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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.