Spicy and Sour Julienned Potato Salad with Sichuan Pepper | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Spicy and Sour Julienned Potato Salad with Sichuan Pepper

Spicy and Sour Julienned Potato Salad with Sichuan Pepper

Appears in July-August 2021

Spicy and Sour Julienned Potato Salad with Sichuan Pepper

Free

This side dish, adapted from “Xi’an Famous Foods” by Jason Wang, is a departure from what most of us consider a potato salad. Yukon Golds are julienned (that is, cut into matchsticks), boiled until tender but with a hint of bite, dressed in vinegar, tossed with a sizzling spice-infused oil and finished with scallions and cilantro. The sourness of the vinegar along with the heat of the chilies and tongue-tingling quality of the Sichuan peppercorns brings bold flavor to earthy, mild potatoes. A mandoline fitted with the julienne blade is the fastest, easiest way to prep the potatoes; the matchsticks should measure about ⅛ inch on four sides, but their length isn’t so important. Or, if you’re up for honing your knife skills, use a chef’s knife instead. Either way, make sure to purchase medium-sized potatoes, not small ones, so prep is easier. Sweet paprika lends color and earthy notes to the oil, but if you don’t have any on hand, simply omit it. The salad will still be delicious.

Tip

Don’t cook the potatoes until completely tender. Drain them when the pieces are tender-crisp. This way, they hold their shape and have an al dente quality in the finished dish. And don’t mix the scallion whites into the potatoes. Pile them on top and make sure that the hot spice-infused oil hits the scallions when it’s strained on. The oil blooms the alliums and cooks them slightly.

1 1/2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ⅛-inch matchsticks
Kosher salt
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts reserved separately
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
4 árbol chilies, broken into rough ½-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika (optional)
1 Fresno or jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped
Ingredients
  • pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ⅛-inch matchsticks

  • Kosher salt

  • ¼

    cup white vinegar

  • tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • ½

    teaspoon white sugar

  • 3

    scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts reserved separately

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1
  • 4

    árbol chilies, broken into rough ½-inch pieces

  • ½

    teaspoon sweet paprika (optional)

  • 1

    Fresno or jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced

  • ¼

    cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped

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Spicy and Sour Julienned Potato Salad with Sichuan Pepper

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t cook the potatoes until completely tender. Drain them when the pieces are tender-crisp. This way, they hold their shape and have an al dente quality in the finished dish. And don’t mix the scallion whites into the potatoes. Pile them on top and make sure that the hot spice-infused oil hits the scallions when it’s strained on. The oil blooms the alliums and cooks them slightly.

Ingredients
  • pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ⅛-inch matchsticks

  • Kosher salt

  • ¼

    cup white vinegar

  • tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • ½

    teaspoon white sugar

  • 3

    scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts reserved separately

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1
  • 4

    árbol chilies, broken into rough ½-inch pieces

  • ½

    teaspoon sweet paprika (optional)

  • 1

    Fresno or jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced

  • ¼

    cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped

Step 1 of 4

Cook Potatoes

pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ⅛-inch matchsticks
1
tablespoon salt

In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes, 6 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium-­high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.


Drain the potatoes in a colander and rinse with cold water until cool to the touch. Toss the potatoes and shake the colander to remove as much water as possible, then pat dry with paper towels.

Step 2 of 4

Toss Potatoes

pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ⅛-inch matchsticks
¼
cup white vinegar
tablespoons toasted sesame oil
½
teaspoon white sugar
Scallions, thinly sliced, white parts

In a medium bowl, toss together the potatoes, vinegar, sesame oil and sugar. Pile the scallion whites on top of the mixture but do not stir them in. Set a fine-mesh strainer across the bowl.

Step 3 of 4

Make Spice Mixture

2
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1
tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
4
árbol chilies, broken into rough ½-inch pieces
½
teaspoon sweet paprika (optional)

In an 8-inch skillet over medium, heat the grapeseed oil, Sichuan peppercorns, árbol chilies and paprika (if using), stirring, until fragrant and the peppercorns begin to pop, 1 to 2 minutes.


Immediately pour the mixture into the strainer over the scallion whites and potatoes; discard the solids in the strainer.

Step 4 of 4

Add The Fresh Chili

1
Fresno or jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
Kosher salt
¼
cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped
Scallions, thinly sliced, green parts

Add the fresh chili to the potato mixture and toss. Taste and season with salt, then transfer to a serving dish. Top with the scallion greens and cilantro.

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