Sunday, November 23, 2014

Home-Style Szechuan Shredded Potatoes...

When you see a 10 lb. bag of potatoes for $2.99 how can you justify buying them loose for $0.79 per pound? Besides, potatoes is a staple and you'll have lots of things to do with them right? That's what I thought until I realized that's a whole lotta potatoes to eat before they grow eyes and are deemed not safe to eat. So what's a cook to do?... I got thinking past baked, boiled and mashed, and came up with a nice spicy and sour shredded potato side dish that would complement a Chinese meal. This popular Szechuan appetizer originates from Qxingdao, China. When I first tried it in a Northern-Style Chinese restaurant I was blown away with how light, crunchy and addictive the flavours and texture were. Now I got good reason to finally try my hands making it that went perfectly with our dinner tonight. Adjust the level of spiciness, sour and sesame oil to your family's taste preference. You can serve this warm or cold.

Home-Style Szechuan Shredded Potatoes
Makes 8 servings (leftovers are perfect the next day)

3-4 potatoes, p
eeled, rinsed, and patted dry  
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
1/2 tsp. dried Szechuan peppercorns
3 dried Szechuan red chilies
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. Chinkiang black vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 green onion, julienned (cut into long thin strips)

1/3 tsp. sea salt

Cut a thin slice from one side of the potato to use as a bottom to steady the slicing. Cut the potato into thin 2mm slices. Stack a few slices of potatoes, and slice into thin strips.

Soak potato strips in salt water for about 15 minutes to cleanse of excess starch and keep from turning brown. Rinse in a strainer under running water and place on top a bowl to drain.

Szechuan chilies and Szechuan peppercorns for tongue-numbing 
spicy sensation and lemony overtones are an addictive combo!

Heat oil in skillet or wok over medium heat. Add peppercorns, sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Discard peppercorns, but leave oil in skillet. Toss in chilies and garlic; sauté briefly. Add in potato shreds, stir-fry constantly for three minutes, or until crisp-tender. Mix the sauce ingredients of vinegar, soy, sugar and sesame oil and pour onto the potatoes. Add green onions, salt and toss well. Taste to adjust seasoning and transfer onto a serving plate.

Szechuan Shredded Potatoes served nicely with a five course Chinese meal of Bitter Melon and Pork, Steamed Whole Tilapia with Ginger and Green Onions, Stir-fried Snow Peas and Classic Chinese Tomato and Egg.

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