Lutosa Shoestrings – The Ready To Cook Potato Fries

A man was selling ready-to-cook potato fries. I wondered if it was good or not but I will never know unless I try. I approached the man and asked about details.

The potato fries cost 55 per 1/2 kilogram or 220 per whole pack. He said it is the same kind which popular fast food chains like Jollibee and McDonald serve.

No additional details provided. I bought 1/2 kilogram and asked for the empty package. I also bought  a little cheese powder for five pesos.  I wonder why it is yellow even if most cheese are color white to yellow.

pack of cheese flavorIt is the Lutosa Shoestrings. The two thin lines below the name “Lutosa” are “shoestrings” translations to other languages. Here it goes – allumetes, fijne frieten, pommes frites im feinschnit, shoestrings, patate sticks, patatas fritas pinas, batatas fritas extrafinas, pommes stripes, potatisar, tyndskarne pommes frites, tikkuperunat, pom’strips and a language not supported by my keyboard.

lutosa ready to cook potato friesIngredients, cooking instructions, storage and nutritional values were written in 12 different languages. The ingredients are potatoes and vegetable oil. The cooking instructions – in a fryer, half-fill the basket and fry for three to four minutes in a pre-heated oil at 175°C. Too bad the English storage and nutritional information were torn.

lutosa shoestrings ingredientsProduct manufactured by:
SA PinguinLutosa Foods
Z.I. du Vieux Pont, 5
7900 Leuze-en-Hainaut (Belgique)

Inspection. Product was partly thawed. Not frozen sticks are soft. Some are too soft that it can be folded without breaking. Width and thickness are almost uniform but the lenghts are irregular. It is totally different from the potato fries within this instructions, “How to Make French Fries and Potato Fries, Direct Frying Method“. The sticks are oily – a sign that it undergone pre-cooking process.

lutosa shoestringsbending the soft potato friesAfter frying. The product texture is basically the same, soft potato sticks with crispy surface. The crispiness loss is also as fast. I sprinkled some cheese flavor. It tasted good but dipping in ketchup is better.

cheese flavored potato fries

Make Potato Fries, Low Fire Direct Frying Method

Making potato fries may involve, frying over high flame for about one minute or until soft, draining off excess oil, freezing and deep frying on medium to high flame for five minutes while still frozen. The steps result to unique french fries texture – crispy outside and soft inner.  See “How to Make French Fries” for more information.

What if I want to discard freezing and the second deep frying? Could I still make a crunchy soft potato fries?

The answer is yes. Here are the finalized tips after several trial and error runs.

1) Select potatoes. Wash to remove adhering dirt and soils. Peel off the skin.

peeled potatoes2) Slice to desired stick sizes. Perhaps a size similar to regular french fries.

potato sticks3) Add cooking oil to Teflon pan – to prevent potato sticking to pan in case something went wrong.

4) Set the fire to medium. Begin adding slices when a single stick in oil is producing bubbles rapidly.

5) Stir gently for about one minute then set the flame to low. Then continue frying for another 19 minutes.  Twenty minutes low fire frying is needed to attain the crunchy soft texture.

6) Optional, sprinkle flavor of choice.

potato fries

How to Make Cassava Fries

I thought I could make french fries from cassava. I tried and succeeded.

The following procedure is different from this french fries recipe.  I removed the pesky fry-freeze-fry method.

Here it goes…

1) Wash cassava to remove adhering dirt and soil.
2) Cut off both ends. Peel off the skin by making a narrow spiral incision and prying if off slowly with a sharp knife.
3) Again, wash and rinse well.
4) Cut to desired sizes. The shape and length similar to french fries. Do this carefully, cassava is much harder than potatoes. Use a sharp and sturdy knife.

kamoteng kahoy slices5) Fry in oil over very low heat for about ten minutes. Two minutes fry over high flame will result to crunchy outside but raw inside. Ten minutes fry over low heat results to crunchy outside and dry soft inner. Adjust the heat so that surface turns golden brown after about ten minutes.
6) Place in strainer or clean towel to drain off excess oil.

kamoteng kahoy friesServe the cassava fries immediately. It absorbs moisture quickly and turns soft.

How to Make French Fries

flavorings ( cheese, salt , barbecue etc… , in powder form)

Materials and Equipment:
slicer or knife
Deep fryer
PE bags

1)    Select good and uniform size potatoes.
2)    Wash it thoroughly until all the adhering dirt are removed.
3)    Peel the potatoes and place in basin of water to prevent browning.
4)    Cut the potatoes to the size of  french fries
5)    Deep fry the potatoes for five minutes or until soft.
6)    Drain off excess oil on clean towels or manila paper.
7)    Pack in polyethylene bags and put into freezer until frozen.
8)    Heat the cooking oil up to 270ºF. Cook the sliced potatoes until golden brown. Remove from oil and cool.
9)    Drain off excess oil as mentioned in step “6”. Dust with flavorings. Serve immediately.

What makes french fries different from other snacks? French fries are crunchy outside and soft inside. The first frying intends to soften the potato sticks. Freezing then frying again immediately give the crunchy outside texture – crispiness that only last for few minutes.

The same procedure is applicable for making camote french fries.