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Spicy and Sour Julienned Potato Salad with Sichuan Pepper

4 Servings

25 minutes

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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.




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.

25 minutes


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

  • Kosher salt


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Scott P.
January 25, 2023
Scott P
This is the first potato dish from Milk Street I've found underwhelming. The flavors are fine but the potato matchsticks (tender-crispy, as specified) bring out the blandness of the spud.
Jennifer B.

Loved this! Hate my mandoline, it terrifies me, but I was worth overcoming my fear. The spice was terrific and the vinegar was just the right touch.