Chinese Stir-Fried Shredded Potatoes 醋溜土豆絲

how to stir fry shredded potato strips vinegar flavor
Serious question – do you consider potato a vegetable or a starch food?

As I was preparing for today’s recipe, I just couldn’t stop thinking about this question. And, depending on the answer of the question, you’d either call today’s Chinese shredded potatoes a vegetable dish or a side dish.

This Chinese shredded potato dish aka 醋溜土豆絲 is a popular stir-fry fare ubiquitous in many parts of China.

In fact, if you just walk into an authentic Chinese restaurant here in the States now, you have a good chance of finding this vegetarian/vegan friendly dish on the menu listed under the vegetable section.

On the other hand, I’d never seen this at an American-Chinese takeout place, yet.

In terms of flavor, you’ll find a dozen of regional varieties and twists but my personal favorite is this salt and vinegar flavor which is what I am sharing today.how to stir fry shredded potato strips vinegar flavor

Now, if you want to make this dish at home, it’s actually pretty straightforward, at least in theory. Almost all the variations of this dish follow something like this:

  1. Peel the potatoes and shred into thin strips.
  2. Soak the strips in cold water to get rid of the starch (osmosis!).
  3. Stir fry the potato strips with seasoning and various other optional ingredients.

The end product is a plate of crispy and delicious shredded potatoes.

Sounds easy enough?

I’d say so if I had never make this but after making this dish a countless times, I’d tell you this 5-ingredient dish takes some skill but a lot of patience. And I’ll explain why.

You see, the cooking part is actually easy. You just need a wok or pan that’s big enough and some basic stir-fry skills to make sure the potatoes are not burned.

The difficult part, for me anyway, is to turn the potatoes into uniform and paper-thin strips.

Simply put, it takes time to have to first slice the potatoes into thin slices then cut into thin strips.how to stir fry shredded potato strips vinegar flavor

I’ve also tried my food processor attachment but the potato strips would come out in inconsistent shapes, causing some of the potato undercooked or overcooked.

I haven’t tried on a good mandolin. If you have one handy, please give it a try and let me know.

But until I figure out a reliable way to shred these potatoes, I’ll have to rely on my sharp knife and steady hand 🙂

{Recipe} Chinese Stir-Fried Shredded Potatoes

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time:30 mins

Cook Time:5 mins

Total Time:35 mins

This crispy and delicious shredded potato dish is a classic Chinese stir-fry fare that you'll not want to miss. It's also vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 fresh pepper such as jalapeno or bell pepper
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 3tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1tsp salt

Directions:

Peel the potatoes and slice into 1/8" slices.chinese shreded potatoes recipeShred the potato slices into thin strips.chinese shreded potatoes recipeCut the carrot and pepper into thin strips as well.chinese shreded potatoes recipeSoak the shredded potatoes in col water for 20 minutes. Gently turn the strips occasionally while being soaked. This step is to reduce potato starch so the cooked potato will stay crunchy.chinese shreded potatoes recipeDrain the excess water and side the shredded potatoes aside.chinese shreded potatoes recipeIn a large wok or pan or cast iron skillet, heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the pepper strips and stir fry for 30 seconds.chinese shreded potatoes recipeSwitch to high heat, add the shredded potatoes and carrot. Spread the potatoes around the wok and turn them around after 15 seconds. Repeat this process for about 2 minutes or until the potatoes turn translucent.chinese shreded potatoes recipeAdd vinegar and salt and stir fry for another minute. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately as a side or appetizer.chinese shreded potatoes recipe

But…back to the serious question: do you see a potato as a vegetable or starch food? Please post your thoughts in the comment area.
how to stir fry shredded potato strips vinegar flavor

12 comments

  1. 6

    I had this dish once and loved it…I did not believe that it was potato at first…thank you so much for the recipe Yi…I will definitely try but will use a mandolin, not so skillful with the knife.
    Have a nice week 🙂

    • 6.1

      Thanks for stopping by Juliana. I’d love to know if a mandolin would be able to shred these potatoes! Have an awesome weekend.

  2. 5

    Hello. I hope you are feeling better and already fully recovered.
    I think potatoes is a vege with slightly higher carbo than normal vege.
    I treat it as a vege and stir fry with slices of meat or chicken. Delicious as a dish.

    • 5.1

      Thanks for your kind regards. Isn’t potato such a wonderful ingredient to cook with? I am still amazed by its versatility as a vegetable and starch food (in terms of mashed potatoes :). Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. 4

    First I hope you are feeling better. Have you tried your best chicken noodle soup recipe? Cures anything, LOL.
    For the recipe I would recommend using Russet (Idaho) potatoes as they are lower in starch and make the best fryers. You can also buy frozen bags of uniformly, machine shredded potatoes in the supermarket. I can honestly say I have no memory of any potato dish in any “authentic” Chinese restaurant I have eaten in, and I have been in quite a few in Manhattan and Flushing.It is actually a Chinese seasoned hash brown.Vinegar and salt is also a very English seasoning, used on fish and chips. I will give it a shot.
    As to your question. Being a vegetable and being a starch are not mutually exclusive. A potato is a root vegetable that is high in starch. Beans and lentils are high starch vegetables. If you look up “vegetable” it can be defined in a number of ways. In the broadest sense, it is any edible plant, including high starch grains like rice and corn.

    • 4.1

      Hi Jeff, thanks for your kind words. I love the idea of using pre-shredded potato, that’ll definitely make me cook this dish more often. The translation of this dish varies from restaurant to restaurant but I know a number of places in Manhattan and Flushing make this. If you don’t see it on the menu, you can try asking the wait staff to see if they can still make it. And I agree that being a vegetable and a starch are not mutually exclusive. Thanks for your thoughts!

  4. 3

    That is a beautiful and simple vegan dish, not to mention very healthy to eat.

  5. 2

    Gosh, gorgeous looking dish! That took some knife work. Worth it though — this looks incredibly tasty. Thanks!

  6. 1

    I love how beautiful you have cut your match stick potatoes. All lined up in a row. Looks perfectly delicious! Sharing of course!

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