Recipe: Stir-Fried Crunchy Potato Slivers with Dry Red Chilies and Sichuan Pepper(炝土豆丝)

This is another easy Chinese vegetable dish! It is quite spicy though. So I have some non-spicy variations too 🙂

In Sichuan, this is the most common way to make potatoes. The al dente and crunchy texture may be off-putting to westerners though. Potato is treated as a vegetable in Asia as opposed to a staple food. Only the poorest peasants eat potato as a staple food.

This version is spicy. There is also the sour version with vinegar and no chilies, which is below the spicy version. Sometimes green bell peppers are added and sometimes not.

In Sichuan, while I was touring, this dish (or the variation) was found in every meal. Also tomato and eggs. I have a post for that recipe too.

Don’t eat the chilies and Sichuan pepper. You can eat a few Sichuan peppercorns if you want if you like the “ma” flavor though. hehe

Adapted from Land of Plenty

Ingredients:

250 grams potatoes

1 small green bell pepper (optional) (or other color but green is traditional)

4-6 dry red chilies, cut in half and deseed. Use Japones, Arbol, regular Chinese, or Facing-Heaven (authentic) (if you use bell peppers, you may omit chilies if you wish)

1/2 to 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns

2 tbsp oil

salt and sugar to taste (a scant 1/2 tsp each)

1 1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)

Directions:

First wash, peel potatoes, and julienne very finely. Then soak in cold, lightly salted water for 5 minutes. Drain before using. Finely julienne bell peppers too.

1. Heat a wok or pan. Use a well-seasoned one!

2. Add oil. When hot, turn heat to medium to not burn the spices.

3. Add Sichuan peppercorns, fry 10 seconds or so.

4. Add chilies, fry quickly, don’t burn.

5. Add potatoes and bell pepper if using, then turn the heat up.. Stir fry for 4 to 5 minutes over high heat. My parents like it more crunchy so I would do less. About halfway through add the salt and sugar. At the end, turn off the heat, add sesame oil and stir well.

6. Enjoy!

Variation: Vinegar Potato Slivers(醋溜土豆丝)

Skip chilies and Sichuan pepper, make everything the same way. At the very end, stir in Chinkiang or Baoning Vinegar to taste, 1 tbsp maybe. It should be flavorful in the dish. Taste it too see if it’s enough. Or Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is good for fusion 🙂 You can also keep the chilies and Sichuan pepper to make a unique hot and sour dish.

Other vegetables: This method of cooking with chilies and Sichuan pepper is very common for vegetables. You can do either the version with chilies and Sichuan pepper, or the one with vinegar, or the one with both. For example, you may use bean sprouts. If using mung bean sprouts, cook for a shorter time, maybe 2 minutes. If using soybean sprouts, cook maybe 4 minutes because they take longer to cook. You can also use napa cabbage, cut into rectangle slices. 

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