Spice Up Bland Potatoes With Sweet And Sour Sauce

sichuan sweet and sour potato
sichuan sweet and sour potato - Kravtzov/Shutterstock

Potatoes are a versatile staple food with recipes in every corner of the globe, but they can be bland on their own. To help the humble potato reach its full potential, some of the most popular potato dishes rely heavily on spices and textures to boost flavor. While fats like cream and butter can lift mashed potatoes, and bacon and cheese atop twice-baked potatoes enhance the flavor, sweet and sour potatoes are a great vegan alternative for spicing up your dish — though you certainly don't need to be vegan to enjoy them.

Sweet and sour sauce is commonly used to flavor chicken or pork, but the flavor that comes from mixing sweet sugar with tangy vinegar and umami-rich soy sauce works great with potatoes. The sourness cuts through the starch of the potatoes while the sweet and umami flavors add balance. Authentic Chinese sweet and sour sauce is made from vinegar, spices, sugar, and fruit juice, while the Westernized version adds ketchup. It doesn't matter which version you use to spice up your bland potatoes, but you'll want to start by lightly frying your sliced, chopped, or diced potatoes to give them a crispy texture. After removing them from the skillet, pour the sweet and sour sauce into the skillet with neutral oil before adding your crispy potatoes back and cooking everything together.

Read more: Ingredients To Take Your Scrambled Eggs To The Next Level

Try Some Other Sweet And Sour Variations

German potato salad with bacon
German potato salad with bacon - Mariha-kitchen/Getty Images

There are also many ways to make a variation on this style of potatoes without a typical sweet and sour sauce. A more unique sweet and sour sauce recipe adds unsweetened pineapple juice and brown sugar. Depending on personal taste, you can increase the sweetness by adding more sugar or increase the tart flavor with more juice or vinegar. Once the sauce is cooked, it's important to add the cornstarch slurry to thicken it and allow it to adhere to your potatoes. Once finished, all that's left to do is take your tastebuds on a wild ride.

If sweet and sour sauce isn't your cup of tea, another way to infuse potatoes with similar sweet and sour notes is with German potato salad. This version of potato salad veers away from mayonnaise as the creamy base and instead gets its flavor from a sweet and sour sauce made with vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bacon and onion often help amp up the savory and salty notes, but it's the vinegar and sugar mixture that brings the sweet and sour flavor to the entire side dish.

Read the original article on Mashed.