In Sichuan province it may be cut into very thin threads and fried with chili, Sichuan pepper and white rice vinegar for a dish often served cold and known as suān là tǔdòu sī [酸辣土豆丝] or hot & sour potato threads.
In North-East China and Inner Mongolia potatoes are fried with green peppers, aubergines and onion and a little dark soy for a dish called dì sān xiān [地三鮮], literally 'three earth fresh'.
However in this post we’re going to look at a simple Yunnan dish called gàn bèi yángyù sī [干焙洋芋丝] or dry baked potato threads.
In most of China a potato is known as Tǔdòu [土豆] or earth bean. However in Yunnan province it is often called a foreign tuber, Yángyù [洋芋].
Gàn bèi yángyù sī is usually served as a simple side dish, and is relatively easy to cook.
The basic ingredients are of course potatoes, plus a little salt. Sometimes a little dried chili is added but this is not always the case.
Preparation & cooking
After peeling the potatoes grate or cut into extremely thin threads. Then heat some oil in a wok or non-stick pan. Add a little salt, and a little chopped dried chili if using, and stir the threads together.
When the oil is hot put in the potato and spread evenly so as to create a thin round cake. It is important not to have the heat too high since the potato will brown too quickly and not cook through.
Once nicely browned on one side, flip the cake over and cook until evenly browned and crispy on the other side. A large plate may be use to help invert the potato cake before sliding it back into the pan or wok.
Once cooked the potato cake is turned out onto a plate and garnished with a little thinly sliced spring onion.
The potato cake may be cut into wedges if desired and served with a small dish of soy sauce or powdered chili to dip