French Fries

French Fries

I had a craving for fries. Not the frozen kind, not oven-baked – the real deal. Frying stuff is such a pain, but every once in a while, if you’re willing to sacrifice an entire bottle of oil in one go, it’s deliciously rewarding.

I had never made fries before, so I spent some time looking up different methods. Perhaps the most important thing that I learned was that you need to fry them twice to get the perfect crispy/soft combination we all so love in fries. The first fry cooks the potato, the second turns in a nice golden brown and crisps it up. If it wasn’t such a spontaneous project, I would have made burgers to go along with them; but they were good on their own!

French Fries

4 Medium Russet Potatoes, skinned and cut into 3/8″ fries
32 Ounces (ish) Oil (I used a canola/olive mix, 3:1)
Cold Water
Paper Towels

Slice the potatoes and place them in a large bowl filled with ice water. Soak for 1 hour, discard water, and soak again until ready to fry. This helps to remove the starch and therefore reduces the chances that your fries will stick together. You can soak them for longer than one hour if you want to prepare them ahead of time.

Heat oil in a large sauce pan or stock pot. If you have a thermometer, heat to 325ª. I didn’t have one and things worked just fine. If you’re like me, turn your range on a little below the “medium” mark. The oil shouldn’t be boiling or even bubbling, really.

Dry your fries on paper towels. Test the oil temp with one fry -it should boil up but not turn brown, even if it sits in the oil for a few miniues. Fry in batches. You want the fries to have room to swim, and you also don’t want to reduce the oil temperature too quickly by overwhelming the pot with cold potatoes.

Stir them a little to make sure they don’t stick, but soaking them should have prevented this. Be gentle, the more the cook, the softer the get, and the easier they are to break!

Fry for 4-6 minutes until the fries are opaque and softened, but not brown. Drain your batches on paper towels. When all the fries have been through the first cooking, turn up the heat to just over the medium mark (375º for you thermometer users out there). The oil will bubble a little. Again, test with a single fry. It should brown up now.

Working in batches, cook the fries until they are golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. They are sort of delicate between the first and second fry, so be gentle when moving them. In my (single) experience, the fries looked a little crispier than they actually were, so give them a little more time than you feel like they need if you like crispy fries.

Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Salt them immediately, before the oil dries, or else the salt won’t stick. I served mine in a coffee mug.


  1. Karena

    These look fantastic! Here (Belgium) we call them frites, and seeing this has given me such a craving. You wouldn’t happen to know a vegan version of samurai sauce, would you, as that’s the perfect topping? I just found your blog yesterday, and can’t tell you how many things I want to try. Your pictures are fabulous! Thanks for all the great ideas.

  2. Lolo (VeganYumYum)

    Thanks karena! I’ll have to look into a vegan version of samurai sauce. What do you put into it traditionally? It’s mayo based, right?

  3. Karena

    mayo based, some sort of chopped hot peppers, and I don’t know what else. I’ll have to pick up a jar in the grocery store and translate the ingredients!

  4. Lolo (VeganYumYum)

    Let me know, I’ll see if I can come up with something close, though having never tasted it before it might be a bit of a shot in the dark! You should come up with a recipe and share it with me, so I know it’s right! :)

  5. Amanda

    I just came across your site while searching for ‘samurai sauce’ intending to veganize the recipe, but I see that you two were already thinking of it! Any luck??? It’s SSOOOOO good on fries (frites), and since I’ve moved from Belgium I miss it!

  6. Mark Smith

    I’d love to know the samurai sauce recipe as well: even if its not the veganized one, I’d like to know the recipe. Thank you!

  7. schuyler campbell

    god DAMN i love samurai sauce. you can’t find it in nyc, even at the “belgian frites” place in the east village.

  8. Julia

    Samurai sauce in Belgium is usually just just mayo and sambal oelek. It’s a 3:1 ratio. Use soy mayo and enjoy the pommes frites.

    ps I love your blog!

  9. rachael ray cookware

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