Potatoes easily transform into so many recipes, I can’t begin to explore the possibilities. I have never met a french fry I didn’t like. Although french fries are on the top of my favorites’ list, I like variety in my fries. In fact, since becoming vegan, and then becoming an even more healthy vegan, I learned to make crispy fries without oil or fat.
If you follow my blog, you know I use potatoes a lot in my cooking. From soups, stews, salads, and side dishes, potatoes are at the center of my cooking.
Recently, Paul and I ate at a vegan Vietnamese restaurant close to our home. As usual, we ordered a variety of dishes to taste and share. The Vietnamese French Fries were fabulous. Unfortunately, they were deep-fried, loaded with peanuts, vegan mayo, and vegan cheese. They were delicious but fattening. Yes, vegan food can be very fattening.
So, I embarked on a mission to make Vietnamese French Fries just as tasty without the fat and calories. I made a Bahn Mi Sandwich serve with the french fries for a Vietnamese themed dinner.
Although the restaurant version used white, baking potatoes, I chose sweet potatoes. I cut my potatoes with my Mandolin into thin cut french fries. I soaked them in water for approximately an hour, and then I drained them. Since I chose to not use oil, I left them wet, but I also tossed the fries in rice vinegar. Then, I sprinkled heavily with chili powder, garlic powder, and fresh ground pepper. The seasoning sticks to the potatoes because of the moisture created by the water and vinegar.
The temperature in the oven is the key to crispy, oil-free french fries. The oven must be pre-heated to 425 degrees BEFORE you place the fries in the oven. It is also important to move the fries around in the pan and make sure they are in a single layer not overlapping.
The other secret to these fires is the cilantro and sauces. I did not want to use garlic mayonnaise, so I opted for avocado, lime, cilantro sauce to compliment the fresh cilantro used between the layers of fries.
Furthermore, I used Sriracha just like the restaurant version. We love Sriracha, so it was a must. If you don’t like it spicy, skip the heat.