Fried potatoes with shichimi and red miso mayo

I'm a sucker for Izakaya food! Today's recipe is an Izakaya finger food: perfectly deep fried potatoes, topped with shichimi -- a Japanese spice blend -- and served with a red miso mayonnaise. Pair it with some sake or a beer and you have the start of a good night!

If you don't know, an Izakaya is a Japanese bar that also serves snacks. They serve foods like karaage, okonomiyaki, tempura and yakitori.

Fried shichimi potato ingredients

  • Frying potatoes - I used baby pinkeye potatoes in the recipe, but use whatever good frying potatoes you have available to you. Some suggestions include: Australia - King Edwards, Pink Eyes, Bintje, Dutch Cream, US - Russet or Idaho, UK - Maris Piper or King Edward. If you can't find small potatoes, you'll need to cut them into smaller pieces.
  • Kewpie mayonnaise - Japanese mayonnaise that's made from egg yolks, giving it a richer taste than western mayonnaise. Sub for regular mayonnaise if you prefer. You can find Kewpie in most supermarkets.
  • Red miso paste - miso comes in several colours, with red being the deepest flavour. Sub for white or yellow if you already have these, but you'll need to add the miso to taste. You can find miso paste at most supermarkets.
  • Shichimi - a Japanese spice blend made from ingredients like citrus peel, sesame seeds and chilli. Also known as Togarashi, you'll find it in some larger supermarkets but you'll probably need to go to a spice store or purchase online.
  • Salt helps the shichimi shine.

Equipment you need to make fried shichimi potatoes

You need to deep fry potatoes for this recipe. Using a deep fryer is better than frying in a pot because deep fryers generally have thermostats, and are safer, particularly if using gas.

You don't need to have a deep fryer, but it's recommended. If you use a pot, make sure you understand the safety risks.

How to make fried shichimi potatoes

  1. Prepare potatoes - wash and optionally peel your potatoes. I used pinkeye potatoes in this recipe which have a soft skin, but if your potatoes have a thick skin you should peel it. If you couldn't find small/baby potatoes, cut them into small, bite-sized chunks.

  2. Make red miso mayonnaise - combine the red miso paste with the mayonnaise (1). Stir well to ensure it is well combined (2) - there should be no lumps of miso paste. Taste for seasoning, and add a little more miso paste if needed.

  3. Boil potatoes - add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the pot and continue to boil for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through - test with a knife or tooth pick, it should enter without resistance. Don't overcook the potatoes as they will fall apart when frying.

  4. Drain potatoes - when the potatoes are cooked through, remove from heat and drain in a colander. Allow to cool slightly so that you're able to handle them.

  5. Heat oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan, heat oil to 190C. If you're not using a deep fryer with a thermostat, make sure you understand the risks of deep frying.

  6. Smash potatoes - place the cooled potatoes onto your bench (1). The easiest way to do this is with your hand. Gently apply pressure and allow the potato to naturally break apart into smaller pieces (2). Leave some of the smaller potatoes whole.

  7. Fry potatoes - fry the potatoes for 5-10 minutes until a deep, golden brown. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

  8. Season - scatter the shichimi and salt over the potatoes (1) and toss well to combine (2).

  9. Serve - place on a serving platter or in a bowl and serve with the miso mayonnaise.

Tips

  • Make sure that your potatoes are cooked through before you squash and fry them. Use a skewer or knife to test doneness - it should go through the potato with very little resistance. Overcooked potatoes are likely to fall apart when you deep fry them.
  • Fry in batches to make sure you don't drop the oil temperature too much.
  • Make sure that the oil is at temperature before you start frying, otherwise the potatoes can absorb a lot of oil, making them greasy. Ideally use an instant read thermometer if you don't have a deep fryer with a thermostat. As a fallback, drop a cube of bread into the oil - if it sizzles immediately and turns golden brown in about 60 seconds, the oil is likely around 190°C (375°F).

What to serve with fried shichimi potatoes

This pairs well as part of an Izakaya inspired spread. Consider some of the following:

  • Beer or sake
  • Karaage chicken
  • Okonomiyaki
  • Tempura
  • Yakitori

They also make a great replacement for baked potatoes as part of a roast dinner.

What's shichimi?

Shichimi, also known as shichimi togarashi is a Japanese spice blend which is sometimes called Japanese 7 spice. Generally it's made with some of the following:

  • Chilli
  • Japanese pepper
  • Citrus peel (usually orange or yuzu)
  • Poppy seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Ground ginger
  • Nori
  • Hemp seed

It's used as a finishing spice and you'll often find it in shakers in Japanese restaurants along with soy sauce.

What's miso paste?

Miso paste is a paste which is fermented from soybeans with salt and koji, and usually grains such as rice or barley. It's exceptionally good for you, being very high in protein, along with vitamins and minerals.

Should the potatoes be peeled?

For this dish, I like the potatoes to have the skin on. It depends largely on the variety of potato you're using; if it has a thick skin it should be removed. Russet and Idaho potatoes generally have a thick skin which you might like to peel if you're using that variety.

Add your own touch

  • Replace the shichimi spice blend with another spice blend that you prefer - either Japanese inspired, such as furikake or a Japanese curry powder.
  • Swap the potatoes out for chips.
  • Experiment with the mayo; for example, try an aioli instead.
  • Try roasting the potatoes instead of frying them.

Japanese fried potatoes with shichimi and red miso mayo

Unrated
Prep Cook Total
5 mins 30 mins 35 mins
Serves 4-6
Crispy deep fried potatoes with a Japanese twist! Perfect with some sake or a Japanese beer, this Izakaya inspired recipe packs Japanese flavour with shichimi and red miso mayo.
  • 1kg small frying potatoes I used pinkeye potatoes, see note 1 for some suggestions
  • 2-3 tsp shichimi to taste, see note 2
  • Around 1.5 tsp salt or to taste
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) kewpie mayonnaise
  • 1 - 1.5 tsp red miso paste to taste, see note 3
  • Oil, for deep frying
Steps
  1. Prepare potatoes - wash and optionally peel your potatoes. I used pinkeye potatoes in this recipe which have a soft skin, but if your potatoes have a thick skin you should peel it. If you couldn't find small/baby potatoes, cut them into small, bite-sized chunks.
  2. Make red miso mayonnaise - combine the red miso paste with the mayonnaise. Stir well to ensure it is well combined - there should be no lumps of miso paste. Taste for seasoning, and add a little more miso paste if needed.
  3. Boil potatoes - add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the pot and continue to boil for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through - test with a knife or tooth pick, it should enter without resistance. Don't overcook the potatoes as they will fall apart when frying.
  4. Drain potatoes - when the potatoes are cooked through, remove from heat and drain in a colander. Allow to cool slightly so that you're able to handle them.
  5. Heat oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan, heat oil to 190C. If you're not using a deep fryer with a thermostat, make sure you understand the risks of deep frying.
  6. Smash potatoes - the easiest way to do this is with your hand. Gently apply pressure and allow the potato to naturally break apart into smaller pieces. Leave some of the smaller potatoes whole.
  7. Fry potatoes - fry the potatoes for 5-10 minutes until a deep, golden brown. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  8. Season - scatter the shichimi and salt over the potatoes and toss well to combine.
  9. Serve - place on a serving platter or in a bowl and serve with the miso mayonnaise.
Notes
  1. Potatoes - some recommendations include: US - Russet or Idaho, UK - Maris Piper or King Edward, Australia - King Edwards, Pink Eyes, Bintje, Dutch Cream. If you can't find small potatoes, you'll need to cut them into smaller pieces.
  2. Shichimi is available from spice shops, some larger supermarkets, and of course, online. It's a Japanese spice blend made from chilli, and typically includes some of the following as well: citrus peel (orange or yuzu), black or white sesame seeds, ground ginger, nori, poppy seeds. Individual blends will vary with ingredients and heat levels.
  3. Red miso has the boldest flavour of miso varieties. The taste and salt level will vary between blends, so add it gradually until you get the flavour you want.

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