Potato cakes or potato scallops – whichever name you know them by, they’re a delicious part of Australian cuisine and easily my favourite thing from a fish and chip shop.
I was talking to a friend who is home in Australia on Skype a little while ago and fish and chips came up. From there, my mind went straight to potato cakes. Yum… it’s amazing how something as simple as a potato cake isn’t available in America, even in their fish and chip shops, which are few and far between – it’s the little things like that that just reinforce that you’re in a completely different country, more so than driving on the other side of the road does. Anyway, after that, I decided that I would need to add potato cakes to my Aussie food repertoire.
From some extensive online research (he he he), there’s two schools of thought when it comes to making potato cakes.
- Boil, mash and shape: on the plus side you get a nice, uniformly round shape in whichever size you’d like but the mashing removes some of the potato’s structural integrity and the cakes might break apart in your hands. Since they are intended as finger food, having them fall apart isn’t an option for me so I chose the second method, which is
- Slice and boil: slice the potatoes on an angle into rounds (ovals, really) and boil before battering and frying. I like this method for a couple of reasons; it cuts out a lot of time and since the potato cakes are slices of potato, they hold up to being handled better than the mashing method. The one downside is their smaller size… but you can have more than one.
- Potatoes are low in FODMAPs.
- Make sure the GF plain flour blend you use contains grains that you can tolerate.
- Corn meal is low in FODMAPs but some cannot tolerate it for other reasons.
- If you use any dried spices in the batter, make sure they don’t have onion or garlic powder in them.
Aussie Style Potato Cakes
Makes approx. 18.
- 3 large russet potatoes – or any kind that is large enough to create a decently sized cake.
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup GF plain flour
- 1/3 cup corn meal
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- Any herb or spice to taste – optional
- A fry pan with deep-ish sides
- Enough oil to fill the fry pan to about 1.5 cm deep
Slice the potatoes – on an angle so the slices are a little bigger – into ovals that are around 7-10 mm thick. You can see in the photo below that I cut them into thinner slices – I was trying to test the difference between one thick slice in batter or multiple thin slices frozen together and then battered. Result: there is no textural difference but the single slice is easier to eat because the cake won’t split at the join.
Place them in a pot of boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain and lay out to cool. While they cool, mix all the batter ingredients together until it is smooth. It should be like a thick paste. Refrigerate it until the potatoes have cooled enough to handle.
Lay out a chopping board that will fit into your freezer and place a sheet of wax paper on top. Dip each of the potato slices into the batter, let the excess drip off and then put them on the board. Once the all the slices are covered, freeze them for at least an hour. This will solidify the batter and make them easier to fry later on. The less water that can mix with the oil, the less splattering you’ll experience. With my unfrozen batch, I got hit in the forehead, so yeah, the oil can jump.
Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, until the batter has turned a crispy golden brown. The potatoes are already cooked from being boiled earlier, so this frying just needs to cook the batter and re-heat the potato inside.
Place the finished potato cakes onto a plate covered with paper toweling, or a cooling rack over paper toweling if you have one. Fish and chips (which includes potato cakes) are traditionally wrapped in butcher’s paper (even more traditionally, in newspaper), which will soak up excess oil from the cooking process – however, the cooling rack does a better job of this.
If you are not serving them at this point, you can either refrigerate or freeze them and then fry or bake to reheat later on. If you are going to freeze them, do so on a chopping board for at least 2 hours before you stack them on top of each other in a container.
Serve with a fructose friendly condiment such as a tomato sauce that you can tolerate, the spiced capsicum dip on this blog, or a tartar sauce. They (of course) would go well with some fish and chips – and the batter works well on fish, too. I always serve a salad with these… I suppose it makes me feel less guilty for eating deep fried foods; but then again, I don’t make them very often for this reason.
On that note enjoy!