What could be more delicious than deep fried chips? Salt and pepper chips, of course! Here’s a great, easy recipe with simple instructions on how to make this tasty side dish that pairs perfectly with crispy duck, grilled fish, or a juicy burger.
The history and culture of salt and pepper chips
Salt and pepper chips are cut potato sticks that have been fried with salt, pepper, Asian spices, onion, and chilli. The meal is a superb example of British-Chinese fusion food, often served on a colourful platter of chilli and capsicum. It is thought that London’s first Chinatown sprouted in the 1880s. When restaurants selling Chinese food became popular after World War II, they had to modify their menus to appeal to conservative local palates. This frequently meant providing chips to individuals who were least likely to try new things.
This is how this meal of regular British chips with a Chinese twist came to be. Chinese takeaways sell salt and pepper chips all throughout the nation. These chips are hot, salty, peppery, and bursting with Chinese five spice flavours. Perfect for all your events and celebrations, as well as a starter or savoury snack. One of the most popular chip recipes, which can be seen on the menus of most UK Chinese takeout restaurants.
How to make salt and pepper chips
Ok, before getting into the do’s and don’ts of how it’s made, the ingredients for the dish made are as follows. Pro tip – If you’re cooking for guests, find out if any of them have any allergies, or if any of your guests are prone to experiencing discomfort during or after consuming spicy Asian foods.
You will need:
4-5 large potatoes
5 cups of palm oil
1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
1 tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorns
1 finely sliced onion
1 finely sliced red pepper
1 finely sliced green pepper
2 sliced garlic cloves
1 finely sliced red chilli
½ tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
1 tablespoon of sea salt
½ tablespoon of chilli flakes
3 finely sliced spring onions
This recipe serves approximately 2-3 people as a full portion meal and takes about 35 – 40 minutes to complete, 10 minutes for prep and 25 – 30 minutes to cook.
- Make chunky chips or wedges out of the potatoes. Many people don’t think about chip size and shape whilst preparing a meal, yet it can affect factors like how long it takes to cook the food. For darker, crispier chips, cut them thinner. For softer, fluffier chips, cut them thicker and parboil for slightly longer. Traditionally, use a chef’s knife to cut a potato in half lengthwise (long potatoes are best for chips). Place each piece cut-side down on a plate. Cut into 0.5cm to 1cm thick slices lengthwise. Stack roughly half of the slices the other way around and cut into 0.5cm to 1cm thick pieces too.
- Place the cut potatoes into a pot and top it up with cold water. Once the water is brought to a boil and you can see bubbles, simmer gently for 5 minutes. Drain the warm water carefully and leave to steam dry.
- Heat approximately 4 cups of oil in a medium-sized pot until it is ready for frying. Test it by using a frying thermometer to make sure it is between 160 and 180 degrees Celsius. As for which oil is best for deep frying? It is suggested that you use neutral flavour oil like palm, sunflower, peanut, canola, or vegetable oil. Palm oil is one of the best oils for deep frying, boasting a high smoke point, neutral flavour, and a beautiful, golden result.
- Transfer the parboiled chips to the pot slowly. For the perfect deep fried chips, fry for around 10 minutes at a temperature of approximately 130ºC. Remove and set aside to drain on kitchen towels. Then, turn the heat up on the oil to 190ºC and fry for a further 5 minutes. Your chips should be a light golden brown. Remove and drain again on kitchen towels to avoid your chips being served too oily.
- While the chips are cooking, toast the peppercorns dry in a wok or large frying pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a pestle and mortar and crush the peppercorns. Crush the peppercorns until they are fine and there are no large chunks in the mix.
- Heat about 3 or 4 tablespoons of oil in the pan and stir-fry the onion, peppers, garlic and chilli for 5-8 minutes over medium-high heat until the onions and garlic turn golden brown. Once done, remove from the heat and set aside for later.
- Mix the Chinese five-spice powder, sugar, salt, chilli flakes and ground peppercorns together. Tip the cooked chips into the pan with the veg and return to medium heat. Toss the contents to combine the ingredients. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper mixture and the spring onions into the pan. Toss everything together for 1-2 minutes until evenly coated.
- Serve straight away with another pinch of sea salt, and enjoy!
Ingredients and quantities may vary as there are a few different methods for preparing this dish, so nutritional info may differ from one dish to another. The amounts for this recipe are as follows:
- Calories: 364kcal
- Carbohydrates: 49g
- Protein: 6g
- Fat: 35g
- Saturated Fat: 8g
- Sodium: 1751mg
- Salt: 1.3g
- Fibre: 6g
- Sugar: 8g
- Vitamin C: 8mg
- Calcium: 26mg
- Iron: 2mg
High-quality, sustainable palm oil for UK restaurants
FryMax has been the UK’s largest supplier of frying oil to fish and chip shops and other food outlets and restaurants since 1954. And our oil doesn’t just give you the best results every time you heat up the frying pan, it’s the best choice for sustainability too. Since 2013, FryMax oil has been made from fully-segregated, vegan, RSPO-certified palm fruit oil. Not a drop of non-certified oil goes into the production of FryMax. Home cooks and restaurateurs can rest assured that, when they choose FryMax, they are supporting sustainable, ethical palm oil production – and that they’ll make the best chips in town, every time. For more information don’t hesitate to get in contact with the helpful Frymax team.
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