Belgian Fries (Pommes Frites)

"From Ruth Van Waerebeek's "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook." There are other good frites recipes on Recipezaar; I'm including Ruth's for the sake of personal closure -- I can't NOT include her frites in my collection of her traditional Belgian recipes. What makes Ruth's unique is her call for older, starchy potatoes. As she says: "Never make fries with new potatoes.... It is imperative to use a starchy older potato for making real Belgian fries.... All your efforts will be in vain as the young potatoes have not had time to develop sufficient starch." She adds: "The size of the fries is a very personal matter. Experiment to find the size you like best." Adjust the frying time according to the thickness you prefer."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:


  • 3 -4 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 2 lbs potatoes, peeled, rinsed, and dried (use Idaho, or russet baking potatoes, or Yukon Gold potatoes)
  • salt, to taste


  • Pour enough oil into a deep fryer to reach at least halfway up the sides of the pan but not more than three-quarters of the way up. Heat oil to 325°F.
  • Cut the potatoes into sticks 1/2 inch wide and 2-1/2 to 3 inches long. Dry all the the pieces thoroughly in a clean dish towel. This will keep the oil from splattering. Divide the potato sticks into batches of no more than 1 cup each. Do not fry more than one batch at a time.
  • When the oil has reached the desired temperature, fry the potatoes for 4 or 5 minutes per batch. They should be lightly colored but not browned. If fryer has a basket, simply lift it out to remove the fried potatoes. Otherwise, use a long-handled skimmer to lift out the potatoes. Be sure to bring the temperature of the oil back to 325°F in between the batches. At this point the frites can rest for several hours at room temperature until you are almost ready to serve them.
  • Just prior to eating, heat the oil to 375°F Fry the potatoes in 1-cup batches until they are nicely browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per batch. Drain on fresh paper towels or brown paper bags and place in a warmed serving bowl lined with more paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and serve. Never cover the potatoes to keep them hot as they will immediately turn soft and limp. If you are inclined to perfectionism, leave some potatoes to fry halfway through the meal so you can serve them crisp and hot.

Questions & Replies

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  1. James C B.
    While living in Europe we loved the pomme frits sold by small vendors and they were often accompanied by a dipping sauce that looked to be mayonnaise-based. Is there a recipe? for this?


  1. Scoutie
    These are really outstanding! My only suggestion would be to soak the cut potatos in cold water for at least an hour, even overnight works. This takes out the excess starch and makes them very crispy! Thanks for posting Belgophile.
  2. rebeccazacks
    Awesome! Definitely worth the extra time! A+++


My most cherished cookbook is Ruth Van Waerebeek's Everybody Eats Well in Belgium. It has been my inspiration for most of our family's special occasions and holiday meals and it was through exploring this book that cooking and entertaining became such a pleasurable hobby for me. The book is out of print, but I contacted Ruth to express my appreciation and ask her permission to include her recipes here. In her words: "My main concern when I wrote this book, was exactly that, that people around the globe would be able to taste these wonderful Belgian flavors! So, I don't have any objection that you post the recipes on the web."
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