Hot and Sour Potato Shreds 酸辣土豆丝 (suān là tǔdòusī)
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Karen Christensen
Here’s how to make a really delicious home-style comfort dish that can be found in almost any restaurant in China. You basically thinly julienne potatoes and then toss them in a wok with oil, Chinese vinegar, and chili pepper (red or green), giving it a fragrant spicy and sour flavor. It’s great to make with a meat dish. If you don’t have a wok, you can use a large skillet. This was taught to me by our dear family friends in Beijing that have always welcomed me in their home.
  • 1 large potato
  • green onions
  • 3 dry chili peppers
  • vegetable (Canola) oil
  • ¼ cup (dark) Chinese vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • pinch sugar
  1. Wash and peel a large potato, then chop into thin strips, the thinner the better. (In restaurants these are commonly the width of the tip of a pencil!) Soak the strips in water for 15 minutes to get rid of the excess starch. Drain and dry the potatoes.
  2. Thinly slice the green onion lengthwise, and then cut into one- to two-inch-long strips. Heat some vegetable oil (in China they frequently use rape seed oil) in the wok and add the green onions and chili peppers. When the onions and peppers have heated through and only just begin to cook, add the potatoes, stirring and tossing. When the strips have just begun to lose their rigidity, they are ready. Drain the oil, and toss the potato strips with the vinegar and a pinch of salt and sugar.
  3. Serve on a single plate with a parsley garnish.
Substitutions & Alternatives[br][br]Some of the larger potato pieces won’t be thoroughly cooked, but that’s normal – they are not supposed to be completely cooked, al dente potato strings if you will. A slight crunch to the dish will let you know they are done right! And don’t eat the chilies!