Salty, crispy, with a subtle 麻辣 (ma la in Mandarin) spice! These hashbrowns are a comfort food for me - so delicious, warm and soothing. This potato dish is a great intro to the wonders of ma la!
I first had a dish that resembles this when I was living in Asia. I can’t recall if I ate it during my time living in Hong Kong, or if I had to during a trip to China. But I do remember really enjoying this dish!
I’ve been really into Chinese cooking lately, and wanted to recreate this dish. Of course, my family is Cantonese and Hakka, and I grew up in Canada. So, this is my Western/Cantonese/Hakka interpretation of this Sichuanese dish.
I’ve also been exploring cooking with Sichuan peppercorn to give a nice 麻辣 (ma la) spice. Ma la is pretty fun. If you haven’t experienced it before, it can be a bit scary - it makes your mouth go numb!
I find the ma la in this dish to be very subtle - it’d make for a great intro to people who are interested in trying it out. It’s a bit mouth numbing, but not too much :)
There are 2 keys to this dish:
- 1. Parboiling your potatoes before frying them: this allows them to crisp up quickly when you fry them. They become soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.
- 2. Fry your spices in oil: this activates the spices and makes them nice and aromatic.
If you like spices other than Sichuan peppercorn and cumin, you can feel free to add them in. Chili flakes would be a nice addition!
Adapted from China Sichuan Food.
- 4 servings
- 10 minutes
- 30 minutes
- 5 medium potatoes
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1.5 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorn, whole
- Boil a pot of water.
- While the water is boiling, wash, peel, and cut your potatoes into bite sized cubes.
- Parboil the potatoes: place them into the water and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until soft.
- Once the potatoes have boiled, drain them and toss them in the pan or your colander. This will make the potatoes fluffy and will result in them crispy up nicely when stir fried.
- While waiting for the potatoes to boil: Heat the oil in a saucepan over low heat.
- Once the oil is warm, add the salt, cumin, and Sichuan peppercorns until aromatic.
- Depending on your spice tolerance: remove the peppercorns from the pan carefully, keeping as much oil in the pan as possible. If you like spice, keep the peppercorns in! (I remove them).
- Add the potatoes into the oil and fry until crispy. This could be between 10 to 20 minutes depending on how hot your stove gets.
- Serve and enjoy!
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