Hello buddies. After so many easy and delicious sandwich recipes, I am back with another lip-smacking snack recipe. The main ingredient of this dish is fries. It is called hot and sweet fries recipe, consisting of fresh, homemade fries tossed in hot and sweet sauce, garnished with flavorful spring onions. This recipe is inspired from the one I and my friends usually had at the café near my college back then. Now that we are done with studies, we do not frequent that place often. So, this is my humble attempt to recreate the delicious fries whose mere name brings up a lot of happy memories of the good times.
Since I didn’t have any springs onion left, I used some finely shredded cabbage instead. It gave a nice texture to the fries. Some cilantro is good for flavor and it makes the dish look colorful. I used the plain and simple deep-fried fries for this recipe. The fries were pretty close to what you get in McDonald’s, only thicker. You can use the baked French fries to cut back on fat and make it healthier. You can also go for curly fries to make it look pretty and whacky.
I like my fries crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. So I fried the fries twice. Also, I let the sauce cool down a bit before adding fries to it. For those who like very crispy fries, here is a tip for you. Dip the fries in the batter of cornstarch and refined flour and then toss them in hot oil. Fry them twice.
Friends ready to dig in, waiting for me to finish clicking pictures
It is very important that you choose non-starch variety of potatoes for making fries. They are not totally starch-free but have a significantly low amount of starch in them. How do you recognize non-starch potatoes? These potatoes are the newly harvested ones. They have a thin and flaky skin, which is not very firm. The skin has a lot of soil on it, because of the fact that the potatoes are newly harvested. The potatoes are firm on the inside and easy to cut through. They have a fresh golden color instead of off-white. Oblong potatoes are ideal for make fries. Round potatoes do not make a very good choice for fries. The fries won’t turn out very long.
Such recipes often call for sugar. I used a combination of sugar and honey instead. Honey imparts a nice and shiny glazy to the sauce and then to the fries. The color of the hot and sweet fries was bright reddish-orange. It might appear a bit reddish-brown in the picture because of the light.
This recipe is for 2. It is easy to make and I hope you will try it at home.
For making the Fries
- Non-starch potatoes – 3, large
- Salt – 3/4 tsp
- Water – as needed
- Oil – to deep-fry the fries
For making the Hot and Sweet Fries
- Onion – 4 tbsp, finely chopped
- Capsicum – 4 tbsp, chopped into small bits
- Green chilies – 2, split lengthwise
- Garlic – 1 tbsp, finely minced
- Dried red chilies – 8
- Vinegar – 1 tbsp
- Soya sauce – 1/2 tbsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Tomato ketchup – 1 tbsp
- Honey – 2 tsp
- Water – 150 ml
- Cornstarch – 3/4 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Ajinomoto – 1/4 tsp
- Black pepper – 1/3 tsp
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Spring onion – a few chopped bits of the green part
How to Make the Hot and Sweet Fries
Making the Homemade Fries
- First we will prepare the fries. Take a large saucepan and boil it with sufficient water. Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them into thin fries. We don’t want the fries to be very thin. 1/2 inch wide, as shown in the picture would be just fine.
- When the water you had kept on heat boils, turn the heat off. Add in some salt and toss in all the fries. Mix around gently and let the fries stay in there for about 7 to 8 minutes.
- The water will turn hazy from all the excess starch from the potatoes. Carefully drain the fries using the colander. Hold the colander full of fries under the running cold water for a minute. Allow the water to drain.
- Now transfer the fries onto a plate lined with kitchen towel to absorb the moisture from the surface of fries. If need be pat dry the fries with another sheet of kitchen towel. Now slide the plate of fries into the freezer. Freeze the fries for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat sufficient oil in a skillet. Canola oil will make a good choice for frying the fries. Heat the oil and then turn the flame to low. Remove the fries from the freezer. We will fry them while they are still cold. Toss in one-fourth or half the fries into the oil, depending upon the size of your skillet.
- Fry them till they turn just pink. Remove them onto a plate and allow them to cool a bit; for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Let the oil reach the proper temperature again. Then turn the fries back into the oil for the second frying. Fry them for 5 minutes on low to medium heat till they get a golden color. The fries will now look crispy and crusty.
- Remove the fries onto the paper towel and drain the excess oil. Fry the remaining fries in the same way. Set them aside for a while.
Making the Hot and Sweet Sauce
- Soak the red chilies in warm water for about a couple of hours, so that the chilies get soft. Grind the chilies to a smooth paste. Use a teaspoonful of water if need be.
- Take a bowl and lightly whisk together the tomato ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chili paste that you just ground. Set it aside for now.
- Dilute the cornstarch in some water so that there are no lumps. Set it aside.
- Heat in a wok or a skillet some oil. Toss in the finely chopped onions and sauté them for a few seconds on high heat. The onions should just turn pink and lose the raw smell.
- Add in the minced garlic and sauté for a few seconds till it turns aromatic. Next, add in the capsicum and green chilies and sauté again for about 15 seconds stirring constantly. The capsicum should be cooked yet crisp.
- It’s time to add the cornstarch slurry. Add it to the wok / skillet and mix well on high flame to bring it to boil.
- Add in the mixture of sauces and mix well. Add in the black pepper and ajinomoto and stir them around well. Allow it to cook for a few seconds. The mixture will have thickened by now. Adjust the salt and turn off the flame. Add in the honey and mix well. Allow the sauce to cool a bit for 2 minutes.
- Toss in the freshly made fries and mix around really well. Serve them in a plate and garnish them with spring onions. Like I mentioned before, we were out of spring onions. So, I garnished my hot and sweet fries with some shredded cabbage and cilantro. Shredded cabbage lends a good, crispy texture to the dish.
Hot and Sweet Fries are ready. Serve them immediately. Enjoy. I will be back with the recipe of cheese fries soon. Stay tuned.