Spicy Orange Wasabi Fries: Boiled and Broiled

Togarashi is a spice blend often seen in Japanese cooking, dating back many centuries. Borrowing some traditional seasonings there and adding in the element of wasabi, these spicy orange wasabi fries are a perfect mix of East meets West, giving you a fry worthy of standing next to a sushi night or bowl of ramen, but just as easily finding a place on a plate next to a burger.

There was a green bush in the garden last year that sparked several conversations between Ole and I. What was it? How did it get there? As I was a disorganized gardener last year with way too much crowding in the new beds and working on starting both a strawberry and a raspberry patch in other beds, I was at a loss. What had I planted in the far corner of the strawberry bed?

I vaguely remembered being at the farmers market, picking up plants that were on my list of things to put in the ground when this compulsiveness had led me to grab a few more than I had originally intended. It’s how I ended up with a spaghetti squash and a pumpkin that were taking over a good portion of my backyard together.

While compulsiveness did lead to a gorgeous carving pumpkin for my daughter and plenty of pumpkin puree and pepitas for pesto, this particular plant was a bit different. For one, it was huge, taking up a good two-foot square in the corner, leaning precariously over the edge of our rock-sided bed and looking rather invasive next to my small strawberry plants. And I couldn’t remember what it was.

Not appearing to produce any edible fruit or vegetable, I was confounded. What had I purchased in my farmers market folly? Only later, after I pulled up the large mass of green would I discover the mass of potatoes in the ground. Perfect and tiny and ready to boil. Today, however, there’s a bit of a broil after the boil.

I shared my process of testing the perfect method of baking french fries last week for the Alexia Foods Reinvent a Classic Challenge, and then I boarded a plane for Pennsylvania, where I was then driven out into a gorgeous setting for Big Summer Potluck only to realize there would be no chance for me to upload the recipe for my post once I arrived. I appreciate your patience, especially my neighbor, Mike, who only heard of said french fries while his wife had the privilege of tasting them, and has been bothering me for the last five days to share already.

Start by cutting potatoes into matchsticks. I left the skin on because I was told growing up that all the nutrients are in the skin.

Cover the fries in a mix of rice wine vinegar and water. Boil for just 8 minutes. The goal is to have soft potatoes that are nowhere near that overcooked state where they get grainy and fall apart if you even bring a fork remotely near to the surface.

While the potatoes boil, grind the spices together: dried orange peel, wasabi, red pepper flakes and ground ginger all add to these fries.

The partially cooled potatoes get tossed in a bit of oil and the spices.

They’re laid out evenly and we’re ready to broil until golden, crisp and perfect for snaking on.

The balance of acid and spice here made these great for snacking, and between my neighbors and my eldest daughter who was home at the time, they disappeared quickly, leaving none for the men. Poor guys.

A huge thank-you goes out to Alexia Foods for letting me be a part of this campaign! There really is nothing like getting paid to do what you love.

2 pounds russet potatoes, julienned with skin on
12 ounces rice wine vinegar
1″ knob fresh ginger
2 cups water
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon dried orange zest
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Place julienned potatoes in a small saucepan. Cover with rice wine vinegar. Peel ginger and chop into large chunks. Add to saucepan. Pour in water to cover potatoes. Bring the saucepan contents to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes. Allow to cool in the liquid for 10 minutes. Drain. Place the potatoes in a bowl and toss with grapeseed oil.

Using a mortar and pestle, grind together wasabi powder, sesame seeds, orange zest, red pepper flakes and ginger until no large chunks remain. Mix in salt. Sprinkle wasabi mixture over the oiled potatoes and toss gently to coat.

Spread the potatoes onto a parchment-lined baking tray and broil approximately 6 inches from broiler. Broil on high for 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Flip and broil the second side 3-5 minutes until brown and crisp. Remove from broiler and let rest slightly before serving.

Serve with an orange-zested aioli for dipping.


Makes 4 servings.
Copyright © Food for My Family.

Comments

  1. Great flavors on these fries!

  2. I absolutely love this method for making fries. You learn something new every day!!!

  3. Looks delicious, love the flavors.

  4. Ooh I love this. The men in my house love Wasabi and fries so this is sure to be a hit. Plus I love the addition of the orange zest.

  5. Aww, how funny! I had that reaction the first time I harvested potatoes. The tractor drove by to undercut and I kept thinking ‘what the heck are below these?!’ Then I flipped the plants over and saw all the little potatoes attached. I’ll never forget it.

    Lovely recipe :)

  6. Those are just too awesome. love this flavor combo!

  7. yummy!!!

  8. Shaina! My word….those sound AMAZING!!! Now I can think of nothing else! :)

  9. What a fabulous combination of flavors!

  10. omg, these sound so amazing! love that they are broiled and not fried…i bet the flavor is out of this world!

  11. Those sound very hot, but also very tempting. Being the wimp that I am when it comes to hot spicy foods, I would probably have to stop after only a few. But I know I would have to eat a few.

    Most of my recipes are on the sweet spice side.

  12. I love the spicy flavors on these fries! Also, I’ve never partially boiled my fries before baking them; I’m absolutely trying that the next time!

  13. Wow, I’m totally impressed by your approach to these fries… I’ve never seen or tasted anything like this and really hope I get to and that they end up in stores!

  14. Shaina, those fries look AMAZING. Bet you wouldn’t need the aioli at all.

  15. What an interesting flavor combination! I can’t wait to try these fries, thanks!

  16. Shaina these fries sound wonderful. The citrus wasabi twist is genius!

  17. Girl, Those are the bomb! Love the flavor combo, I am so making these for our next picnic.

  18. Wasabi Fries? YES and YES.

    AND YES.

  19. Great flavor concept! Love that it’s not fried. I only have a tabletop convection oven without a broil setting, though. What would you recommend for the cooking temperature?

  20. What a fun garden surprise! We make our homemade french fries with the skin on as well, but I haven’t tried seasoning them with orange or wasabi. Sounds like a great combination of flavors!

  21. gorgeous. tasty. gorgeous. tasty. gorgeous. tasty. Need I say more?

  22. I love fries. Pretty much in every way you could imagine. And these look amazing.

  23. I got to taste the original batch and they were YUMMY!!!!! Shocking that something Shaina would make is yummy. HA! I am the luckiest neighbor in the Whole Wide World!!!

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