Starchy vs. Waxy Potatoes

   By ChefErin  Sep 18, 2010


Although you can use any potato you choose, you will get the best results following the suggestions below:  

  • Use starchy potatoes like Russet/Idaho or Purple Potatoes for mashed, baked, roasted, and deep-fried potato recipes.
  • Use waxy potatoes like White Rose, Yukon Gold and Red Potatoes for sautéed/pan-fried, roasted, boiled, and potato salad recipes. If you use waxy potatoes for mashed potatoes, don’t over mash them or they will get gummy.
Making your own French fries is simple and you will be giving your family a healthier alternative to commercial fries loaded with modified food starches and trans fats. 

French Fries with Truffle Salt & Parmesan


4 large russet or other starchy potatoes, peeled or unpeeled and cut into 3/8 by 3/8-inch thick sticks
2 quarts canola oil

Truffle salt or garlic salt
2 tbsp parmesan cheese


Heat oil over medium-low heat in a deep heavy pot* with a candy or deep-frying thermometer, or in an electric deep fryer, until the thermometer registers 275 degrees F.

Add the fries, in small batches, to the hot oil. Fry/blanch, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft and limp and begin to turn a pale blond color, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or fry basket, carefully remove fries from the oil. Spread the fries out on a cookie sheet in a single layer so they don’t stick to one another. 

When ready to serve the French fries, reheat the oil to 375 degrees F. Transfer the blanched potatoes to the hot oil and fry again, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper lined platter and sprinkle with Truffle Salt and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

*If you are frying in a heavy pot or Dutch oven, be sure that you have at least 3 to 5 inches of space between the top of the oil and the top of the pan so that the oil doesn’t overflow when frying.

Note: Truffle salt is available at gourmet markets and specialty shops. If you don’t find it in your neighborhood try substituting garlic salt instead.


Make a Comment

ChefErin by ChefErin | SEATTLE, WA
Oct 26, 2010

rl6622 - It works like a charm! ~ Chef Erin

rl6622 by rl6622 | CUMBERLAND, WI
Oct 25, 2010

I always have trouble getting my french fries crispy! Can't wait to try this method out, as we have an abundance of potatoes from the garden.

hypnicjerk by hypnicjerk | Seattle, WA
Oct 16, 2010

Wow! I never realized just how little I knew about potatoes. Thank you very much for this. Very cool! Time to explore some recipes! And if I can incorporate truffle salt...come on! What can beet that? Ha!

ChefErin by ChefErin | SEATTLE, WA
Oct 14, 2010

MyEmptyCanvas - Truffles remind me of intensely garlic-flavored mushrooms. Truffle salt and truffle oil are good ways to sample the flavor. I like truffle salt on radishes, scrambled eggs, pot roasts and popcorn too. ~ Chef Erin

MyEmptyCanvas by MyEmptyCanvas | KOSCIUSKO, MS
Oct 07, 2010

Never heard of truffle salt, but hmmm galic salt on fries.... sounds kind of tasty at the moment though..... Interesting to say the least.

obiwankendrobi by obiwankendrobi | Harlan, KY
Sep 27, 2010

This is very useful information. I never knew there were waxy potatoes! But I will definitely give this a try. Potatoes, salt, and Parmesan cheese? Yes, please!

cbre101022 by cbre101022 | WALKERSVILLE, MD
Sep 26, 2010

Thanks for the potato information and can't wait to try the recipe. Sounds so simple but gooooood.

ChefErin by ChefErin | SEATTLE, WA
Sep 22, 2010

elicabeta - I mention in the video that the skin is a good way to tell a starchy potato from a waxy potato. Waxy potatoes have very thin skins that rub away quite easily. Most stores will only carry russets/idaho/bakers - the most common variety of starchy potato but the purple potato is starchy too. Thanks for the question ~ Chef Erin

elicabeta by elicabeta | Miami, FL
Sep 22, 2010

How do you tell a starchy potato from a waxy potato besides the brand name? I didn't know there were differences...

Von411 by Von411 | El paso, TX
Sep 20, 2010

Sounds yummy gonna have to try. Thanks for the receipe...