Belgian Fries (aka French Fries)September 21st, 2009 | Posted by in Belgian | Quick and Easy | Side Dishes | Snacks
Yes, those delicious golden fries are really Belgian. Dating back as far as 1680 Belgians have been enjoying fries which are deep-fried twice to give them a soft core and golden-crisp outside. In Belgium, fries can be bought at fry-stands and are eaten out of a conical paper-bag – often accompanied by a variety of sauces. Alternatively, fries are eaten as a side with steak, stews, and mussels. Remember, you can’t make a good fry out of just any potato, the best potatoes to make Belgian fries are Bintjes but Russet potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes make a fine alternative. Follow the simple steps below to make those perfect, delicious fries every time!
Total time: 25 minutes
- peeled potatoes (1-2 potatoes per person)
- a dash of salt
- Preheat the oil in your deep-fryer to 320F (160C). You can also fry fries in a frying pan, but because of the hot oil involved I do not recommend this approach – simply too dangerous!
- While your deep-fryer is heating up, cut the potatoes in 3/8″ thick slices, and then cut each potato slice again into 3/8″ strips. Throw the cut fries into a large bowl of cold water. The cold water will take some of the starch out of the fries which makes them easier to cook.
- Once you’ve cut all the fries, rinse them once more with cold water and then dry them thoroughly with a fresh kitchen towel or with paper towels. Do not skip this step!
- You’re now ready to start making fries. Divide the fries into batches such that when you put a batch of fries into your deep-fryer, they are all completely covered by oil and still have some room to ‘swim’ around. Putting too many fries in one batch at a time will cause the oil to cool down too quickly and will make your fries come out looking like limp noodles.
- Put the batch of fries in the deep-fryer for 6-7 minutes until they are soft. Note, your fries should be soft at this point, not crispy!
- Take the fries out of the deep-fryer and put them in a large bowl lined with some paper towels to soak up the grease.
- Repeat the previous two steps for each of the remaining batches of fries you have left before moving on to the next step.
- Heat your deep-frier to 375F (190C) – you want it to be really hot, as now we are going to give the outside of the fries that delicious golden crunch!
- Just before serving everyone at the table, put a batch of the pre-cooked fries in the deep-fryer for around 2 minutes. You have to look a bit at the fries and see when they start to get that golden color. How do you know they’re done? Here’s a quick tip: when you lift the basket of fries out of your deep-fryer and you see the fries making bubbles of oil and making that sizzling sound, then you know they are done.
- After taking the fries out the second time, again throw them in a large bowl lined with paper towels and sprinkle a little bit of salt on them. Toss the fries a bit to get the remaining oil off, and to distribute the salt. Serve immediately in a hot bowl! Enjoy!
- I generally make one batch of fries at a time, so we always have fresh, hot fries while we are eating. It only takes two minutes to whip up another batch, so it’s quick and easy!
- What kind of oil should you use for fries? It really depends, using different oils will give your fries a different flavor. The traditional recipe calls for beef lard/tallow, though animal fat contains high doses of saturated fats. Generally we tend to use sunflower or canola oil to make our fries.
- Ok! And what about those potatoes? As mentioned above, Bintjes are the best potato to use, with Russet and Yukon Gold a great alternative. You should also be sure to use recent harvest potatoes to have your fries come out golden yellow. Older potatoes tend to turn brown and aren’t crispy after frying.