Recipe by East Wind Goddess
Lightly spiced potato patties present a nice blend of flavors that make this old favorite a welcome departure from the ordinary. If you want to have the traditional dipping sauce, there are many recipes for nuoc cham on ‘Zaar: I use Gourmet Garden chili spice blend (in a tube in the salad section of the grocery stores), mixed into equal parts water, lime juice, soy sauce and rice vinegar to make it easier if not wholly authentic.
- 2 russet potatoes (or 1 potato and 1 yam, of equal size)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 1⁄2 medium onion, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 scallions, minced
- 2 teaspoons lemongrass, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (Vietnamese nuoc mam)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2⁄3 cup vegetable oil, for frying
- vietnamese dipping sauce (Nuoc cham)
Directions See How It's Made
- Shred the potatoes in a food processor and place in a colander. Sprinkle with the salt and mix well. Let stand in the sink to drain for 15 minutes.
- Mix the dry seasonings together.
- Squeeze the potatoes dry and place in a mixing bowl. Add the cornstarch and mix thoroughly. Add all the remaining ingredients except the panko crumbs and oil and mix well.
- Drop the potato mixture by tablespoonfuls into the panko crumbs and flatten slightly. Coat all the way around.
- Divide the oil in half and heat in a pan over moderately high heat. Lower the patties into the hot oil and flatten the patties with a spatula if necessary: the patties should not be too thick, and should be about 2 inches across.
- Fry until crisp and golden on the bottom, then turn and fry the other side. Drain on a wire rack or on paper towels, then transfer to plates. Add more oil as needed for frying the remaining patties.
- Optional: serve with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce.
- (A note on fish sauce: this is a very salty Southeast Asian specialty food. I don't care for the odor, but it blends well into sauces and other foods. You can substitute soy sauce for an approximation if you want to leave it out and make this a true vegetarian dish).