Forget plain old fries – it’s all about getting creative with fun new cuts and shapes to take your fry game to the next level. Enter the potato accordion technique, which transforms boring rectangular fries into a stunning ruffled shape that shatters into crispy layers with every bite.
These fancy, rippled fries get their concertina shape from a special way of thinly slicing potatoes into a pattern resembling the bellows of an accordion. Not only do they look Instagram-worthy in their beautiful waves and peaks, but all those nooks and crannies also maximize the crispy, golden surfaces when fried to absolute perfection.
Ready to turn out the most impressive batch of fries your family and friends have ever tasted? Grab some Russet spuds and follow my easy method for concertina cutting and frying up these crispy showstoppers. Just be prepared for demands for an encore!
- 3 large Russet potatoes
- Neutral frying oil (vegetable, canola, peanut, etc.)
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Deep fryer or heavy pot
- Slotted spoon or spider strainer
- Paper towel-lined plate
Prep the Potatoes
- Thoroughly scrub the potatoes under running water to remove any dirt on the skins. Dry them completely with paper towels or a clean dish towel – any moisture can cause splatter during frying.
- Cut off both ends of each potato to leave flat, stable surfaces for easier slicing.
- Working with one potato at a time, turn it onto one of its flat ends. Place your non-cutting hand on top to securely hold the potato as you slice, keeping your fingers safely tucked in.
Make the Accordion Cuts
- Use a sharp knife to make vertical slices from top to bottom, without fully cutting all the way through. Space the slices about 1⁄4 inch apart along the width of the potato.
- Lay the potato down on one of its long, sliced sides. Make another series of vertical slices into the potato, perpendicular to the first set of cuts. Again, be sure not to slice all the way through.
- Carefully press the potato from both ends to fan out the slices and create the accordion shape with deep ridges and peaks. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Rinse if needed to remove excess starch.
Fry the Accordion Fries
- Heat at least 2 inches of frying oil to 350°F in a deep fryer or heavy-based pot. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature.
- Working in small batches to avoid overcrowding, carefully add the accordion-cut potatoes to the hot oil. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, flipping occasionally, until deeply golden brown all over.
- Use the slotted spoon or spider strainer to transfer the fries to the paper towel-lined plate. Immediately sprinkle with salt. Let drain and cool slightly before serving.
- Enjoy your beautiful crispy, ruffled fries immediately while they’re fresh and warm! Dip in ketchup, aioli, or your favorite sauce.
FAQ About Potato Accordion Fries
1. What type of potato works best?
Starchy Russet potatoes are ideal. Their fluffy yet dense interior texture perfectly crisps up into delicate layers when sliced and fried. Waxy red or yellow potatoes won’t give the same light, crisp accordion texture.
2. How thick should I cut the potato slices?
Aim for a thin but uniform thickness around 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch wide per slice. Any thinner and the delicate ridges may fall apart. Too thick and they won’t crisp up properly when fried.
3. My fries broke apart/fell flat. What should I do?
Don’t fret if your accordion fries lose their shape during frying – they’ll still taste amazing! Make sure potatoes are thoroughly dried so excess moisture doesn’t weigh down the ridges while frying. And handle the raw fries gently when transferring to oil.
4. Can I bake my fries instead of frying?
Baking doesn’t yield quite the same ultra-crispy texture. For best results, fry the fries. But you can bake them as a slightly healthier alternative – just know they won’t get as browned or crisp. Brush with oil before baking.
5. How can I season my fries?
Immediately seasoning with just salt is best to start. But feel free to experiment with cajun seasoning, onion or garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, or rosemary in the fry oil or on the cooked fries. Line the fry basket with fresh herbs for infused flavor.
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