Wondering what to do with that bag of spuds you’ve got lying in your pantry? Take cues from kitchens around the world with these unique and delicious potato recipes.
The humble potato has a reputation for being a bit of a nomad, trotting across Europe in the 16th century after first being domesticated in the South American Andes a little over 8,000 years ago. Naturally, worldwide, recipes of the root vegetable have been passed down generations, with some choosing to mash and fry the tuber and others slicing it up to keep its integrity intact.
Regardless of how it’s treated, potato’s creamy, earthy flavor and versatile nature has made it a comfort staple for millions around the globe. And if you’ve yet to discover all the wonderful forms it can take – beyond the evergreen fries and hash browns – we’ve put together a few unique recipes that feature 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 cultivated in the hills of the Gangwon province in Korea. And this pancake is a specialty of that region. It involves grating and deep-frying potatoes with scallions, chives, carrots, or onions. It’s often served as a snack, appetizer, or side dish with soy sauce and vinegar. Occasionally, you’ll find recipes that include gochujang and sesame seeds in the mix. Gamja jeon also makes a great meal option for when you’ve not got the greatest appetite. Grab some onions, potato starch, and grapeseed oil on your next grocery run to whip this one up.
These baked potatoes are a common sight in Turkey, introduced to the country through a similar dish in Yugoslavia. Street vendors stuff the staple with cheese, butter, and a host of other toppings like gherkins, Turkish mezze, corn, sausages, or olives as well as a sauce of some sort. The payoff is a delicious, creamy meal that’s packed with flavors that you enjoy. This particular recipe calls for smoked meat, green peppers, grated cheese, American salad, chilli flakes, tomato paste, and other delicious ingredients that come with the promise of a comfort meal. You could always switch out the butter, meat, and cheese for 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 come about during the Pacific War in 1879 when Peru fought against Chile. The former’s army had trouble getting food so women scoured the region for potatoes and offered a meal of it to the soldiers “for the cause” of defending their territory (hence the name). That said, there are several other origin stories regarding this dish that float about.
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 it out. Dress your causa up with hard-boiled eggs or olives for that authentic touch!
A potato recipe roundup would be incomplete without referencing the country that’s known to be one of the biggest consumers of the root vegetable. In fact, if you’re in Ireland, there’s a good chance you’ll find stewed, roasted, or boiled versions of the carb on your plate fairly often.
This particular dish combines the ancestral Irish diet of greens with modern potato. It’s wildly popular in the region, with even children’s songs having 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 believed to predict your future. The classic recipe features mashed potatoes, salt, pepper, kale, bacon, milk, butter and onions. It’s smooth, creamy, healthy and perfect as a snack, a light midday meal, or an accompaniment to meat.
Pommes Aligot, France
Cheesy, rich, and stretchy, this classic recipe from France elevates the humble mashed potatoes and how! The fondue-like creation was believed to have originated in the monasteries of the once-volcanic Aubrac village sometime around the 12th century and is now one of the most common sights across the country. The recipe calls for potatoes, garlic, cream, butter, and grated cheese. The consistency should be elastic enough to stretch from the pot without breaking a strand. Top with ham and chives and serve immediately.
Yunnan Pounded Mashed Potato, China
While we’re on the subject of creamy, stretchy mashed potatoes, we’d be remiss not to list out 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 smooth and chewy like a rice cake and easy to whip up. The recipe calls for a waxy potato or the addition of steamed sticky rice for a stretchy texture. Other ingredients include peppercorns, fresh chillies, garlic cloves, and herbs of your choice. The key to perfection is to pound the potatoes well until they’re silky smooth. That said, the workout is worth the delicious payoff.
Lemoni Patatas, Greece
Known to be a Greek-mother staple recipe, lemon potatoes are a delicious blend of tart citrus and creamy tubers. Although there are variations across the country, the base ingredients include potatoes, lemons, black pepper, Greek oregano, and extra virgin olive oil. The potatoes are then cooked in water or chicken stock. These are a cut above the usual roasted potatoes and are sure to add a little pzazz to any feast. Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and packed with flavors that perfectly complement each other, this one’s a must-try. Don’t forget to top your dish with some parsley for an authentic flourish.
Papa Salada, Colombia
This one’s a simple dish that’s a mainstay across kitchens and restaurants that specialize in roasted chicken in Colombia. Papa salada refers to boiled, salted potatoes that are often served alongside grilled or barbecued meats, popular since they are hearty and can be shared amongst 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 this one up. To elevate this, serve it with a side of Colombian green hot sauce.
Patatas dating in Bravas, Spain
This popular tapas dish is native to Spain, with the name translating to “spicy potatoes.” The recipe calls for white potatoes, paprika, onions, tomatoes, garlic, chilli powder, parsley, and olive oil and involves frying the starchy staple. Patatas bravas reportedly came about in Madrid after Spain conquered the Inca empire in the 1500s and began producing tomatoes. The rich, spicy, and tangy flavors of this dish pair well with beer and wine.
One of the largest producers of potatoes, Ukraine has several delicious potato dishes to offer the world. Of them, these potato cakes that are served with garlic yoghurt are highly popular, with every part of the country adding its own unique spin to 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 enjoy whole roasted potatoes, give this Swedish classic rendition a go. The dish is named after Hasselbacken restaurant, a popular space in central Stockholm and was first served in the 1940s and 50s. Both stylish and delicious, the dish sold like hot cakes and eventually became a popular feature alongside roast meats and poultry. For this recipe, you’ll need to grab potatoes, garlic cloves, butter, olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice on your next grocery run. Slicing the potatoes allows the flavors of the other ingredients to seep into them, ensuring each bite is as delicious as the next. This recipe is far too easy and delicious to miss out on.
House Aloo, India
India’s large vegetarian population and abundance of potato produce has led to some of the most delicious and unique culinary creations. In fact, zeroing in on one recipe can be tricky, considering how 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 also happens to be one of the few vegetarian delicacies in a traditional Kashmiri wazwan (multi-course meal). Rich and flavourful, the recipe can be a bit complex and time-consuming. That said, the payoff, especially when served alongside buttery naan, is worth the effort.
Perkedel Kentang, Indonesia
These potato fritters from Indonesia feature wheat flour, eggs, corn, carrots, and peppers and are ubiquitous in the region. Potatoes are stuffed with a host of ingredients, either vegetarian or beef before being deep-fried for a classic comfort staple. The roots (pun intended) of this dish lie in the Dutch frikadeller or fried minced meatballs. Since Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch, it’s no surprise that the recipe embedded itself in the cultural landscape of the region. That said, locals swapped the meat for potato, adding a host of other ingredients to make it their own. Give this one a go when you’ve got a hankering for something fried and starchy.
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