With coronavirus making travel a tricky and even potentially dangerous prospect this year, we’re embracing the summer staycation. All week (and all summer) long, we’ll bring you transportive flavors and travel-inspired ideas from around the world, so you can take your tastebuds on a trip and give your mind a mini vacation while you’re still at home. Here, our favorite ways the world prepares potatoes.
Potatoes are famously versatile, and beloved around the globe in many different forms. Keto eaters will have to look away, but for the rest of us, these international potato recipes should provide some delicious dinner inspiration—not just on National Potato Day (mark your calendars for August 19), but all year round.
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We didn’t include any all-American potato dishes on this list because, well, there are simply too many to choose from (and they get enough press as it is)—but suffice it to say, there are many more things to make from potatoes besides fries, tots, hash browns, baked potatoes, and pillowy mounds of mash.
Here are just some of the ways the rest of the world makes potatoes.
India: Aloo Gobi
Potato samosas are one of the best Indian ways to enjoy your spuds, but this warmly spiced dish is also tops (and doesn’t require any deep frying or dough making). The potatoes join forces with cauliflower for a great one-pan vegetarian dinner; serve with rice, naan, or roti—and raita if you wish. Get our Aloo Gobi recipe.
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Don't forget to give your spuds a good scrub.
Korea: Gamja Jeon
These potato pancakes are fantastic topped with a fried egg, dipped in a simple sauce, or even piled with salad—and for those who hate grating (or whose knuckles hate it, anyway), blitzing the potatoes and onion in a blender is a genius move that’s also way faster. Get the Gamja Jeon recipe.
Malaysia: Spicy Potato Casserole
This spicy, sambal-laced potato casserole with hints of sweetness from jaggery (or brown sugar) brims with flavor. Coconut cream adds richness to the dish and makes the sauce cling to the crisp-edged potato pieces. Forget Minnesota—this is the real hotdish. Get the Malaysian Potato Casserole recipe.
This Irish potato hash with cabbage and onions (and a massive amount of butter) shouldn’t be relegated to St. Patrick’s Day, though it does pair particularly well with corned beef. It’s also good with ham or steak, but for a vegetarian version, just crack some eggs in and think of it as sort of like an Irish shakshuka. Get our Colcannon recipe.
Creamy and fluffy like the best mashed potatoes but not usually served warm, this addictive potato dip is laced with plenty of garlic and is dairy-free, so everyone (who’s still eating carbs, anyway) can partake. Serve it as a dip and you’ll barely need to wash the bowl because every last bit will get devoured. Get the Skordalia recipe.
China: Shredded Potato Stir-Fry
This Beijing-style potato stir fry is super easy and a refreshing change of pace: still a little crunchy, spicy, and sour. Eat it hot or (as is more traditional) at room temperature for a Chinese take on potato salad. Get the Shredded Potato Stir-Fry recipe.
Japan: Japanese Potato Salad
This Japanese potato salad is more like what you’re used to—but way better. Creamy and fluffy with crunchy bits of onion, cucumber, and carrot, the dressing is based on Kewpie mayo with Japanese mustard and rice vinegar mixed in. Get our Japanese Potato Salad recipe.
Peru: Causa Rellena or Potato Empanadas
Peruvian cooking is heavy on potatoes, in large part because there are over 4,000 varieties that grow in the region. A layered potato terrine, Causa Rellena is a traditional treat, but you can also try adapting our Chicken Empanada recipe to include some potatoes in the filling too; empanadas are everywhere in Peru (and other parts of South America) too.
Related Reading: How to Grow Potatoes Even If You Don’t Have a Garden
Spain: Potato Tots Bravas
A tortilla española would be a fine choice for sure, but who can resist fried potatoes? These homemade tots are inspired by the classic tapas dish patatas bravas (“fierce potatoes,” aka spicy, though the aioli helps balance the fire for a harmonious bite). Get our Potato Tots Bravas recipe.
Related Reading: How to Recreate the Spanish Tapas Experience at Home
Mexico: Chorizo and Potato Tacos
Mexican potato tacos are more traditionally just corn tortilla shells filled with mashed potatoes and deep-fried, but roasted breakfast potatoes also make a great taco filling. Pair them with whatever other morning morsels you like (we used Mexican chorizo, scrambled eggs, and queso fresco here, but bacon is always welcome). Get our Chorizo and Potato Taco recipe.
Quebec knows how to make fries even better: top them with toothsome cheese curds and douse it all in rich beef gravy. Our version does take some time since it calls for making an intense short rib gravy from scratch, but it is 100 percent worth it. Get our Poutine recipe.
England: Fish Pie
The Brits, like most Americans, appreciate a good mash, but it doesn’t have to be a mere side dish. Trowel it atop a hearty shepherd’s pie or another U.K. favorite, a creamy, herb-flecked fish pie. Get our Fish Pie recipe.
France: Pommes de Terre Lorette
As we all know, french fries are not actually French, but the land of haute cuisine does produce incredible fried potatoes, like these fancy pommes de terre Lorette. They look a bit like mini churros, and that’s not totally far off—the recipe combines egg-enriched choux pastry dough with ultra buttery mashed potatoes and fries them into fluffy, crisp-shelled potato clouds. Get our Pommes de Terre Lorette recipe.
Speaking of potato clouds, great gnocchi is like a bowl of them: tender potato pasta pillows that are simultaneously rich and light, and great with virtually any sauce from ragu (as in our header image way up top) to a simple sage butter like we use here. Get our Potato Gnocchi recipe.
Sweden: Hasselback Potatoes
Hasselback potatoes originated in Stockholm, and not only are they a fun way to roast a spud, the tiny slits also maximize the crisp surface area. Those notches catch a lot of melted butter and garnishes too, like bacon, cheese, fried garlic, and chives. Get our Hasselback Potato recipe.
Eastern Europe: Latkes
A Hanukkah staple, potato latkes became popular in eastern Europe in the late 1800s (prior latkes were usually made from various grains), but they eventually made it to America with the diaspora, much to everyone’s benefit. They’re similar to both Swedish rösti and diner hash browns, but whereas those two dishes are just shredded potatoes fried in oil, latkes also contain matzo and eggs. Get our Latke recipe. And try serving them with shakshuka for a change.