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Hot and Sour Stir-Fried Potatoes

4 Servings

30 minutes

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We don’t often think to stir-fry potatoes, but that’s how they’re cooked in the classic Sichuan dish called tudou si. Cut into matchsticks, the potatoes are soaked to remove some of their starch, then are stir-fried until tender but with just a hint crispness at the core, not until totally yielding in texture. We flavor the potatoes with finely ground, tongue-tingling Sichuan peppercorns (pulverize them in an electric spice grinder), dried chilies for supplemental heat and Chinese black vinegar (also known as Chinkiang vinegar; balsamic vinegar is a reasonably good substitute) to add tanginess. The potatoes should be cut into ⅛-inch matchsticks, though the length of the sticks isn’t so important. We suggest using the julienne blade on a mandoline or, if you’re up for some knife work, do the prep by hand with a chef’s knife. Another option is to get a slicing assist from the mandoline or a food processor fitted with the ⅛-inch slicing disk, then cut the slices, stacked a few high, into matchsticks with a knife.




Don’t use russet potatoes as they are high in starch and will cook up too soft and sticky. Lower-starch red potatoes or Yukon Golds are the best choice, but purchase ones that are medium (2 to 2½ inches) in size so that they’re easier to prep, especially if you’re using a mandoline.

30 minutes


  • 1

    pound medium (2 to 2½ inches in diameter) red OR Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into matchsticks (see headnote)

  • 2

    tablespoons soy sauce


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Teresa S.

The recipe sounds wonderful, but the picture is for what appears to be stir fried noodles or spaghetti. Please attach the proper picture and I (as well as presumably others) might give it a try.

Lynn C.

Hi Teresa -

Believe it or not, those are, in fact, potatoes in the photo. The potatoes are cut into matchsticks and then stir-fried and glazed with a sauce.

The Milk Street Team