My family and I immigrated to Canada when I was 6 years old. Up until that point I grew up in the Northwestern region of China where a beautiful blend of Chinese and Middle Eastern flavours came together at the end of the silk road. The food I grew up with is still what influences my tastes today. Asian-Fusion is definitely my favourite type of cuisine (if that’s even really considered a type of cuisine).
One of my favourite stir fries I used to eat in the restaurants in China was an incredibly easy and flavourful dish which incorporated shredded white potatoes to have a spicy and sour taste with a hint of Szechuan peppercorn. It’s usually served as a second stir fry to accompany a protein based stir fry at restaurants, but even by itself it’s pretty delicious!
There are many different ways to make this dish as it’s one of the most common dishes in that region on China. Some people cook it with only rice wine vinegar, some add in MSG, and some versions are very red after adding in chili oils & pastes. This is just my version using simple ingredients the majority of people have access to and have the dish mirror the original the best that I can remember!
Here’s everything you need
- 2 Medium-sized White Potatoes ($1.30)
- 1 Long Hot Green Pepper ($0.34)
- 2 Cloves of Garlic ($0.04)
- 1 Scallion ($0.09)
- 1 1/2 Tbs Rice Vinegar or Black Chinese Vinegar ($0.27)
- 1 Tsp Light Soya Sauce ($0.02)
- 1 1/2 Tsp Salt ($0.03)
- 1 1/2 Tbs Canola Oil ($0.075)
- 1/4 cup water or Chicken Stock
- 1/2 Tsp Szechuan Peppercorn (optional)
Total Cost = $2.16!*
Compared to the $7-9 at restaurants!
*Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.
Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!
The first thing you’ll want to do is peel & julienne the white potatoes. I find that the best way to julienne the potato is to cut it in half along the longer side and make thin slices.
Once it’s sliced, take the slices and stack them up then cut small slivers so you have thin long strips of potato. After you’ve julienne the potatoes, put them in a large bowl and rinse them about 3 times (enough to get all the starch out). This allows the “potato-y” taste of the starch to not overpower your stir fry. After you’ve rinsed the pulp out, fill the bowl with water (there shouldn’t be any bubbles or dewy water – it should be clear!) and let the potatoes sit while you cut up the rest of your veggies. This allows the potato to stiffen.
Next, mince the garlic & ginger. Julienne the long hot green peppers, and cut the green onions into slivers.
Take a wok and place it on the stove at medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and let it heat. Once warm, add in the ginger, half your garlic and half the green onions. This is when I add in the Szechuan peppercorn, it allows the numbing flavours of the peppercorn get infused with the oil. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and mix.
As soon as the ginger starts to get golden and it starts to get aromatic in your kitchen, drain the potatoes and toss them in! After about 3 minutes, add in the rice vinegar or Chinese black vinegar.
Stir for about 5 more minutes and add in your long hot green peppers and the rest of your garlic – save the green onions for last! Stir for about a minute and add in the water or chicken stock, this will allow the potatoes to cook a bit faster. Now add in the green onions, 1 Tsp of salt, and the 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce.
Stir for about 2-3 minutes and your stir fry is done! Try biting a sliver of potato to see if the texture is to your liking, but it definitely shouldn’t be soft or soggy – it’s supposed to have a slight crunch!
And in under 20 minutes and $2.25 you have a yummy spicy potato stir fry!
I hope you enjoy it! Any comments or feedback on the recipe is 100% appreciated! 🙂
*This recipe can be gluten free if you swap the soy sauce to a GF soy sauce!
I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website, and a local Chinese grocery store
355 ml Seasoned Rice Vinegar ($4.59) – $1.29/100ml
500 ml Rooster Superior Light Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
Garlic – $0.88/100g
Ginger – $0.43/100g
946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
1kg Windsor Table Salt ($1.69) – $0.17/100g
1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)