Perfect Salt & Vinegar Chips (At Home)
[This post is part of a paid collaboration with Youngs Seafood]
My favourite pub lunch (after a Sunday roast obvs) has to be Fish and chips. With pubs closed I recreated that lunch at home. I enlisted the help of Young’s Seafood to do all the hard work of doing the fish. I picked their new Tempura Beer Batter Cod. The fish has this incredibly thin crispy coating as you’d expect from tempura, but the flavour of a classic beer batter. DELISH.
With the fish tackled it was time for me to focus on making some incredible chips from scratch. Nothing against frozen chips.. but I wanted to share a technique that I hacked off YouTube that makes incredible chips..
I know the world is obsessed with triple cooked chips. But I always struggle with making triple cooked chips. But it only works if you have an industrial-sized fryer as home fryers don’t regulate the heat that well. So when you load it with chips it takes a while to come back to heat… so you never get the precision required.
Another problem with at-home chips that annoys me is as soon as you season the fries they start to go soggy. This technique eliminates the need to season as they are seasoned with both salt and vinegar before it even goes into the fryer.
The technique was lifted off Eater’s You Can Do This! hosted by Clifford Endo (I’ve linked the recipe here). The original technique involves par cooking your chips in a potato starch salt brine… then finishing them off in hot oil. I hacked it to add vinegar to the brine to make the perfect salt and vinegar chips
Perfect Salt & Vinegar Chips (At Home)
500g of Potatoes (You want a non-floury potato I used Maris Piper)
50g Potato Starch
2 tbs salt
1 tbs white wine vinegar
Oil for frying
Cut your potatoes into even-sized chips(fries)
Science-ish Fact: If you cut your potatoes to the same size they will cook at the same time. If they are all different thicknesses the thinner ones may overcook or the thicker ones may not be fully cooked in the centre.
Make the brine with the water, starch, salt and vinegar. Whisk to ensure that the starch fully absorbs into the water to make a slurry.
In a heatproof roasting bag add the potatoes and pour over your brine mixture. Seal the bag with the ties provided or in a knot. As you are closing the bag try and get as much air out of the bag so it will, for the most part, be submerged in water.
Place a pan on the stove that will hold your chips in the bag. Place your bag in the pan and fill it with boiling water from the Kettle. Having hot water is not important to start with, just speeds up the first cooking of the potatoes.
Bring the pan to the boil and let your potatoes bubble away. Timings vary… 20 minutes if you have thinner french fries and 25 minutes for thicker crisps.
Science-ish Fact: One of the great things about this method is the starch in the brine absorbs loads of the water and acts as insulation so the chips don’t bob around and break. It also helps to not overcook with the absorption of water
Once your fries are pre-cooked you need to get them to cool down… Once the bag is cool enough to handle, cut it open and disembowel the contents onto a tray. They are going to be covered in a gel from the starch. At this point, I pop them in the fridge to cool down overnight so they are easier to handle.
Once the chips have cooled (either overnight or to touch) gently separate them from the gel. Try and get the big chunks off the chips.
Heat your oil to 180c. Be really careful when adding the chips to the oil. Because they have the wet gel on them they will bubble more than normal. Fry the chips for about 5 minutes or until crispy and golden.
Drain on kitchen roll then transfer to a rack over a baking tray. This ensures that any steam will escape rather than make the chips soggy.
If you are frying loads of chips, you can keep the chips warm in the oven.