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Pickled French Fries


Brining these french fries in a salt-and-cabbage solution seasons them and, as they start to lightly ferment, infuses them with a slight tang. Think salt-and-vinegar chips and you get the right idea.

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  • 5 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 3 1/2 pounds large red-skin potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1/4-inch-thick sticks
  • 4 leaves Napa cabbage
  • Rice bran or grapeseed oil (for frying; about 6 cups)
  • A deep-fry thermometer


Servings 4
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 10mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Combine 5 Tbsp. salt and 8 cups water in a large bowl or pot, stirring until salt dissolves. Add potatoes and cabbage (potatoes should sink, but some of the cabbage leaves may float). Cover bowl and store in a cool, dark place (a kitchen cabinet or pantry is ideal) 4–6 days; the longer the potatoes sit, the funkier their flavor will be. Drain and pat potatoes dry; discard cabbage leaves.

Fit a large pot with thermometer and pour in oil to measure 3" up sides of pot. Heat oil over medium-high until thermometer registers 325°. Working in batches (you want potatoes to have room to move around), fry potatoes until cooked through and tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Using a spider or a slotted spoon, transfer fries to paper towels to drain as they are done.

Heat oil until thermometer registers 375°. Working in batches again, refry potatoes until crisp (the edges may brown, but fries will mostly stay pretty light), about 1 minute per batch. Transfer to fresh paper towels to drain; sprinkle with salt (because of the brine, you won’t need to add much).

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