A Julienne cut is defined as being 1/8 inch x 1/8 inch x 2 inches. It's a very specific measurement, and only one of a staggering number of ways to cut a potato (or pretty much any vegetable for that matter). How to properly julienne a potato is one of the first things I learned at culinary school, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's easy. To julienne by hand is a pretty laborious process, but the resulting matchstick fries, as they are more commonly called, are crispy and delicious.
In this post, I'll walk you through how to properly julienne a potato, and in my next post, I'll be detailing a creamy potato soup that I made using the left over potato trimmings. So stay tuned!
Difficulty: Relatively Tough
Active Prep Time: About 1 hour
Total Prep Time: About 1 hour
Special Equipment: Chef Basket
Serves: 6 - 8
- 6 large potatoes, peeled
- About 2 cups vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Salt and garlic pepper to taste
1. Begin by slicing off one side of a potato. (Note, I used an unpeeled potato for this demonstration to make the cuts easier to see, but yours should be peeled.)
2. Turn the potato over so that the flat side is face down. Slice off the next side the same way as the first. Repeat the process 2 more times, then cut the ends off to form a rectangle. Place the discarded bits of the potato into a bowl of water and set aside.
3. Cut off a sliver as close to 1/8 inch thick as possible.
4. Cut the sliver of potato into individual slices, again about 1/8 of an inch thick. Place the individual pieces into a bowl of cold water to prevent oxidization.
5. When the potato has been completely chopped, repeat the process for the remaining potatoes.
6. Begin heating the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Pat the potatoes as dry as possible, then place into the chef's basket or other fry basket, and submerge in the oil. (The proper way to make french fries is to first fry at a lower temperature, then at a higher one. Julienne fries are so skinny, however, that one fry at a medium-high temperature made for perfectly crispy potatoes.)
7. Fry for about 5 - 7 minutes, or until potatoes turn a light golden brown. Remove to a tray lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil, then transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet in a preheated oven to keep warm. If you're working in batches, repeat the process until all the potatoes have been cooked.
8. Toss with salt, garlic pepper, and Parmesan cheese, then serve hot.