Potatoes are to the West what rice is to us in Hong Kong, and can be cooked in just as many ways. From a simple baked potato, to the brutal Hasselback and the fluffy, crunchy rosti, here are three recipes that are easy to make and even easier to eat.
If your supermarket tells you what sort of potateos are on sale, go for a russet potato because they are nice and fluffy and will absorb your fillings.
Take a potato about the size of your fist, and scrub it thoroughly.
In the microwave
Pierce the potato all over with a fork, and wrap it in a damp paper towel. Put it in the microwave for 3 minutes on full power, turn it over, and microwave for a further 3 minutes.
Note: Don’t add salt to the potato before you cook it.
In the oven
1 Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Pierce the potato all over with a fork, and wrap it in aluminium foil (or place on a tray lined with aluminium foil), and bake for up to one hour. It will be tender and soft when it’s cooked, and you should be able to cut into it easily with a butter knife.
2 Once the potato is cooked, add your favourite fillings. Here are some suggestions:
- Butter, salt and pepper – the purist’s way of eating a baked potato.
- For a hit of protein, top with tuna, cheese, and bacon; tuna and cheese; or cheese and bacon. If you’re really hungry, add a small can of baked beans and grate some cheese on top and pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to melt the cheese.
In the same family as hash browns, rostis come to us from Switzerland. Use waxy potatoes for this, as russets will not stick. About one potato per person should be enough, unless they’re very small potatoes or you’re very hungry!
1 Wash and dry the potatoes well, and grate them with the big holes of a grater.
2 Squeeze the potato shreds with paper towels or a kitchen towel to make them as dry as possible.
3 Heat just enough butter or oil to coat the bottom of a pan. Once the potato is as dry as you can make it, scatter it evenly on the pan, which will make it easier to cook.
4 Cook over a medium heat until the bottom begins to brown, then use a spatula and carefully flip it and cook the other side.
5 Once cooked, season your rosti with salt and pepper to taste. You can make it more of a meal by adding a fried egg and bacon, or any other protein you like.
Hassle means “trouble” and these potatoes are a lot of work. But they are delicious and impressive, and worth the effort!
a fist-sized waxy potato for each person
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp of butter
4 cloves of garlic
1 You don’t have to peel the potatoes for this dish, but if you do, keep the peeled potatoes in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from turning brown.
2 Preheat the oven to around 230 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 7-9 minutes, then take them out of the water and let them cool.
3 Next, cut a thin slice from one long side of each potato so that it has a flat surface to rest on. Then, using a small, sharp knife, slice widthways across the potato along its length. To make sure you don’t cut all the way through, place a chopstick on either side of the potato so the knife doesn’t reach the bottom.
4 Transfer the potatoes to a baking dish and randomly tuck thin slices of garlic between the slices of potato.
5 Melt the butter and olive oil together and drizzle it over the potatoes. Place in the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes until the potatoes become brown and crispy on the top.
6 Garnish as you please with cheese, bacon, salami, or anything else you want!