I hate hash browns, said nobody, ever. What’s not to love about about this golden and crispy, lattice-edged dish? Without the crispiness, you just have mashed, or at the very worst, mushed potatoes, that are devoid of that starchy and buttery quality that makes them so irresistible in the first place. Although good hash browns are one of those things that you can easily buy frozen or order at a diner, I prefer making them myself, and savor the little ritual that’s involved as much as I enjoy them piping hot from the skillet.
As with most one- or two-ingredient dishes, a successful end result hinges upon getting the method and technique just right. To avoid that mushed result, three things must happen:
- soak and rinse off as much extra starch from the potato as possible right after grating,
- wring every drop of moisture back out of the potato after soaking and
- don’t touch the potato during browning, or it won’t get crisp during the cooking time.
Hash browns love sriracha, but if spicy isn’t your thing, especially in the morning, they also love Daiya, or to be folded around some caramelized onions, and sprinkled with some tangy sriracha-nooch seasoning.
PERFECT HASH BROWNS
Yield 1 serving
- 1 medium-sized russet potato
- 1 TB olive oil
to serve (optional)
- Daiya shreds
- sriracha-nooch seasoning
- caramelized onions
- Peel and grate the potato on a box grater. Fill a medium-sized bowl with cold water, then add the shredded potato to it. Allow it to sit in the cold water for about 10 minutes, then swirl it around with your hand to remove some of the starch. Transfer the shreds to a sieve by scooping them out with your hands, then rinse very well under cold water until it runs clear. Then, transfer the shreds to the center of a tea towel, twist the top, and wring out as much water as you can until the shreds are crumbly and bone dry.
- Warm the olive oil in a flat-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. After 1 minute, tilt the pan to coat, then add in the shredded potato, flattening it out so it’s evenly distributed on the skillet.
- Allow to brown, undisturbed for 7-9 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. Flip, then allow the hash browns to brown on the other side, undisturbed, for 4-5 minutes more, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.