Because were are about to reveal the true secret behind how to make fries with potatoes… true Belgian golden fries!
Yes, both Luc and I born and raised in Belgium so we should at least know what is the best Belgian fries recipe, right?!
Scroll down to the bottom of this page to go straight to the recipe for homemade fries!
But is it Belgian or French fries?
We get that question quite a lot.
How to make fries: is it Belgian or French fries?
We have heard about a couple of theories.
One of them claims that ‘French’ in earlier times referred to frying food.
Here is another theory we have come across quite a few times.
So the story goes that ‘French’ is a misinterpretation over the years of ‘frenched’ fries, meaning sliced into sticks or sliced up finely.
Anyone else got a better explanation of where the French comes from?
Feel free to leave a comment below!
Fries or Frites?
And then here is another question: is it Belgian fries or Belgian frites?
Fries in French is “frites” (from pommes (de terre) frites which means fried potatoes). In Flemish we call them frieten or “frietjes“.
The Dutch will also say friet, frites, frietjes or even ‘patat’ which is a very popular word but sounds so awkward to us Belgians.
There is this Dutch joke by the way (we make fun of each other all the time) and it goes like: “how can you see that it is a Belgian driver driving a car?
He has got a jar of mayo standing on his dashboard in case he turns his car into fries”. Because there is this Flemish expression for wrecking a car which literally means ’turning a car into fries’.
How To Make Fries or ‘Frietjes’
OK, so you have all been waiting for THE SECRET behind how to make fries from potatoes of course!
Well, it is fairly simple how to make fries: keywords here are floury potatoes, fried twice (double fried) and beef tallow.
Let’s explain these steps first.
How to make fries with potatoes?
Use a floury potato variety such as Bintje, King Edward, Maris Piper, Desiree or Estima. Floury potatoes are low in water and high in starch. This layer of starch will add to the crunch of the fries.
Also floury potatoes will fry quicker which brings us to.
Next: how to make fries crispy…
Fried twice or double fried
Fries are fried twice or double fried!
Fry the fries first at about 300°F (150°C). The reason for this is to make the potato tender in just a few minutes.
Floury potatoes are perfect for that.
So when the potato sticks are cooked and kinda mushy inside, remove them from the hot frying oil and let them rest and cool. Let the frietjes drain on some kitchen paper and pre bake a second batch of fries.
Once the frietjes are cooled we are going to turn up the heat of the deep fat fryer to 256°F (180°C) and add the fries back to fryer.
Now that the potato is tender on the inside the hot oil will crisp up the outside.
Third important aspect about how to make fries: the best fries are fried in beef tallow which is melted and filtered beef fat. It is cheaper than frying oil (at least in Belgium) plus beef tallow is more resistant to oxidation and burning after heating than frying oil.
Also beef tallow gives a slight extra beefy almost gamey flavor to fried food.
Even Wagyu tallow exists!
Just imagine how that tastes like…
Nowadays frituur shacks mainly use vegetable oil because there is more unsaturated fats in it than in beef tallow.
‘Frietjes’ from The ‘Frituur’
Glorious fries shacks!
You can find these little places of fried potato heaven all over Belgium.
Going to the ‘frituur’ (friture in French) or fries shack is a very popular way of saying you are having (takeaway) fries for dinner: you can eat them on the spot or take them home.
We know quite a lot of Belgians who deliberately don’t own a deep fat fryer. Whenever they are having steak or any fries dinner, they just simply drive to the nearest shack and order a portion of freshly fried fries.
How to order ‘frietjes’
So here is how to order your fries in Belgium: choose between a small, medium or large portion of fries.
For us one medium per person is more than enough.
All these frituur shacks sell other stuff like hamburgers, meat croquettes (we love the Dutch bitterballen and meat croquettes), meatballs, shrimp croquettes, cheese croquettes, skewers, chicken wings, chicken nuggets, chicken fingers, frikandel or curry sausages etc.
We could go on for ages.
Gosh, makes us hungry just writing about fries!
So either you go for a portion of golden frietjes with an extra fried treat on the side or you just have frietjes for dinner.
You pay extra for a dipping sauce: mayo, tartar sauce, ketchup, curry sauce…
How to make fries sauce: learn how to make mayonnaise from scratch, with video!
Or the highly delicious meat stew sauce ‘stoofvleessaus’.
Just love it.
Some people like their sauce served right on top of their fries, others want their sauce sitting neatly in a separate container to dip their frietjes in.
If you prefer the latter, mention that to the frituur owner while you place your order. Some will automatically ask you how you like your sauce.
Personally we don’t have a preference.
As long as we get our fries, we’ll eat it.
Paper cone or paper tray?
Even though paper cones look awesome, they are hard to find nowadays at these shacks.
Restaurants use cones often but those are actually ceramic cones that come alongside the steak, fish or seafood that you ordered.
Fries at the ‘frituur’ come in a cardboard or plastic box wrapped in paper.
Another question that I get a lot.
Eat with your hands?
Do you eat fries with your hands or with cutlery?
Every frituur will give you a couple of wooden or colorful tiny plastic forks but do what you like: eat your frietjes with your hands or a fork, both are absolutely fine!
We have no preference, we do both.
Enough talk for now: hungry for more?
How to make fries at home: the recipe
Here is my recipe of how to make fries at home from potatoes: the best homemade Belgian frietjes!
The one and only truly Belgian homemade fries recipe. Let me show you how to make fries, the authentic Belgian way…
Homemade and super delicious.
Because my mom and dad did not own a freezer when I was a child we would make our own fresh fries from scratch every single time.
That then was mostly on Sundays after mass and I must admit that on those days every one of us would help out in the kitchen.
And that is how we learned how to make fries from scratch!
How to cut fries
What you need
- 2 ⅓ lbs floury potatoes (1 kg)
- sharp knife
- Peel the potatoes.
- Now place the potatoes on a clean chopping board and slice off a little sliver from the side. This will help us to slice the fries evenly in thickness.
- Slice the potato into even slices: they should be about a little less than half an inch (1 cm) thick. If at the end the last slice is too thin, discard it or keep it for another recipe.
- Then place the slices side by side and cut them into even thick sticks: about a little less than half an inch (1 cm) thick as well. If you feel comfortable enough, you can stack the potato slices on top of each other and cut them all at the same time into thick sticks.
- Rinse the fries under running tap water and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Fry The Fries
How to make fries?
Let’s get started!
So your potatoes are sliced perfectly.
Time for the next step.
Now let me show you how to make golden fries from scratch. Hands down the best Belgian homemade frietjes recipe that you will ever come across of course!
Step 2: How To Make Fries
What you need
- frying oil or tallow
- Turn on your deep fat fryer to 300°F (150°C) until the frying oil (or tallow) is flaming hot.
- Divide the uncooked fries into portions depending on how large your fryer and frying basket is. About 2 handfuls is enough. You can do this is batches of course.
- Once the oil is hot, precook your first batch of fries for about 3 minutes.
- That done, remove the fries from the hot oil. They should be quite tender. Don’t shake them or they will break.
- Let the precooked fries cool. You can let them drain on some kitchen paper and pre bake a second batch of fries. Once all of the fries are precooked and cooled, turn up the heat of the deep fryer to 356°F (180°C) and add one batch of precooked fries back to the frying basket.
- Fry until golden and crisp for about 3 to 4 minutes. Then remove the fries from the hot oil and shake them well. Transfer the fries to a bowl or deep dish lined with kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Serve this first portion of golden fries and fry another batch in the meantime.
- That’s how to make fries, now enjoy!