Tip/Guidance for the Young Chef: Cooking Potatoes for Salad

I was asked, when bringing over a potato salad to some friends, what the secret is to achieve the look and texture my potatoes had:

  1. Crispy outer layer (wall /sides)
  2. Soft texture
  3. Smooth outer layer

Here is a photo to show you what I’m talking about:

So what I have done is no secret, it is a simple process you need to follow.

  1. Peel the potatoes
  2. Cut them into approx 1.5 cm cubes (size can vary according to your preferences)
  3. Place the potatoes in a pot containing cold water
  4. Add white vinegar (apple, white wine or any other white vinegar to your choice/red vinegar will work as well but will stain the potato) in an amount that equals to approx 5% of the water volume
  5. Bring the water to a boil and lower to a simmer at once
  6. Cook until you find the texture of the potatoes satisfactory

Why does it work?

  1. First of all, I chose a waxy potato – in my case a “desired” type. These potatoes are denser and tend to break less while they cook because of their higher starch content
  2. The cooking was done in a simmering “temperature” which prevented the potatoes bouncing in the pot damaging each other’s sides
  3. The vinegar’s acid tends to have an effect on the structure of starch, in our case it makes it more “solid” and helps maintain crisp, smooth sides

You may add salt, sugar or other spices or condiments to the water the potatoes are being cooked in, but what is written above is the basics.

This cooking method can serve not only a salad but also any other dish that requires a specifically desired texture.

Here are links to two more articles that refer to the use of potatoes.

Potato soufflé explained

Variations on Vichyssoise soup 

Hope it helps and thanks for reading,

Michael

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About michaelkatz1

שמי מיכאל כץ טבח במקצועי מאז 1991-לא מעט תפקידים עברתי בחיי בינהם מורה בבית הספר ״ קורדון בלו ״ באנגליה שם גיליתי כמה אני אוהב ללמד ולכוון את הדור הצעיר.
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