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Looking for the perfect pommes frites to serve as a side to your main dishes?

This pommes frites recipe transforms fingerling potatoes into perfectly crispy, traditional pommes frites that you’d find on the streets of Belgium.

I learned all about the history and secrets to creating the perfect french fries while living in Belgium for two years.

Homemade French fries

Pommes Frites is the French word for French fries.

Many people think that French Fries (as Americans call them) were created in France, but according to the Friet Museum in Bruges, Belgium, fried potatoes were first made in the 17th century by poor residents who fished for their food.

When the rivers froze up and fish were unavailable, they fried potatoes instead.

So why do Americans call them French Fries instead of Belgian Fries? Legend has it that during WWI, some American Soldiers were deployed to France with Belgian Soldiers.

The Belgians treated the American officers to dinner, where they served the fried potatoes. Because the Belgians spoke French, the name French Fries made its way to the states.

Belgium doesn’t have many fast food restaurants, but they do have quite a few friteries and food carts that sell paper cones of fries doused in mayonnaise served with a little fork.

Double fried

In Belgium, it’s not only okay to double dip. It’s a requirement, not in the sauce, but in the grease. The Pommes Frites (that’s French for fried potatoes) are pre-fried once and then fried a second time to order, so they are always hot and fresh.

According to my Belgian friends and the owners of the Friet Museum, there are four secrets to Pommes Frites:

  1. the potato
  2. the cut
  3. the lard
  4. frying twice

They recommend the Bintje potato because it’s softer and yields that creamy potato center. As for the cut, it’s important that each fry is the same thickness so they cook evenly. Some prefer the reliability of a french fry cutter, while others cut them by hand.

As for the lard, Belgians traditionally use animal fat from sheep, beef or pork. But more and more people are turning to vegetable grease as a healthier alternative.

Lastly, and most importantly, the fries must be fried twice at different temperatures. The first dip at 300 F degrees cooks the fries on the inside. The second dip at 350 F degrees gives them a nice golden crisp on the outside.

For this recipe, I cheated a bit. Although I have a nice potato cutter, I experimented with fingerling potatoes. They are smaller and easier to cut.

Simply cut one potato in half vertically, and then cut it in half again. I also fudged on the grease and used canola oil. But the step I didn’t cheat on was the double dip. Bon appétit!

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Pommes Frites (French Fries or Chips)

This pommes frites recipe transforms fingerling potatoes into perfectly crispy French fries that you'd find on the streets of Belgium.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 20 Fingerling potatoes
  • Canola Oil, for frying

Instructions 

  • Soak: Cut the fingerling potatoes in half vertically, and then cut in half again. Soak in a bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes to remove the starch.
  • Drain: Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a paper towel. It’s important the fries are as dry as possible.
  • Fry: In a large frying pan, heat about 1-inch of oil to 300 degrees F. Place about 10 potatoes into the oil and cook until the fries start to float.
  • Rest: Remove them to a paper towel-lined pan and allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes. Continue cooking all of the potatoes this way.
  • Fry: Crank up the heat to 350 degrees F. Place about 10 pre-cooked potatoes into the oil and cook until slightly golden brown.
  • Serve: Remove them to a paper towel-lined pan and season with salt. Serve with mayonnaise or your dip of choice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 302kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.1gSodium: 11mgPotassium: 747mgFiber: 4gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 4IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Belgian
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Ingredients for pommes frites

  • Fingerling Potatoes: Found in the produce aisle near the other potatoes. Fingerling potatoes are low in starch, making them perfect for French fries because they will hold their shape. 
  • Canola Oil: Found in the baking aisle. Gives the pommes frites a nice crispy texture. Use any kind of frying oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or duck fat.
  • Salt: I used sea salt to season my fries, but you can use any kind of seasoning you like. 

Substitutions: Instead of fingerling potatoes, you could use russet potatoes.

See the full recipe card for servings and a full list of ingredients.

How to make pommes frites

  1. Soak: Cut the fingerling potatoes in half vertically, and then cut in half again. Soak in a large bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes to remove the starch.
  2. Drain: Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a paper towel. It’s important the fries are as dry as possible.

✔️ PRO TIP

Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil.

  1. Fry: In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat about 1 inch of oil to 300 F degrees. Place about 10 fries into the oil and cook until the fries start to float.

✔️ PRO TIP

Cook the potatoes in small batches as this allows them to cook evenly. 

  1. Rest: Remove them to a paper towel-lined pan and allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes. Continue cooking all of the potatoes this way.
  2. Fry: Crank up the heat to 350 F degrees. Place about 10 pre-cooked fries into the oil and cook until slightly golden brown.
  3. Serve: Remove them from the hot oil using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a pan lined with paper towels and season them with salt. Serve with mayonnaise or your dip of choice.
Fish and Chips

How to serve pommes frites

Serve up these pommes frites with a side of fish for a traditional fish and chips recipe. You could also serve them alongside Rib-eye Steaks on the Big Green Egg and Tender Juicy Beef Ribs for the perfect meal.

Storage

Leftover pommes frites can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you reheat pommes frites?

Preheat the oven to 425 F and reheat on a baking sheet for at least 15 minutes. If using frozen French fries, let them come to room temperature before reheating. 

Is there another way to make this recipe without deep frying?

Yes. If you don’t want to deep fry your fries in oil, you can fry them in the air fryer or bake them in the oven. Turn the air fryer to 380 F and air fry for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. For the oven, turn it to 450 F and bake on a baking tray for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

Do I have to soak the French fries in water?

I highly recommend it as it removes excess starch and helps the French fries to become super crispy. 

What other variations can I make with these homemade fries?

Feel free to add some parmesan cheese, fresh herbs or any other seasonings you like. 

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Christie Vanover

About Zestuous

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.


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