Crispy Roast Potatoes - Chinese Style
Chinese Crispy Roast Potatoes in a Master Stock are the most flavourful, crispy potatoes I've ever eaten. Have you ever heard of Chinese Roast Potatoes, and what is a Master Stock? To explain Crispy Roast Potatoes in a Master Stock, I'll start with the Master Stock.
What is Chinese Master Stock?
I think Wikipedia defines it best. A master stock (Chinese: 鹵水 or 高汤) refers to a stock which is repeatedly reused to poach or braise meats. It has its origins in Chinese cuisine and is typically used in Cantonese and Fujian cuisines. Foods poached or braised in the master stock are generally referred to as lou mei.' This stock is amazing to poach chicken, duck or even pork, before you cook it in the oven.
As the stock continues to be re-used, over and over, the stock takes a flavour and depth/complexity of it's own over time. It's said that in China, there is stock that is hundreds of years old, passed down from generation to generation. If you are going to reuse the stock after you're finished, then bring the stock to a boil to kill and germs, skim and strain, then refrigerate or freeze until next time. The colour and flavor infused to your meats through this stock is absolutely amazing. I use this stock to make a Roasted Braised Duck, goes perfectly with this recipe. If you don't eat duck, then make these potatoes the next time you make Roast Chicken for dinner.
Chinese Roast Potatoes
Now let's talk potatoes. I love crispy roast potatoes, especially when they are done right. If you are having an Asian style meal (ie. you are using this stock to make roast duck) it doesn't seem right to eat plain roast potatoes with rosemary. The cultures seem to clash for my palate. I still need carbs with my Asian poultry dinner, and it doesn't have to be rice. It just makes sense to parboil the potatoes in the master stock, to infuse the rich Asian flavors in the potatoes. Served alongside sautéed vegetables like Bok Choy and your dinner is complete.
Why Don't Chinese Eat Potatoes?
Well that statement isn't entirely true. Potatoes are native to Boliva and Peru, and have spread across the world as food staples. Introduced the China in the 1600's, it was initially a delicacy for the imperial family, before spreading to the common people. However, Chinese cooking isn't known for it's use of the potato, although it can be found in Chinese dishes. It just never adapted the traditional Chinese cooking in the same way it did in European cooking. China is the world's largest potato producer, although much of it is exported.
This Chinese Crispy Roast Potatoes recipe absolutely caters to the Western style of eating roast potatoes. A roasted potato that's parboiled with wonderful Chinese flavors before roasting to delicious crispiness. To me, it was a no-brainer. The first time I made Chinese Roast Potatoes for my parents, we couldn't stop eating it. Master Stocks are essential for poaching and braising chicken, duck and pork dishes, and now you can add the humble potato to the list. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Chinese Crispy Roast Potatoes in a Master Stock
- 8-10 cups water
- 2 star anise
- ½ cup kicap manis - thick sweet soy plus a bit extra
- ½ cup shaoxing wine
- ½ cup char sui sauce if no char sui, then use ¼ cup hoisin instead
- 3 ginger slices optional
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cardamom pods crushed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 lbs /1 ½ kg potatoes peeled and cut in quarters
- To make the Master Stock, put all the ingredients into a large pot, except the potatoes and oil, and bring to a boil.
- Peel the potatoes and cut into halves or quarters, and put into the Master Stock. Cook the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes, until you can easily pierce the potatoes (without them falling apart).
- Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C. Using a wire scoop, remove the potatoes from the Master stock and allow to cool. Reserve the stock for uses.
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, in a single layer. Drizzle a generous amount of oil, using your hands, mix together so the potatoes are coated in oil. (You could do this in a separate bowl, but then you have extra dishes to wash)...
- Roast the potatoes for 30 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy. Serve with roast chicken or roast duck. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions.