French Fries (Finger Chips)

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If you have a hankering for crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, perfectly salted French Fries, then look no further. I have a homemade finger chips recipe that will rival anything the fast food chains can offer, all from the comfort of your own home!

white serving tray filled with homemade french fries next to small dipping bowls of ketchup and green chutney

Why This Recipe Works

I have had multiple recipe requests for homemade french fries recipe. We love french fries in this house, so I was happy to oblige! I got myself into the kitchen and started doing test runs in the quest for the perfect homemade french fry.

When I used to make french fries at home, I just chopped the potatoes, rubbed them with some salt and directly fried them. These easy to prepare, quick homemade french fries were pretty good, but not perfectly crispy like what you’d get from McDonald’s or other fast food chains. I needed to dig deeper to find a french fry recipe that would really wow my readers.

As I delved into my research, I stumbled upon many recipes that directed me to parboil the potatoes first, then fry them not once, but twice, at different temperatures. As a busy woman, this five step (cooking-cooling-frying-cooling-frying again) process just didn’t make any sense for my life.

This simple, easy recipe for crispy, delicious french fries is inspired my friend Anamika. While you still need to fry the potatoes twice for that perfect, golden exterior, I learned that the process of simply soaking the cut potatoes in cold water eliminates the need for par-boiling.

As a result of having one less step – and one less dish to clean – these homemade french fries suddenly seemed more attainable. While they’re still a bit of a process to make, I promise that with just a little extra planning they are absolutely attainable.

Since you’re making them at home, you also know that these amazing finger chips are coming straight from the fryer to your plate rather than sitting under heat lamps waiting for your order. Honestly, what is better than a fresh batch of french fries?

They’re also entirely customizable, so if you love the idea of garlic parmesan, ranch, salt & vinegar, or even BBQ flavored french fries, you can absolutely make them to your liking. And if you want a slightly healthier option, feel free to swap in sweet potatoes instead!

The Method!

In this french fried recipe method, cut potatoes are kept in cold water for 30 minutes. They are then drained and towel dried before getting fried twice.

Both of these steps are invaluable in creating the perfect fry. While they take a bit of work, these homemade french fries are crisp from the outside, soft & tender from inside, just the way the french fries should be.

The process of soaking the potatoes removes excess starch from the spuds, meaning they can crisp up beautifully and keep from sticking together. Towel drying removes the excess water, which can sputter and snap when you add the potatoes to the oil.

The process of double frying is also important to creating the perfect french fry. The first fry helps to create a barrier on the exterior of the potato, as well as gives it time to cook all the way through. The second fry gives the potato that gorgeous golden hue and completes the cooking process so you don’t end up with al dente finger chips.

For best results, use potatoes that have a high starch content. Russet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, Idaho potatoes and Maris Piper are all good choices to make crispy yet tender french fries. Do not use new potatoes or potatoes having less starch.

This finger chips recipe can also be a Navratri Fasting Recipe if you use food grade and edible rock salt (sendha namak) instead of regular table salt.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make French Fries

Peel and Cut Potatoes

1. First, grab 1 extra-large potato, 2 large potatoes or 3 medium potatoes equalling about 315 grams. Rinse well in water and then peel the potato.

TIP: Peeling the potato is optional. While I know some people like the skin on their french fries, I find that it creates a tough exterior. I personally prefer my finger chips to be bare and tender.

peeled potato on a wooden cutting board

2. Now slice the potato in slices having 1 cm thickness. Before slicing, you can remove the top and bottom part of the potato to get a square or rectangle shaped potato.

TIP: If you are planning on making french fries at home often, there is actually a device called a french fry cutter that will do steps 2-4 for you! That said, I don’t have space in my kitchen for a tool that only achieves one end. Using a knife and cutting board takes a few extra minutes, but isn’t difficult.

peeled potato sliced thinly

3. Cut the potatoes in sticks having 1 cm width.

thin slices of potatoes being cut into french fry shapes

4. Cut the remaining potato slices in sticks as well.

raw potato slices for making french fries at home

Soak Potatoes

5. Rinse these potato sticks for a couple of times in water. Add the rinsed potatoes to a bowl and submerge them in cold water for 30-45 minutes to remove extra starch.

TIP: In a hot and humid climate, keep the bowl in the fridge. For extra crispy fries, soak potatoes in salt water instead.

potato sticks soaking in water to remove excess starch

6. After 30 minutes or 45 minutes, drain the potatoes in a colander.

potato finger chips draining in a sieve

Rinse and Dry Potato Sticks

7. Rinse the potatoes with running water. Drain all the extra water.

rinsing potato sticks with water in sieve

8. Then place them on a clean kitchen cotton napkin.

drying potato sticks on a towel

9. Fold the napkin over to press, pat and dry the potatoes. The potatoes have to be completely dried before you begin to fry them.

patting potatoes dry to make french fry recipe

First Fry (Blanch)

10. Heat oil in a wok or pan over medium or medium-low heat, depending on the heaviness of your pan.

For a heavy pan or wok, keep medium flame and for a less heavy pan, use a medium-low flame. The oil should reach a temperature of 130 to 135 degrees celsius (275 degrees Fahrenheit).

oil in a wok at 135 degrees Celsius for first fry of french fries recipe

11. Now, working in batches, add the potatoes to the oil. Do not overcrowd the wok (kadai) or pan. The oil will sizzle and bubble less when you fry the potatoes at this temperature.

potato sticks frying in oil for first step of french fries recipe

12. Begin to fry them.

oil is bubbling around potatoes

13. Stir in intervals while frying them for uniform cooking.

stirring french fries in oil with a slotted spoon

14. Fry/blanch in oil for about 3 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked, but not brown from outside.

They should just get a crust from outside without any major color change. Light browning of the edges is fine. Remove with a slotted spoon.

first fry french fries being removed from oil to drain

15. Place the half fried potatoes on paper kitchen towels. Stack 3 to 4 paper towels. Press some paper towels from top also to absorb extra oil. Let the half fried potatoes cool down at room temperature.

Note: After removing this batch, you can fry the second batch of potatoes. By the time you fry the second batch of the potatoes, the first batch will cool down enough for the second fry. So even though you have to fry twice, you’re using the same batch of oil all the way through!

potatoes are draining excess oil on paper towel lined plate

Second Fry

16. Now increase the flame to a medium-high or high. Again here for a heavy pan, use a high flame and for a less heavy pan, use a medium-high flame. The oil should be have a temperature of 180 to 185 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit).

oil at 180 degrees Celsius for second frying

17. Add the first batch of once-fried potatoes to the hot oil. The oil will sizzle and bubble quickly and as soon as you add the potatoes.

potatoes frying in oil for second time

18. Stir often while the potatoes fry to cook them evenly.

slotted spoon stirring french fries in oil

19. Fry french fries for 3 minutes or until crisp and golden. The edges should become golden.

potatoes starting to turn golden in shimmering bubbling oil in a wok

20. Remove finger chips with a slotted spoon.

slotted spoon removing finger chips from oil

21. Place french fries on paper tissues again to remove the extra oil.

french fries draining on paper towels

Serving Suggestions

22. While still hot, take the french fries in a bowl. Sprinkle with some salt, paprika or red chili flakes, dried herbs or dry rosemary. You can add your favorite herbs and spices.

adding herbs, seasonings to french fries in a bowl

23. Gently shake and toss the bowl so that the salt, herbs etc mix well with the finger chips.

french fries recipe after tossing with seasonings and herbs

23. Serve french fries hot with any dip or sauce of your choice. Tomato ketchup and Cilantro Chutney are our favorite dips to go with french fries. We also like to serve with some Vegan Mayonnaise.

overhead shot of a bowlful of homemade seasoned french fries with dipping sauces

Make Ahead and Storage

For freezing and storing french fries in large quantities, fry/blanch the potatoes in hot oil first for about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Wipe the extra oil with kitchen paper towels and when cooled, line the half-fried potatoes on a tray. Cover the tray with a kitchen napkin and freeze for an hour. Remove the frozen fries from the tray and transfer to a zip-lock bag or a container and store in your freezer.

Now you have the option to deep fry, bake or air-fry these frozen fries. When cooking the fries with any of these methods, you do not need to thaw the frozen finger chips.

While deep frying, heat oil until medium or medium-high hot and deep fry the fries until golden and crisp. Sprinkle salt or ground spices, herbs and serve straight away.

Air Fryer French Fries

I have also made air fryer french fries and they have a better taste and a crispy texture than the baked fries.

  1. To air fry, mix and coat the potato sticks after drying them thoroughly with 2 tablespoons oil. Take a batch and line the sticks evenly in the air-fryer basket.
  2. Prior to air-frying, preheat the air-fryer at 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 5 to 6 minutes. Place the air-fryer basket with the potato sticks in the air-fryer. You can also line the potatoes on a parchment paper in the basket.
  3. Air-fry for about a total time of 10 to 12 minutes. Half way through the frying time, after 5 to 6 minutes, shake the basket or turn over each fry with a tong or spoon. Fry again for 5 to 6 minutes until golden.
  4. Work in batches this way to air-fry the potato sticks. Remove the air-fryer fries in a bowl and add in salt and herbs. Toss, mix and serve hot.
Tips

Tips + FAQs

What are the best potatoes to use for homemade french fries?

When it comes to french fries, Russet potatoes are the gold standard. Choose the starchiest potatoes possible, which generally have tough, thick skins. Avoid wax potatoes, as these have a lower starch content.

Why do I need to soak the potato slices before frying in this french fries recipe?

Soaking the potatoes in water prior to frying removes excess starch from the exterior of the spuds. This not only prevents the potatoes from clumping together during frying, it also helps in creating the crisp exterior we love in a french fry.

Why do I have to fry my french fries twice?

Frying the potatoes the first time helps to cook them as well as creates a barrier for that crispy exterior we love so much. As the potatoes cool after the first fry, however, the natural moisture in the center of the potato begins to leach out, which can result in a soggy spud.

The second fry cooks off the excess liquid, finishes cooking the potatoes all the way through, and is responsible for that beautiful golden hue we associate with perfect french fries.

Why are my french fries soggy?

Sounds like one of three things happened: 1.) You didn’t soak the potatoes before frying, 2.) Your oil wasn’t hot enough when frying or 3.) You only fried the potatoes once.

Be sure to soak and dry the potatoes to remove excess starch before frying, fry first at 130-135 Celsius, allow to blot on paper towels and fry a second time at 180-185 Celsius for best results.

More Delicious Snacks To Try!

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overhead shot of a bowlful of homemade seasoned french fries with dipping sauces

French Fries Recipe

4.86 from 28 votes
Perfectly salted French Fries that are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Make these homemade french fries or finger chips recipe easily with a few techniques and customize it with your favorite herbs and spices or toppings.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Soaking Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Cuisine World
Course: Snacks, Starters
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Servings 2
Units

Ingredients

  • 315 grams potatoes or 3 medium-sized or 2 large – russet, idaho, yukon gold or maris piper
  • 3.5 cups cold water
  • dried rosemary or oregano or mixed herbs – as required
  • rock salt (edible and food grade) or black salt or regular salt – as required
  • red chili powder or paprika or cayenne pepper as required – optional
  • oil for deep frying – as required

Instructions

Prepping Potatoes

  • Firstly take the potatoes and rinse well in water. Then peel them. 
  • Then slice the potato in slices having 1 cm thickness. Before slicing, you can remove the top and bottom part of the potato to get a square or rectangle shaped potato.
  • Then begin to cut them in sticks having 1 cm width. Rinse these potato sticks for a couple of times in water to get rid of the extra starch.

Soaking Potatoes

  • In a bowl take 3.5 cups cold water and place the potatoes in it. Keep this bowl outside or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 45 minutes. In a hot and humid climate keep the bowl in the fridge.
  • After 30 minutes or 45 minutes, drain the potatoes in a colander.

Rinsing and Drying Potato Sticks

  • Rinse the potatoes in clean fresh water using a colander or mesh strainer. Drain all the water. 
  • Then place them on clean kitchen cotton napkin.
  • Fold the napkin above and press, pat and dry the potatoes. The potatoes have to be completely dried before you begin to fry them. 

First Frying

  • Heat oil in a wok or pan over medium-low or medium heat. For a heavy pan, keep medium heat and for a less heavy pan, use a medium-low heat. The oil should have a temperature of 130 to 135 degrees celsius (275 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Now, working in batches, add the potatoes to the oil. Do not overcrowd the wok (kadai) or pan with the potatoes. The oil will sizzle and bubble less when you fry the potatoes at this temperature.
  • Stir at intervals while frying them for uniform cooking.
  • Fry/blanch in oil for about 3 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked, but not brown from outside. They should just get a crust from outside without any major color change. Light browning of the edges is fine. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Place the half fried potatoes on paper kitchen towels. Stack 3 to 4 paper towels. Press some paper towels from top also to absorb extra oil. Let the half fried potatoes cool down at room temperature. 
  • Note that after removing this batch, you can fry the second batch of potatoes. By the time you fry the second batch of the potatoes, the first batch will cool down. So even though you have to fry twice, you’re using the same batch of oil all the way through.

Second Frying

  • Now increase the heat to a medium-high or high. Again here for a heavy pan, use a high heat and for a less heavy pan, use medium-high heat. The oil should be hot on medium-high to high heat having a temperature of 180 to 185 degrees celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Add the first batch of once-fried potatoes to the hot oil. The oil will sizzle and bubble quickly and as soon as you add the potatoes.
  • Stir often while the potatoes fry to cook them evenly. Fry french fries for 3 minutes or until crisp and golden. The edges should become golden. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Place french fries on paper tissues again to remove the extra oil.

Air Frying

  • After drying them thoroughly, mix and coat the potato sticks with 2 tablespoons oil. Take a batch and line the sticks evenly in the air-fryer basket. You can also line the potatoes on a parchment paper in the basket.
  • Before air-frying, preheat the air-fryer at 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Place the air-fryer basket with the potato sticks in the air-fryer. Air-fry for about a total time of 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Half way through after about 5 to 6 minutes, shake the basket or turn over each fry with tongs or a spoon. Air fry again for 5 to 6 minutes until golden.
  • Remove the air-fried fries in a bowl. Work in batches this way and make air-fryer french fries.

Serving Suggestions

  • While still hot, take the french fries (whether deep fried or air-fried) in a bowl. Sprinkle with some salt, paprika or red chili flakes, dried herbs or dry rosemary. You can add your choice of herbs and spices.
  • Gently shake and toss the bowl so that the salt, herbs mix evenly with the fries
  • Serve these homemade french fries hot with any dip or sauce of your choice.
  • Tomato ketchup and Cilantro Chutney are our favorite dips to go with french fries. We also like to serve with some Eggless Mayonnaise.

Make Ahead and Storage

  • For freezing and storing french fries in large quantities, fry/blanch the potatoes in hot oil first for about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  • Wipe the extra oil with kitchen paper towels and when cooled, line the half-fried potatoes on a tray. Cover the tray with a kitchen napkin and freeze for an hour.
  • Remove the frozen fries from the tray and transfer to a zip-lock bag or a container and store in your freezer.
  • Now you can deep fry, bake or air-fry these frozen fries. When cooking the fries with any of these methods, you do not need to thaw the frozen finger chips.
  • While deep frying, heat oil until medium or medium-high hot and deep fry the fries until golden and crisp. Sprinkle salt or ground spices, herbs and serve straight away.
  • Remove and add in salt and herbs. Toss, mix and serve hot.

Video

Notes

  1. Potatoes: When it comes to french fries, Russet potatoes are the gold standard. Choose the starchiest potatoes possible, which generally have tough, thick skins. Avoid wax potatoes, as these have a lower starch content.
  2. Rinsing: Rinsing the potatoes in water or cold water helps to remove starch, which can cause the potatoes to stick together during the frying process.
  3. Soaking: Soaking the potatoes in water prior to frying removes excess starch from the exterior of the spuds. This not only prevents the potatoes from clumping together during frying, it also helps in creating a crisp exterior in the fries. You can also soak the potatoes in salted water for several minutes before frying.
  4. Frying twice: Frying the potatoes the first time helps to cook them as well as creates a barrier for that crispy exterior. As the potatoes cool after the first fry, however, the natural moisture in the center of the potato begins to leach out, which can result in a soggy spud. The second fry cooks off the excess liquid, finishes cooking the potatoes all the way through.
  5. To avoid soggy oily french fries: Soak the potatoes before frying. Ensure that your oil is hot when second frying. Deep fry the potatoes twice and not once. Be sure to soak and dry the potatoes to remove excess starch before frying, fry first at 135 degrees Celsius (275 degrees Fahrenheit), allow to blot on paper towels and fry a second time at 180 to 185 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for best results.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
French Fries Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 308 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 616mg27%
Potassium 670mg19%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 87IU2%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 31mg38%
Vitamin E 9mg60%
Vitamin K 9µg9%
Calcium 37mg4%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 26µg7%
Iron 2mg11%
Magnesium 41mg10%
Phosphorus 91mg9%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This french fries recipe post from blog archives (October 2012) has been republished and updated on 22 April 2021.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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56 Comments

  1. Hello dassana iam a big fan of ur blog tried many recipes nd they all came out gudthanq

    1. thanks deepthi for your kind words. glad to know that you are liking the recipes.

  2. Can i keep potato in cold water & in fridge whole night . . & Then make fries in the morning?

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