OMG, these potato pancakes are sooo good. Super crispy on the outside, they’re like a Chinese version of a hash brown, and are perfect with fried eggs and spicy chilli oil. While they’re an ideal weekend breakfast idea, you could eat them any time. Try adding chunks of pan-fried Chinese sausage to the mix, too.
2 potatoes (about 500g/1 lb), peeled
1/4 cup potato starch (not to be confused with potato flour!)
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns*
1/2 tsp salt
2 spring onions (scallions), trimmed, finely sliced, plus extra to serve
1 egg, lightly beaten
vegetable oil, for cooking
fried eggs, to serve (optional)
fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve (optional)
2 tbsp chilli crisp (try my homemade chilli crisps recipe here)*
1 clove garlic, peeled, finely chopped
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp Chinese black vinegar*
1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
2 tsp sesame seeds
For the dipping sauce, stir everything together in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved.
Moving on to the pancakes, use a box grater to grate the potatoes. Immediately transfer to a clean kitchen tea towel or muslin cloth. Gather around the potato then, using your hands, squeeze and wring to remove as much liquid from the potato as you can.
Transfer the grated potato to a large bowl. Add the potato starch, soy sauce, ground peppercorns, salt, spring onion and egg. Give everything a good mix until it’s well combined (it helps to get in there with your hands, I reckon!).
Heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a small, heavy-based frying pan, over medium-low heat. Add half the potato mixture, then spread it out using the back of a spoon to form a round about 15cm (6 inches) across.
Cook for 6-7 minutes, or until deep golden on the underside, then turn over and cook the other side for 6-7 minutes or until golden. Keep the pancake warm while you cook the remaining mixture, adding about 1 tbsp oil more for cooking.
If you’re serving with fried eggs, start cooking your eggs in another pan, using a little oil and over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes before the pancakes are finished cooking. Serve with a fried egg, and drizzle over as much spicy sauce as you like. Sprinkle with extra spring onion and garnish with coriander.
– Chinese black vinegar, also known as Chinkiang vinegar, is available in Asian grocery stores. However, if you are unable to find it, substitute it with half balsamic and half white vinegar.
– I like to use red Sichuan peppercorns. To get the most flavour out of them, buy them whole, then give them a light toast in a hot, fry pan to release all the oils and aroma before transferring to a pestle and mortar and grinding. You can still buy pre-ground, but it won’t be as intense or aromatic then doing it adhoc. Find out more about the different types of peppercorn varieties here.