If you crave fries that are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, perfectly salty, then this recipe is for you. I have a homemade crisps recipe that will rival anything fast food chains can offer, all from the comfort of your own home!
Why this recipe works
Recently I have had several recipe requests for homemade french fries recipes. We love fries at this house, so I was delighted to have you there! I got into the kitchen and started experimenting with finding the perfect homemade fries.
When I made French fries at home, I simply chopped the potatoes, rubbed them with salt and fry them straight away. These quick and easy to make homemade fries were pretty good, but not perfectly crispy like what you would get at McDonald’s or other fast food chains. I needed to dig deeper to find a french fries recipe that would really wow my readers.
As I researched further, I came across many recipes that prompted me to boil the potatoes first and then fry them not once, but twice, at different temperatures. As a busy woman, this five-step process (cook-chill-fry-chill-fry again) just didn’t make sense for my life.
This simple and easy recipe for crispy and delicious fries is inspired by my friend Anamika. While you still need to fry the potatoes twice for the perfect golden exterior, I’ve learned that the process of just soaking the cut potatoes in cold water eliminates the need for boiling.
With one less step – and one less dish to clean – these homemade fries suddenly seemed more achievable. While they’re still a bit of a process to go, I promise that with just a little extra planning, they’re absolutely doable.
Since you make them at home, you also know that these amazing finger chips are coming straight from the fryer to your plate. Honestly, what could be better than fresh fries?
They’re also fully customizable, so if you like the idea of garlic parmesan, ranch, salt and vinegar, or even flavored barbecue fries, you can absolutely whip them up to your liking. And if you want a slightly healthier option, feel free to swap sweet potatoes instead!
In this fried recipe method, the cut potatoes are kept in cold water for 30 minutes. They are then drained and towel dried before frying twice.
These two steps are invaluable in creating the perfect fry. Although they take a bit of work, these homemade fries are crispy on the outside, chewy and tender on the inside, just like French fries should be.
The process of soaking potatoes removes excess starch from them, which means they can crisp up beautifully and avoid sticking together. Towel drying removes excess water, which can splash and break when you add the potatoes to the oil.
The double frying process is also important in creating the perfect fry. The first fry helps create a barrier on the outside of the potato and gives it time to cook completely. The second fry gives the potato a wonderful golden hue and completes the cooking process so you don’t end up with al dente fries.
For best results, use potatoes with a high starch content. Russet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, and Idaho potatoes are all good choices for making crispy but tender fries. Do not use less starchy or new potatoes.
These french fries can also be a Navratri fasting recipe if you use edible, food grade rock salt (sendha namak) instead of regular table salt.
How To Make French Fries
Peel and cut the potatoes
1. First, take 1 extra large potato, 2 large potatoes or 3 medium potatoes equivalent to about 315 grams. Rinse well with water then peel the potato.
TIP: Peeling the potato is optional. Although I know some people like the skin of their fries, I find it creates a harsh exterior. Personally, I prefer my fingers to be bare and tender.
2. Now slice the potato into 1 cm thick slices. Before slicing, you can remove the bottom and top part of the potato to make a rectangular or square shaped potato.
TIP: If you plan on making French fries often at home, there is actually a device called a French Fry Cutter that will perform steps 2-4 for you! That said, I don’t have room in my kitchen for a tool that only reaches one end. Using a knife and cutting board takes a few extra minutes, but it’s not difficult.
3. Cut the potatoes into sticks 1 cm wide.
4. Cut the slices of remaining potato into sticks as well.
Soak the potatoes
5. Rinse these potato sticks several times in water. Add the rinsed potatoes to a bowl and for 30 to 45 minutes, submerge them in cold water to remove excess cornstarch.
TIP: In a hot, humid climate, store the bowl in the refrigerator. For even crispier fries, soak the potatoes in salted water instead.
6. Drain the potatoes in a colander after 30 or 45 minutes.
Rinse and dry the potato sticks
7. Rinse the potatoes under running water. Drain off any extra water.
8. Then put them on a clean cotton towel.
9. Fold the towel over to press, pat and dry the potatoes. Before frying, the potatoes should be completely dried.
10. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over medium or medium-low heat, depending on the heaviness of your pan.
For a thick pan or wok, keep a medium flame and for a light pan, use a medium-low flame. The oil should reach a temperature of 130 to 135 degrees Celsius.
11. Now, add the potatoes to the oil in batches. Do not overload the wok (kadai) or pan.
12. Start frying them.
13. Stir often while frying for even cooking.
14. Fry / blanch in oil for about 3 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked but not golden on the outside.
They should just have a crust on the outside with no major color change. The light browning of the edges is fine. Remove with a slotted spoon.
15. Place the half fried potato on paper towels. Stack 3 to 4 paper towels. Also press down on paper towels from the top to soak up the extra oil. Let the fried potato halves cool to room temperature.
Note: After frying this batch, you can fry the second batch of potatoes. By the time you fry the second batch of potatoes, the first batch will cool enough for the second. So even if you have to fry twice, you use the same batch of oil all the way through!
16. Now increase the flame to a medium-high or high level. Again here for a heavy pot use a high flame and for a light pot use a medium-high flame. The oil should have a temperature of 180 to 185 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit).
17. Add the first batch of potatoes once fried in hot oil.
18. Stir often while frying the potatoes to cook them evenly.
19. Fry the fries for 3 minutes or until crispy and golden. The edges should turn golden.
20. Remove finger chips with a slotted spoon.
21. To remove the extra oil, place the fries on paper tissues again.
22. Take the hot fries in a bowl. Sprinkle with paprika or red pepper flakes, salt, dried herbs or dry rosemary. You can add your favorite herbs and spices.
23. Gently shake and mix the bowl so that the salt, herbs, etc. mix well with the chips.
24. Serve the fries hot with any dip or sauce of your choice. Tomato ketchup and cilantro chutney are our favorite dips to accompany fries. We also like to serve with vegan mayonnaise.
Getting ahead and stocking up
To freeze and store large amounts of fries, first fry / blanch the potatoes in hot oil for about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
Wipe off the excess oil with paper towels and when cool, line the half-fried potatoes on a platter. Cover the tray with a kitchen towel and freeze for an hour. Remove the frozen fries from the tray and transfer them to a zippered bag or container and store in your freezer.
Now you have the option to fry, bake or air fry these frozen fries. When cooking french fries with any of these methods, you don’t need to thaw frozen french fries.
While frying, heat the oil until hot or medium-high and fry the fries until golden and crisp. Sprinkle with salt or ground spices, herbs and serve immediately.