Wondering what to do with that bag of puds sitting in your pantry? Take cues from cuisines around the world with these unique and delicious potato recipes.
The humble potato has a reputation for being a bit of a nomad who trots across Europe in the 16th century after it was first domesticated in the South American Andes a little over 8,000 years ago. Of course, recipes of the root vegetable have been passed down from generation to generation around the world, with some choosing to mash and fry the tuber and others slicing to keep its integrity intact.
Regardless of how it’s treated, potato’s creamy, earthy flavor and versatile nature have made it a comfort factor for millions of people around the world. And if you haven’t yet discovered all the beautiful shapes it can take – beyond the evergreen Chips and hash browns — we’ve put together a few unique recipes using this crowd-pleaser of a vegetable.
Rediscover the versatility of potato with these recipes from around the world
Gamja jeon, Korea
Since their introduction in the 1800s, potatoes have been grown in the hills of Gangwon Province in Korea. And this pancake is a specialty of that region. It involves grating and frying potatoes with spring onions, chives, carrots or onions. It is often served as a snack, appetizer, or side dish with soy sauce and vinegar. Occasionally you will find recipes with gochujang and sesame seeds in the mix. Gamja jeon is also a great meal option if you don’t have the biggest appetite. Grab some onions, potato starch, and grapeseed oil on your next errands to whip this one up.
These baked potatoes are a familiar sight in Turkey, introduced to the country through a similar dish in Yugoslavia. Street vendors fill the staple with cheese, butter, and a host of other toppings like pickles, Turkish mezze, corn, sausages, or olives, as well as some sort of sauce. The payout is a delicious, creamy meal packed with flavors for you to enjoy. This particular recipe calls for smoked meats, green peppers, shredded cheese, American salad, chili flakes, tomato paste, and other delicious ingredients with the promise of a comforting meal. You can always replace the butter, meat, and cheese with vegan alternatives.
Also known as causa a la limeña, this dish is an integral part of the Peruvian culinary scene. Historically, it was believed to have been created during the Pacific War in 1879 when Peru fought Chile. The first’s army struggled to get food, so women in the region searched for potatoes and offered a meal to the soldiers “to defend their territory” (hence the name). That said, there are several other origin stories about this dish floating around.
The classic recipe combines lemony spiced mashed potatoes with a combination of tuna, chicken, seafood or avocado. Roasted red peppers, lime juice, shallots, mayo and sour cream round out. Dress up your causa with hard-boiled eggs or olives for that authentic touch!
A collection of potato recipes would be incomplete without reference to the country known as one of the largest consumers of the root vegetable. If you’re in Ireland, chances are you’ll find braised, roasted or boiled versions of the carbs on your plate quite often.
This particular dish combines the ancestral Irish diet of vegetables with modern potato. It is extremely popular in the region, even children’s songs have been written about it. Traditionally served during Halloween, locals often hide coins and other trinkets in their Colcannon. The one you find in your serving is supposed to predict your future. The classic recipe includes mashed potatoes, salt, pepper, kale, bacon, milk, butter, and onions. It is smooth, creamy, healthy and perfect as a snack, light lunch or with meat.
Pommes Aligot, France
Cheesy, rich and stretchy, this classic recipe from France elevates the simple mashed potatoes and how! The fondue-style creation is said to have originated sometime around the 12th century in the monasteries of the once volcanic village of Aubrac and is now one of the most common sights in the entire country. The recipe calls for potatoes, garlic, cream, butter, and grated cheese. The consistency should be elastic enough to stretch out of the pot without breaking a strand. Sprinkle with ham and chives and serve immediately.
Yunnan Pound Mashed potatoes, China
Speaking of creamy, stretchy mashed potatoes, we wouldn’t mind listing this classic recipe from China, one of the top producers of potatoes in the world. Named after a province in the country, this dish is soft and chewy like a rice cake and easy to whip up. The recipe calls for a waxy potato or the addition of steamed glutinous rice for a stretchy texture. Other ingredients include peppercorns, fresh chilies, garlic cloves, and herbs of your choice. The key to perfection is to mash the potatoes well until they are silky smooth. That said, the workout is worth the delicious payoff.
Lemoni Patatas, Greece
Known as a Greek mom recipe, lemon potatoes are a delicious blend of tart citrus and creamy tubers. While there are variations across the country, the basic ingredients are potatoes, lemons, black pepper, Greek oregano, and extra virgin olive oil. The potatoes are then boiled in water or chicken stock. This is a cut above the usual roast potatoes and is sure to add a bit of spice to any feast. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and brimming with flavors that complement each other perfectly, this is a must-try. Don’t forget to finish your dish with some parsley for an authentic bloom.
Papa Salada, Colombia
This is a simple dish that is a mainstay in Colombian cuisines and restaurants specializing in jerk chicken. Papa salada refers to boiled, salted potatoes often served alongside grilled or barbecued meats, popular because they are hearty and can be shared with a family of six. The salt sticks to the red potatoes and cuts through the creaminess. All you need is salt, potatoes and water to whip it up. To elevate this, serve it with a side of Colombian green hot sauce.
Patatas Bravas, Spain
This popular tapas dish originates from Spain and its name translates to “spicy potatoes.” The recipe calls for white potatoes, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, parsley, and olive oil and involves deep-frying the starchy staple. Patatas bravas reportedly originated in Madrid after Spain conquered the Inca Empire in the 1500s and started producing tomatoes. The rich, tangy and spicy flavors of this dish pair well with beer and wine.
Ukraine, one of the largest producers of potatoes, offers the world several delicious potato dishes. Among them, these tater tots served with garlic yogurt are very popular, with each part of the country putting its own unique spin on the delicacy. That said, the recipe traditionally calls for onions, garlic, flour, oil, eggs, and sour cream.
The term “deruny” itself translates to “grated,” which is how the potatoes are added to the dish. The mixture is fried until golden brown and served hot. Forget hash browns, these potato pancakes are sure to be a crowd pleaser.
If you like whole roast potatoes, give this Swedish classic rendition a try. Named after the Hasselbacken restaurant, a popular space in central Stockholm, the dish was first served in the 1940s and 1950s. Both stylish and delicious, the dish sold like hot cakes and eventually became a popular feature alongside roasts and poultry. For this recipe, your next round of grocery shopping should include potatoes, garlic cloves, butter, olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice. Slicing the potatoes allows the flavors of the other ingredients to seep in so that each bite is just as delicious as the next. This recipe is way too easy and delicious to miss.
Dum Aloo, India
India’s large vegetarian population and abundance of potato products have resulted in some of the most delicious and unique culinary creations. In fact, it can be tricky to focus on one recipe as each region has its own specialty worth adding to your repertoire. That said, a popular one is this potato curry, which is called aloo olav in Kashmir and is an integral part of the region’s culinary culture. It is also one of the few vegetarian delicacies in a traditional Kashmiri wazwan (multi-course meal). Rich and flavorful, the recipe can be a bit complicated and time consuming. That said, the payoff, especially when served alongside buttery naan, is well worth it.
Perkedel Kentang, Indonesia
These potato fritters from Indonesia contain wheat flour, eggs, corn, carrots and peppers and are ubiquitous in the region. Potatoes are stuffed with a variety of ingredients, vegetarian or beef, before being deep-fried for a classic comfort staple. The roots (pun intended) of this dish lie in the Dutch frikadellen or fried meatballs. Since Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch, it’s no surprise that the recipe became entrenched in the cultural landscape of the region. That said, the locals traded the meat for potato and added a host of other ingredients to make it their own. Give this one a try if you crave something fried and starchy.
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