can easily make a large batch and store them to be fried later. Half fry and allow the fries to cool down completely. Place them on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, place them in a ziplock and store them in the freezer. These French fries stay well in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
  • Avoid overcrowding the pan when frying the potatoes. Overcrowding will bring down the temperature of the oil considerably leading to soggy fries. 
  • If you are leaving the skin of the potatoes on, remember to give them a nice scrub before cutting them to remove all dirt and impurities. 

Why do you boil French fries before frying? 

Also known as poaching and blanching, boiling the potatoes before frying them ensures that they cook all the way through. Adding a little vinegar to this water helps maintain the structure of the fries and prevents them from breaking down when fried or becoming soggy later. 

Why should you double fry French fries? 

This is an important step to achieve the perfect fries. The first fry helps cook the potatoes thoroughly as well as creates a barrier on the outside for crispy fries. But simply frying them once will push the moisture from the centre of the fries to the surface, leaving them soggy once cooled down. Frying them the second time cooks this moisture, makes them crispy and also delivers that beautiful golden colour.  

Close up of french fry dipped in ketchup

How to freeze French Fries

These fries freeze well so you can easily make a large batch and store them to be fried later. Half fry and allow the fries to cool down completely. Place them on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, place them in a ziplock and store them in the freezer. These French fries stay well in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Even though making the perfect French fries takes a bit of time and effort, one bite and you know it’s  totally worth it! Serve it with my garlicky yogurt party dip, spicy nacho cheese sauce or some good ol’ ketchup and watch them get over in a matter of minutes! 

Watch the Recipe Video

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Plate of french fries served with a mayonnaise dip and ketchup

Best Homemade French Fries

Always wanted to make crispy, fast food joint style french fries at home? These are better than the french fries you get outside because you know exactly what goes into them. It takes a few steps but the result is gorgeous golden, crispy fries that can be served immediately or frozen for later so you always have a stash in your freezer.

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Course: Snacks & Appetizers

Cuisine: Continental

Diet: Gluten Free

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 288kcal

Instructions

  • Wash potatoes to get rid of any dirt and starch present. Peel the potatoes & keep them submerged in water, this will prevent them from oxidizing.

  • Cut the potatoes into fries. Cut both the top & bottom tips of the potato & place it vertically on your chopping board and then cut thick slices of it, they should be ¼ inch thick, make sure you cut all the slices evenly. Lay down the slices and cut them into ¼ inch thick fingers. As you cut the potatoes, transfer them to a bowl and keep them submerged under ice cold water for 10-15 minutes.

  • Drain the water and rinse thoroughly to get rid of any excess starch.

  • Keep water for boiling in a pot. Add the vinegar & salt to the boiling water and stir to combine. Add the cut potatoes and blanch for 8 minutes. Stir in regular intervals using a spider strainer to ensure it cooks evenly. Remove from the stock pot and place them on a wire rack.
  • Let the potatoes rest for 10-15 minutes or until it comes back to room temperature.

  • Heat oil in a kadai or deep fryer or frying pan. Bring the oil to 200C, keep in mind this is a little hotter than normal frying temperature. Drop in the blanched potatoes and fry for 90 seconds.

  • Remove from the hot oil and transfer it back onto the wire rack and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

  • At this stage you can place them in a ziplock bag & freeze. These can directly be deep fried and treated as packet frozen fries.

  • Heat the oil back to 200°C and add the fries, the temperature will drop to 170-175°C, maintain the same temperature while frying them.If you don’t have a thermometer to maintain the temperature, just fry them on a low flame after heating the first two minutes and fry till golden.
  • Remove the fries from the oil and transfer to a tissue lined plate. Toss with salt, pepper or your choice of seasoning and serve hot!

Notes

  • The right way to cut the potatoes: To get the perfect, restaurant-style French fry texture, it is best to cut the potatoes by hand to a thickness of about one fourth inch. Even though the process of cutting them by hand takes time and effort, it helps in maintaining uniformity and ensuring that the fries fry more evenly. You can also use a mandoline for cutting fries if it’s sharp. We thought it was a little bit of a struggle
  • Potato variety: Any potato variety works but new potatoes are better for french fries because of their high water content. Using them results in the crispiest fries
  • After cutting the potatoes, immediately soak them in ice-cold water and cover the container. This will remove some of the excess starch (important to get crispy fries) and also prevent the potatoes from turning grey. Dry them thoroughly with a kitchen towel before frying them to prevent splatters. 
  • Make sure to rest the fries on a wire rack only and not on a plate to prevent the fries from getting soggy and limp. 
  • Freezing the fries: These fries freeze well so you can easily make a large batch and store them to be fried later. Half fry and allow the fries to cool down completely. Place them on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, place them in a ziplock and store them in the freezer. These French fries stay well in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
  • Avoid overcrowding the pan when frying the potatoes. Overcrowding will bring down the temperature of the oil considerably leading to soggy fries. 
  • If you are leaving the skin of the potatoes on, remember to give them a nice scrub before cutting them to remove all dirt and impurities. 

Nutrition

Sodium: 303mg | Calcium: 26mg | Vitamin C: 42mg | Vitamin A: 4IU | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 5g | Potassium: 897mg | Calories: 288kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 14g | Protein: 4g | Carbohydrates: 37g | Iron: 2mg

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